Should You Have A Photographer At Homecoming? YES!

As a military spouse and a hobby photographer, I have been on both ends of the lens. I hired photographers for both of my husband’s homecoming and have photographed even more homecomings for my friends and referrals.

edit26aMy husband and I’s first homecoming – Afghanistan 2011

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My friend Heather’s homecoming – May 2013

I shot a homecoming very last minute on Friday for a friend of a friend.  The woman had been talking to my friend (the red-head featured above) about how she didn’t have a photographer for her upcoming homecoming…the next day! My friend referred her to me and thankfully the timing worked out and I actually have the day off from work and no plans.

When I got to the homecoming and we were waiting around for her and her friend’s husbands to come through, there was a sweet family next to us waiting as well. She had a toddler and a newborn with her, and no friends or photographer to capture the moment. Her husband came though in the first wave (not everyone arrived at the same time) and their reunion was beautiful! I couldn’t help myself and I snapped a few photos and asked for her email before I left so I could send them to her.

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Homecomings are such a beautiful and emotional moment in life. How could you not want to capture it?!

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How could you want to miss out on having these memories forever?!

My client and her friend were both experiencing their first homecomings, and I was glad to be able to get some shots of both of them. You will want to have photos of this moment! There is no downside to hiring a photographer, IMO

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I’ve had some people ask me if it’s awkward to have a photographer at homecoming. To have someone up in your business during such an intimate moment. As a photographer, I try to blend in. There are so many people at homecoming; photographers, friends, family. There will be people taking photos left and right, you won’t notice if they are taking photos of you or someone else. At both of my homecomings I barely noticed the photographer, I was way too wrapped up in seeing my husband for the first time in 7 months!

So the answer to the question of “should I hire a photographer for my homecoming?” is always YES!

Speaking of photography (since I don’t want to make a whole other post), here are some highlight of the other shoot I did this weekend, a maternity shoot for my friend. Can’t wait to take her newborn pictures in a few weeks!

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Is it Romantic?

I recently stumbled across this blog post, articulating the being married to a service member is not romantic, fun or desirable.

It’s a funny article, and there are many things that I agree with. Being married to someone in the military is not like they portray in movies, I’ve never been serenaded by “you’ve lost that loving feeling”, nor has my husband burst into my place of employment (in uniform) and carried me off into the sunset.

However, most romantic movies (whether them main character is a military service member, a firefighter, or just a regular business man) are rarely accurate or realistic portrayals of real life.

Being married to someone in the military doesn’t automatically make your life romantic. Your life isn’t a romantic movie 100% of the time just because your husband is in the military, because someone being in the military doesn’t automatically make them a romantic person. How much romance you have in your life depends on you and your partner, not what either of you does for a living.

However, I do think that there is some innate romance in being married to a service member: Homecomings

Being separated from your spouse for months on end is not romantic. It’s lonely and sad and hard.

But in my experience, every separation and deployment has strengthened our marriage. You learn to appreciate your spouse when they are gone. You realize that complaining about them leaving the toilet seat up or throwing their dirty socks on the floor, isn’t that important. Through missing them you realize how much you truly love them and appreciate all they do when they are home.

And when they come home, that amazing moment when you hold them and kiss them again after months apart, if that isn’t romance, I don’t know what is.

Being married to a service member doesn’t atomically make life a romantic movie. But there are certainly scenes that are swoon worthy.

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Homecoming #1: 2011

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Homecoming #2: 2012

Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss

I decided to try something new on my blog and participate in the Weekly Photo Challenge. From what I understand, they post a topic every week and you have one week to post a picture and write a little bit about what the topic/photo means to you.

This weeks prompt is kiss

257433_213718738660658_151159518249914_708729_5466961_oWhen I looking for a photo to pick out I of course wanted a photo of me and Jeremy. We have so many pictures of us kissing, from engagement photos, wedding photos, anniversaries, holidays, and just random moments.

I decided to pick a kiss photo that had the most meaning to me, because it was a kiss that I anticipated for 7 months.

Our first kiss after his Afghanistan deployment in 2011

I love this photo because you can almost see my smile in the kiss.

Deployments are hard. There are the missed holidays, the days where you feel like your life is falling apart, the days where realize you’ve forgotten what their touch feels like.

But after all of that, there is the homecoming. And it’s beautiful. To know that you’ve made it through one of the most challenging experience a couple could face.

To feel them in your arms again, to feel their lips on yours, to be complete again.

I think a homecoming kiss might be the most emotional kiss a person can have. It was certainly mine.

Homecoming Honeymoon

I went with a friend to her homecoming yesterday so she could have the moment captured on video. It was beautiful. I cried. lol.

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Homecomings are so romantic and emotional, and the months after you get to experience the honeymoon phase all over again.

My husband come home two months ago from his second tour; it was beautiful, I cried and we had a honeymoon phase. He did the dishes after dinner without being asked, we couldn’t keep our hands off eachother, etc.

But eventually life gets in the way and things go back to the way they were. He goes back to work, you go back to work, and regualr life starts up again.

So yesterday, after I left her homecoming, I came home to my husband watching golf and working on one of his many projects. We went to the gym. I cooked dinner. We watched the new Bones and I did the dishes.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a night like that. We both work and have busy lives, being ordinary and normal on a Tuesday night isn’t a bad thing.

But then I started thinking, why does the honeymoon phase have to end? It comes naturally after a deployment because you’ve spent so long apart and appreciate eachother when you finally get to be together again after months apart.

But it can also be a choice. The honeymoon phase doesn’t have to end after a few months if we each make the choice to appreciate and act loving towards our spouse.

To end, because I am a total sucker for homecomings, you should all check out these homecoming pictures of one of the pregnant wives at my friends homecoming who got her husband home. I cried…again. lol

The way it’s supposed to be

Jeremy has been home from deployment for a week now. I can’t believe how fast time has gone by! When he was gone the days would drag on, I was constantly thinking about how many days had passed and how many more were left.

Now, I don’t even notice the days passing. Because this is how my life is supposed to be. His alarm waking me up at 4 am when he hits the “sleep” button 3x a morning. Being able to text him about pointless things like picking up milk on the way home and having him reply in minutes instead of days. Coming home from work and having him be home waiting for me. Cooking dinner for two. Cuddling on the couch and catching up on Criminal Minds together. Yelling at the TV during football games. Falling asleep in his arms every night.

That is my life, the way it’s supposed to be.

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Watching the Packer game together the first Sunday he was home 🙂

Homecoming #2 Finally Arrived!!!

There were many times over the last 6 months where I thought Homecoming would never come. But as one of my favorite homecoming quotes goes, “although not fast, the days will pass”, and they did 🙂

At around 10:30 pm on Thursday December 6th, I welcomed my husband home from his second deployment!

There were many date and time changes, which was incredibly frustrating. On Thursday at 10:00 am I finally got the phone call saying they were on the flight and would be there at 9:00 pm that night.

I was an emotional mess. I nearly burst into tears many times that day, just thinking about the fact that he was actually coming home to me in just a few short hours.

But I had to make it through two finals and four hours at work, so I needed to hold it together. It was the longest four hours of work EVER! lol

I headed to base right after I got off work and was one of the first families there…which was when they told me that the return time had been pushed back to 10 – 11 pm.

So I waited. My friend Heather came with me, and I had hired a photographer, so we all hang out and chatted for a few hours.

By the time we went outside to wait for the buses, I pretty emotionless. It was not a conscious effort, and maybe I do it to protect myself. Or maybe there were just so many delays and so much build up that I was just over it. Either way, I was happy he was coming home, but I wasn’t on the verge of tears like I had been for the week before he was supposed to come home.

So he got off the bus, and I ran to greet him with a smile on my face.

He was super grumpy because of the long flight and all the delays, but after we got his bags and headed home we fell right back into our normal husband/wife interactions 🙂

It felt a little weird having somebody else in my house and sharing my space again, but falling asleep in his arms felt like heaven 🙂 And waking up beside him felt like he had never left.