Every day I get at least one e-mail from a military spouse asking me to photograph a homecoming. Now more than ever, it seems like people want to preserve these events just as they would a wedding, the birth of a child, or other once-in-a-lifetime moment. And I absolutely love it. I love that people invite me to share in their excitement. I love that they don’t mind me crying right alongside them– but most of all, I love that military families are choosing to hold onto these homecomings forever, and they’re choosing to do it in photographs. There’s nothing quite like your loved one returning from war. The agony of waiting is over and there is a feeling of relief so enormous and overwhelming that your brain and body go into auto-pilot. You run, you jump, you hug, you kiss, you stare, you…you remember those seconds and relive them in photos another day, whenever you need an emotional pick-me-up. You never want to forget what it felt like in that instant when a familiar face stepped off a bus or when that familiar face was touching yours for the first time in seven months. Photographs like these insure that you won’t forget those feelings and neither will your children, even though they were too young to know what exactly was happening.
This is the homecoming story of the Davis Family. With three little boys, Felicia certainly has her hands full. But what was so clear to me that day her husband came home from Afghanistan, is that her heart is even fuller. The tremble in her lips, the soft tears in her eyes– they were the physical signs of a love so big it can’t be contained within her heart. She was quiet in her words but her expressions and touch screamed, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” I couldn’t be more thrilled to see this family reunited. And any time I need a reminder of how to hold my son, I’ll look at the photos of Sgt. Davis holding is own boys– like he’ll never let go again.
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