Ash Fox is a professional proposal planner and photographer.
Since she started her business in 2012, she’s helped plan and photograph almost 1,000 marriage proposals.
Her favourite part of her job is seeing a proposal executed from start to finish. She enjoys being a part of an amazing moment, she told Business Insider. “These days, people feel like there’s no such thing as romance anymore and that chivalry is dead, but these clients are really making it happen.”
In her experience so far, no one has ever said no.
Fox works with clients from all over the world. From the time they contact her asking for ideas to the moment they get down on one knee, she’s there through it all.
This is 30-year-old Ash Fox. She grew up in Bridgewater, New Jersey and attended college at NYU. She graduated in 2009 with a Bachelors in Fine Arts and has worked as a photographer ever since.
Fox has worked with couples of all backgrounds, ethnicities, sexualities, and ages 18 through 80. She estimates that 75% of her clients have come from outside of New York City, so she often works through Skype and phone calls to plan their big moment.
Most people who are proposing come to Fox for her experience -- she is able to act as a mentor and coach for her clients, guiding them through the whole process.
One thing she knew for certain when she graduated college was that she didn't want to get a full-time job that would pay very little and allow her no creative freedom.
She began her photography career shooting late-night rock and roll parties. 'I made it my goal every night to get a really great portrait of everyone at the party,' she said.
She received so many compliments on her portraits that she realised there might be a different, better use of her skills.
Juggling almost 10 jobs at a time, she re-marketed herself and began photographing corporate and family events like Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and small weddings.
One day she was asked to shoot a proposal in Central Park. At first, she was taken aback. 'I thought to myself, we're really entering this super narcissistic way of taking photos of everything and allowing nothing to be a private moment,' she said.
But after the shoot, she changed her mind. 'A proposal is more romantic than a wedding because it's an intimate moment between just you and your loved one,' she said. 'It's not a performance -- it's about the two of you.'
Soon after, she was asked to do another. She quickly realised people needed help not only with the pictures, but with making sure the proposal goes off without a hitch.
When a grateful mother of a groom-to-be told Fox how touched she was to have her son's proposal pictures, she also said something that reassured Fox she was on the right path: 'This is what you're meant to do.' 'I call her my 'Proposal Fairy Godmother,'' Fox said.
As far as her rates, Fox works with the client's budget. 'I'm not looking to take huge cuts,' she said. 'I need to cover my cost, but I can maximise a person's budget with whatever they have. I have a lot of packages under $1,000.'
The first thing she asks is whether her clients have an idea, or are looking to her for advice. 'Some people have very clear ideas, and others have no idea and say, 'Tell me the most romantic thing I can do,'' she said. 'Then I ask if their significant other is a more public or private person, and we get a little deeper.'
Fox reminds her clients to stick to their gut. 'There are times a client will say to me, 'I want these specific people there.' Or they will say to me, 'Their family and friends really want to be there.' I'll tell him or her, 'Is that what you want? Or is that what your partner wants?''
She has three tips to remember when planning the proposal of your significant other's dreams: First, know what your partner might like. 'You should not be proposing if you don't have a sense of who they are, and have some idea of what they might like,' she said.
Second, Fox insists you get down on one knee. 'A proposal is not a proposal if you're not down on your knee! If you're standing, it takes away from the drama and romance of this special moment,' she said.
Lastly, Fox suggests enlisting outside help -- if not a proposal planner or photographer, at least ask a family member or friend how they proposed, including any insight on what did or didn't make it special.
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