Montalvo Arts Center Surprise Proposal

Surprise proposals are not only fun to shoot, but they also feel like a spy mission. For this surprise proposal, we were at the beautiful Montalvo Arts Center at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga. This location is surrounded by amazing architecture, lush landscape, and family-friendly hiking trails. Before getting there, we exchanged emails to game plan for the day. We shared secret google map game plans with drawings and directions just make the moment leading up to the moment easier. We came an hour earlier to scope out the location and hiding spots that we wouldn’t be seen but also for the best photos possible. As a photographer/videographer in the bay area, it is important to scout out locations to make it easier for your clients. The moment is already filled with many emotions so scouting should be one less thing on the to-do list.

We were able to hide in 2 different locations at our meeting point; giving us two great angles, one of his expressions and one of her reactions. We are as nervous and excited as they are waiting for the tears, the yes and the hug and kiss afterward. After the shock and surprise, we spent a little time capturing photos of them and all their feelings and emotions afterwards.

Tips for planning a surprise proposal:

  1. Have a clear plan with your photographer

  2. Keep it simple if you’re planning one so that you don’t stress too much

  3. Make up a fun excuse to get her/him to where you want them to be (He told her that they were going to a fundraiser so she would get all dressed up and ready for photos.)

Information about Montalvo Art Center from their website:

“The Montalvo Arts Center is a non-profit center for the arts in Saratoga, California, United States. Open to the public, Montalvo comprises a cultural and arts center, a park, hiking trails and the historic Villa Montalvo, an Italian Mediterranean Revival mansion nestled in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.”

For future clients: there is a facility fee to shoot at The Montalvo Arts Center.