THE SCARBERRY FAMILY ARMY HOMECOMING | FORT HOOD, TEXAS

It is the hardest thing for a parent to not be there for the birth of their child. But it must be a million times harder for a parent serving their country and knowing there is nothing that they can do in order to be with their loved ones during the most important time of their life. Military life is not easy. But there is no sweeter moment than coming home from a combat deployment. And there is definitely nothing like reuniting with your beautiful wife but most importantly meeting your baby daughter!

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RODRIGUEZ FAMILY HOMECOMING | FORT HOOD, TEXAS FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER

This past few homecomings I have photographed have brought home hundreds of soldiers and reunited thousands of loved ones separated by 9 long months and many dusty miles. While some families have experience this before, my darling client Danielle was a newbie at this and patiently waited 266 days to see the love of her life. I couldn’t tell who was more excited and emotional about what was about to happen: Danielle or her two beautiful daughter Vivian and Cora (or me).

This time around the homecoming time was changed so many times, even delayed by weeks, that no one had any patience left, but this was the first time when I met someone who remained calm until the last moment, never losing her mind from the constant curve-balls that the Army likes to throw.

With a cool head and a longing heart, Danielle took care of her babies and patiently waited until the buses showed up and we saw them through the glass doors. I think that was the first time it truly hit. It was finally feeling real. They were back! Just minutes away from finally being reunited. This was the moment when the tears started to fill up, and the heart started pounding like crazy.

Vivian held mommy close, while Cora wondered what what the commotion all about. All until the doors opened and the troops started to march towards us. Tears streaming down everyones’ faces (including mine, even now while I write this). It was the sweetest reunion as Danielle and the girls couldn’t hold it anymore and just darted towards their dad to finally hold and kiss him! Welcome back SGT. Rodriguez!

{LAURA & DEREK} MATERNITY | DANA PEAK PARK, TEXAS

When Laura came for her consultation I was blown away but her soft and sweet personality, tiny body frame, and a soul filled with love for her husband Derek. We talked about her session and she asked me to capture more than just maternity photos. She asked me for couples photos - and as she said that tears started pouring down. She has been missing Derek for months as he was away training with the Army. So these photos were extra special to both Laura and Derek.

{THE HALL FAMILY} ARMY HOMECOMING | FORT HOOD, TEXAS

Every homecoming is different, and yet every homecoming is the same.

A homecoming is like a bare nerve- it is sensitive, it is painful, it is pulsating, and it feel like its about to tear.

And then comes that sweet moment -  a white bus off in the distance - and noise falls ... time stands still, and the atmosphere changes. 

Everything changes in that precious moment - because the wait is finally over. 

SPC Hall - welcome home! Gaby and Payton missed you so much! 

 

{THE ELLIOTT FAMILY} ARMY HOMECOMING | FORT HOOD, TEXAS

It was the longest wait - and the most emotional return. From constant rescheduling to an emotional rollercoaster, to finally a good day - the GREATEST day!

This Friday was the day Taylor and her babies got to welcome their soldier home. 

The air was filled with anticipation, and nervousness, and so much love - and as soon as a glimpse of the white bus was seen, tears started to fill up the eyes. Tears of joy and tears of relief. Tears of happiness. 

Welcome home SGT Elliott!

{THE ROYSTER FAMILY} ARMY HOMECOMING | FORT HOOD

It was 2 A.M., the air was getting crispier, temperatures falling below 30 degrees but no matter how late or cold, you could feel the wave of warmth wash over you - warmth from all the raw emotion felt by the loved ones of the soldiers coming back from a long deployment. 

Time away is trying - long time away is indescribable.  So it is finally time to say: 

Welcome home SPC Royster!  You were missed!

{THE EKUDI FAMILY} ARMY HOMECOMING | FORT HOOD

I absolutely love photographing homecomings.

There is nothing like it in the world - so full of raw emotion. It even gets me from time to time and I'll notice I need to wipe away the tears.

Families get put through so much during deployments, it is hard to describe to anyone who is not part of that world. The tears, the joy, the hardship and loneliness - and of course the countless days, hours, minutes, that never seem to end  - but they do end and when that moment comes, there is no bigger joy than that experienced by the re-united family. 

 

 

{OLIVIA&MICHAEL&AUBREY} FAMILY SESSION | VILSECK, BAVARIA, GERMANY

I am at a loss of words of how to describe this session! It was so beautiful and so full of love, that I feel like anything I say will only take away from the true feelings in these photos. So I will leave this session with beautiful Olivia, Michael & Aubrey right here, so like me, you can witness their family love and love for each other, as they celebrate their 4th anniversary and their daughters 2nd birthday! 

Thank you for making me fall in love with love all over again!

{MARIA&JUAN MEJIA} FAMILY SESSION | BAYREUTH, BAVARIA PHOTOGRAPHER

At least once in our lives we all come across that one person with the timid smile behind which hides the biggest heart made of gold. I've been lucky enough to come across that kind of person not only in my person life but also in professional, and had the honor of documenting Maria and her family on camera.  

Maria contacted me because she received a gift certificate for a family session and soon after I had her in my studio chatting about places we will go to do her session. Unlike many of my clients, Maria knew exactly where she wanted to shoot so I knew this will be a very fun evening that we will spend together.  And I was right! Her three boys absolutely loved running around, climbing rocks, play-fighting, imagining we were cavemen, knights in armor, forrest elves, ninjas and samurais. (And I even got her husband Juan to smile on camera in a few photos, though I will not be posting them here to reserve those very rare and special photos for family only). So much laughter we all shared that my face hurt when we were done. But the most amazing part of our shoot was watching the relationships unfold before my eyes. To her boys Maria is a guardian angel that keeps them safe, warm and loved, and to the boys she is a role model, she is more than a mother, she is a muse, she inspires them and adds to each of their very different personalities. I hope I got to capture them truly as they are, and here are my favorites from our time together a while back. 

{THE MARTIN FAMILY} HOMECOMING STORY| VILSECK, GERMANY HOMECOMING PHOTOGRAPHER

Brittini was one of the very first people I met here in Vilseck, when we moved into our house. Little did I know that only after a few short months of knowing each other her husband would deploy for a long time, leaving Brittni missing him to the moon and back.

It was almost fate that led me to the same gymnasium 9 months later where Joseph, Brittni's husband, was coming back to. When I saw Brittni there, nervous and excited all at the same time, all I wanted was to capture those precious moments of their reunion. 

Welcome back SPC. Martin! 

{The Covert Family} A HOMECOMING STORY | VILSECK, GERMANY HOMECOMING PHOTOGRAPHER

This sweet family has waited nine long months to see each other. Being deployed when your baby is only 4 months old is hard on everyone but the best part is always the reunion. Nine long months and two hours of waiting at the Vilseck Memorial Gym, Naomi and TJ couldn't stay still waiting to see Daddy again. Welcome home SPC. Covert!