There are not enough words to describe how excited I was when Linda asked me to photograph her husband’s homecoming! To be honest, I had been dying to capture a military homecoming for quite some time now but the opportunity never arose…until now!!!
Not many know this but I’m a ‘Navy Brat’! My father served in the military and was even stationed on the USS Nimitz for several years. Needless to say this was very special for me and brought back many memories of him being deployed and my family waiting patiently for him to come home. Never, in all the times waiting for my dad’s ship to arrive, did I ever imagine that I would one day have the privilege of photographing someone else’s homecoming. It truly was a ‘full circle’ moment for me!
Having never photographed a military homecoming before, I was unaware of exactly how flexible I needed to be. With two sons in the Marine Corps, you’d think I’d know this already, however this was quite a bit different and the homecoming date changed several times. The anticipation leading up to the USS Nimitz’s arrival was crazy and really brought me back to those years I waited for my own father to come home!
Due to covid restrictions, this homecoming was not like past ones. Many families were unable to gather at the port to wait for the ship’s arrival. Instead, several parking lots were cordoned off for them to wait for their sailor. If you wanted to watch the Nimitz pull in to port, you had to watch from a distance. That’s where I met Linda…patiently waiting and watching for the aircraft carrier to bring her husband home to her.
Watching the USS Nimitz pull in to port is quite a site to see! Many people gathered on the Port Orchard side of the sound to watch the massive aircraft carrier’s arrival. Among these people were wives, children, and extended family members of sailors on the ship. I even had the opportunity of chatting with a veteran who had also been stationed on the Nimitz. It was an honor to witness the excitement!
After we watched the arrival of the Nimitz, we headed to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for the reunion. The final waiting period was the hardest part knowing that her husband was so close.
We were supposed to take more photos in Port Orchard at the Marina after the initial reunion, however a hailstorm prevented us from doing so. We waited a couple weeks for better weather and I’m happy to say it was well worth the wait! The sky created the most amazing and dramatic backdrop for ‘part two’ of their homecoming session!
Y’all this session was amazing!!! The Port Orchard Marina is such an iconic place to shoot and is becoming one of my favorite locations — check out my blog post on choosing a location for your session! The combination of water, boats, and Sherwin’s uniform made this a dreamy session!
Thank you so much Linda and Sherwin for trusting me to capture this special time in your lives!