Marriage proposals caught on camera

Rob Illidge of Captured Proposals. Picture by Craige Barker

Rob Illidge of Captured Proposals. Picture by Craige Barker

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A Preston photographer is capturing the romance of marriage proposals with a novel new business venture.

Rob Illidge from Fulwood, Preston, hides in bushes, camouflages in restaurants and travels the country to help couples remember their special moment forever.

The 30-year-old came up with the idea for Captured Proposals after he flew to Miami to pop the question to his own partner Siobhan, because he couldn’t find a specialist photographer in the UK.

“I was thinking there must be somebody out there who takes photographs or captures the moment and I couldn’t find anyone in the UK who did it”, said Rob.

“Everything is captured now, births, graduations, weddings, but the proposal, which is one of the most important moments in life and the beginning of the next journey together, isn’t.”

The business has been running since November, and Rob has already photographed more than 50 proposals.

He has even captured a number of celebrity proposals - footballers and singers - but has been sworn to secrecy about their identity.

Rob said: “More and more people want to capture the moment and share it with friends - we found out the fist thing people want to do after they get engaged is update their social media.”

He described his work as the “best job in the world” and said: “A lot of people joke about photographers hiding in bushes, but if I have to I will because of the element of surprise.

“But people are so accepting of cameras, people are used to it.

“There are certain situations, if someone is getting engaged outside the Town Hall, where I would have to hide away, but getting engaged in restaurants is really easy to shoot because people don’t think someone is taking a picture of them until their partner gets down on one knee.

“We tell the client where the photographer is going to be, where to get down on one knee to get the best shot, and we do a recce at the venue.

“It’s the best job in the world organising proposals because we get to go on that journey with them and I know how stressful it can be, and it’s my job to take that stress away.”

The business even offers a “drop a hint” service, which adds partners to a secret mailing list and gives them a nudge.