I’m pretty sure that the only thing more emotionally charged for me than photographing my little brother’s wedding is photographing my little sister’s engagement photos. Well, for now anyway: in a couple months, I will be able to speak to the bittersweet topsy turvy that will be walking my baby sister’s wedding.
But as if the very prospect of these photos wasn’t exciting enough, the trauma of trying to get to Chattanooga was a nightmare I do not care to repeat. (It involved multiple flight delays, a bazillion dollars for a one-way car rental, a sleepy hotel manager who lost my reservation at midnight, very few hours of sleep, and a lost piece of luggage. You get the idea.)
Joanna and Peter met during their freshman year at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA. A dude from Cape Cod devouring history books and a third culture kid from North Carolina via Nairobi, Kenya painting her heart out in the art barn. Somewhere between the first and second floor of Mills (a building on campus; the story is a bit muddled four years later), two members of the carpet cleaning team met for the very first time. Cuz, you know, bonding over vacuuming is a perfectly logical love story.
Peter proposed to Joanna at sunrise on the top of a mountain and had a photographer to capture the whole deal. Now, mind you: that means he had to get my despiser-of-mornings baby sister awake and up a mountain by sunrise in October. If she’s willing to set an alarm to meet him for a hike, I guess he’s a pretty cool dude.
We started our time together with a running-the-sidewalk-of-Chattanooga-in-slow-motion moment, two sisters finally and happily reunited while a eager but polite Peter hung back and let us have our moment. I mean, Jo brought me a hair brush (lost luggage) and deodorant (did I mention lost luggage?) and a clean shirt (necessities of LOST LUGGAGE) and all these things had to be enjoyed fully before we could settle into proper greetings.
We started our photo fun by letting our kid-at-heart thrive: Chattanooga Creative Discovery Museum engagement photos may not be normal, but neither are Peter and Joanna. We played with water, waited our turn on “stage” after the toddlers finished reenacting Frozen, climbed the tunnels and towers with the elementary schoolers, and giggled like the little kids we used to be.
However, hands down my favorite part of Creative Discovery Museum Engagement Photos happened in the art room: using crayons and a blind corner, Joanna and Peter drew each other . . . at least, that’s what Joanna thought they were doing. Peter knows where his talent is; instead of drawing a stick figure, he doodled the lyrics to their song while Joanna sketched and shaded and created a masterpiece.
Plus, the artist had an audience. The kids at the museum loved watching her work.
Guys, my baby sister is getting married, I am her sisterfriend-of-honor, and these are her engagement pictures.