Our Engagement Shoot

Preparing for my engagement shoot was the first time I broke down and cried from all the emotional stress of wedding planning.

That is a complete lie!

It’s probably the umpteenth time I’ve let my emotions get the better of me. So far, planning a wedding is one of the biggest emotional rollercoasters I’ve been on, and the ride isn’t over yet.

What I’ve discovered so far is that weddings are highly emotional events. (Oh boy!) Everything is up in the air: tensions, expectations, and sometimes even the budget. Because of this, any small mishap might just be the thing that pushes you off the edge. Cue me crying on the floor while texting my photographer in the week leading up to our engagement shoot. The loveliest lady whom I had just met and was only beginning to get to know.

It all began soon after I had searched Pinterest (my best friend for life!), for ideas on urban street style engagement photos. I had found the look and feel I had wanted and Bronwyn, my photographer was so thrilled to be part of it and loved the idea. Until, soon approaching our arranged shoot date, I needed to finally decide on a location. This is where the crisis began. Although you may be wondering why such a small detail may be of much importance, consider the fact that I am me. I am a perfectionist who is extremely critical of my own actions. I am also, at the worst of times, slightly, minutely, perhaps, or even maybe, a control freak.

I spent many nights going back and forth with all the suggestions we had come up with and after doing a few pie charts, diagrams and bar graphs with pros and cons of all the location options, I finally got caught up in all the emotions. And in that moment, while texting my photographer, even though my family and fiancé had already confirmed my decision, it was only when a stranger (someone I didn’t even know that well) said everything was going to be ok, that it suddenly become just that, ok.

I realised that the reason I placed so much weight on the location was because I didn’t just want to have an urban street style photoshoot only to look like my Pinterest board. I wanted a place that meant something. A place that dictated our journey even if no one else really knew the story behind it, I wanted a place that would forever be inscribed in the background of our love story.

And that is why it had to be Braamfontein in Johannesburg. Braamfontein was the place where my fiancé and I first met; 8 years ago in the corridors of the arts campus at Wits University. It’s the place where my fiancé went to church and where we both continue to go to church. It was the place we love going to on a Saturday when Neighbour Goods market is busy, and the streets are alive with vibey street performers and people from all walks of life. It is the place that represents everything we love and what we’re all about like the Joburg Theatre and the music shop, the independent coffee spots and the colourful walls and paintings. Walking through the streets on the day of the photo shoot made me feel like this is my city. The city we both grew up in and loved. (It was also the city that made my dad wake up early in the morning just to watch over us and make sure we were safe). But it was the city where we could be silly and be ourselves.

Bronwen, our wonderful photographer, captured this essence exactly. Her kind and gentle spirit calmed my wave of crazy emotions and she made us laugh and enjoy the city like I had envisioned. I couldn’t be more happy with the final images. They are perfect! Do I feel silly for crying and over reacting? Maybe. But are there more tears in store? I’m certain of it! Bring on the tissues!

Engagement photos by the amazing Bronwyn Alyson Photography

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