Category: David's Musings


Timothy and I recently had a bet going on the chorus to Paparazzi by Lady Gaga and while Googling the lyrics, I came across a company called Pap the Question. It is a full service photo agency, founded by James Ambler, which promises to provide discreet photos of life’s most romantic moments. I was intrigued with the idea so I reached out to James to get more information.

It was after a trip to Nepal when James was 18 that he “…started to love capturing faces and portraits and decided to do a degree in Photography.”  Originally from Oxford, England he worked as a news photographer in London for 7 years before coming to the States and becoming a paparazzi photographer (he once got a ride from Angelina Jolie – just a perk of the job!).

The idea for Pap the Question came about after he proposed to his wife.  With James being from the UK, and his wife from Australia, everyone was asking him how he did it and if they had any photos to share.  Unfortunately he didn’t. But it got him thinking.  James says, “Having been a news photographer for the last 7 years and then 5 years hiding from celebs, I figured I had all the experience and skill to shoot people’s engagements.”

While he prides himself on never changing client’s ideas about how they want to ‘pop the question,’ he has witnessed enough proposals to give some great advice.  He advises to keep it “as simple and romantic as possible. Catching the partner off guard in a very normal setting will result in the best pictures and will make the engagement look great!” 

 James has many stories to share but there was one in particular that made my heart melt. “The most romantic I think would have to be Bradley and Caitlin’s. Bradley contacted us from the UK, he is a big street artist collector and had given a book to Caitlin a couple of years ago from an artist whose work consisted of a series of murals on the sides of roofs and buildings in Philly, which together formed a love poem that ended with “Forever begins when you say yes”.  He wanted us to organize getting him down there on the train and getting him on the roof with that final mural for him to get on one knee!  However it was just too difficult as the building was not safe so we had some graffiti artists re-create the piece with Bradley’s own design and we had it placed in Central Park so he could propose in front of it!  She was so overcome and it was just a great engagement! I spent a lot of time getting to know Bradley and really finding out what was at the heart of the engagement so it was amazing to see it all the way through!”


When I asked if he would ever Pap the Pregnancy Announcement, James said “well a mate of mine asked if I would ever Pap a Divorce which made me laugh!” James does also offer Rent a Paparazzi which allows people to hire a photographer for any event; bachelorette party, lunch party, girls night out, etc.  He recently got a call from a mom who had seen him on the Today Show. She wanted pictures of her husband and 3 boys but knew it would be impossible to get them all to stay still and smile. Instead they went for a walk on the High-Line and James snapped away without the men ever knowing.  The client was over the moon with the natural and candid look of the pictures!

 For more information on James and his services, please visit

Add comment
  1. No comments yet - you can be the first to comment!
Reply to: