I recently had the opportunity to photograph my first military homecoming. This session was special in many ways. I was working for my dear friend and fellow photographer Victoria Simmons ( Victoria Simmons Photography). The most special part was that Victoria’s husband had no idea that his little girl , Adalin, could walk yet. The joy and excitement I felt knowing that I was going to get to experience a family reuniting was amazing. Driving into Fort Stewart it was raining and I was terrified that my client wouldn’t get the beautiful sunny shots that she wanted. Once I arrived at Fort Stewart it was like I had entered a weather bubble. There was no more rain and it was sunny with clouds! I met Victoria and saw the excitement on her face! It was here! She was going to be able to hug her husband, to touch his face and hold him close. We anxiously waited for them to tell us that the buses were close. Then we heard it, the buses were 1 mile away! We ran to the median to watch the buses come in. She cheered and screamed and wondered if her husband could see her! Once they had passed we rushed to the field. The moment was here. The soldiers marched across the field and stood in formation for what I’m sure felt like an eternity. Then Victoria heard the words she had been waiting for ” Go congratulate these damn fine soldiers!” She cheered and screamed and held her sign high while we waited for her husband to come into clear view from the crowd of happy reunions. He ran over and picked up his baby girl, hugged his wife and held her. There family was whole again. I fought to hold back my own tears. I was so happy for them. Then Victoria put Adalin down and she walked to her daddy for the first time. The joy on her fathers face was a sight to see. I could not wait to get home to share these images with this family. The day was a challenge; the homecoming ceremony was at 3pm and the sun was very harsh. I learned that you never know what will happen at a homecoming and you have to be prepared for anything.
Equipment used: Nikon D60 with 50 mm f/1.8
Photo credits: Carmen Strong