Not often do I get asked to photograph an engagement proposal, so this was special! Oh my gosh! People at the restaurant were staring. I tried to keep it together, but not 5 minutes into the shoot, I teared up. So did Irina. Holding the camera up to my eyes and not wiping the tears made it so hard to see enough to focus!
I have known Jim for 7 years now. He and I had been on the same salsa dance teams for years. Then, about a year ago, Jim said he could no longer do rehearsals on Sundays. That it was his day to spend with his girlfriend. We saw less of Jim, but when I did see him, he seemed very happy.
It came about that I photographed this wonderful evening when Jim called me up to tell me his plans. He said, “I know how much Irina loves pictures so I think you should be there!” When planning it out, I asked him if he thought it might be a good idea to propose early in the dinner to get the nerves out of the way. He said he didn't anticipate being nervous but wanted to propose early anyway. When we checked in the night before he said, “Hey, Sharyn, remember when I told you I wasn’t going to be nervous? Yeah… I totally I am!” Even Irina had noticed that he was acting more and more peculiar as the weekend went on. She kept asking if everything was alright.
Then, all at once, seeing him on one knee, it suddenly all made sense as the concept of what was really happening settled in. It was real! They were ENGAGED! She had a beautiful ring on her finger! Jim was beaming. I have never seen him so happy as he was in those moments. It was priceless!
By chance, I had lunch with Irina a few weeks before the proposal. I asked her what she liked about Jim. She put her hands on her lap and emphatically said that he was the nicest man she had ever known! “Good answer,” I thought. Irina is a smart woman who understands that kindness is one of the most important aspects of a romance. Life is short and love is special. Congratulations to Jim and Irina!
This fun glass ball was lent to me that same day from Vanessa, choreographer for Jim and my dance team. She said, “Do something cool with it.” I grinned and told her that I would, knowing the secret shoot for which I was leaving early from rehearsal. See, Vanessa, I did something very cool with it!