Welcome home from Afghanistan, VMM-365

This sweet family welcomed home their USMC pilot husband/daddy in early August after 7 months in Afghanistan.  The littles were so tired & confused at first, as this took place around midnight… but this sweet 4yr old was SO excited by the time his “Captain America” hero daddy got off the white buses. It was a sticky night – it was as if the anticipation & excitement took on the heat & humidity as we waited. The minutes it took for the Marine to find his family felt like hours! I love shooting these tender homecomings so much… I am always crying while I’m snapping away, freezing these moments forever. What a special, amazing job I have.


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Dusti welcomes Ryan home

Dusti & Ryan have done 3 deployments in the 4 years they have been in the Marine Corps.
This time, their little one was just teeny when daddy left.
August 8th was a HOT & HUMID night
but one filled with anticipation & happiness
as everyone welcomed home the 2nd Batallion 8th Marines from their tour in Afghanistan.
Ryan’s sister (USAF), brother in law & niece were also there
along with his wife Dusti & sweet baby girl.
Ryan’s niece made a sign on the iPad, it was pretty awesome!
I’m pretty sure the 2hours while the Marines turn in their weapons at the armory
as long
as the previous 7 months.
And the butterflies were almost visible as those big buses drove in
& the Marines poured out looking for their loved ones.
Welcome home, Ryan & thanks for your service!!
And good job, Dusti, you’re truly a hero!!

Full Gallery for viewing & print orders available here

Baby Madison

This little one decided she wanted to make her world debut about 6 weeks early!
We did these photos on her actual due date…
and she was weighing in at 6 weeks old at 8lbs 3oz.
Such a little peanut!!
Her mama is a proud Navy wife & I loved capturing their tender mama/bebe bond.
Madison was a trooper being held all kinds of crazy ways &
being awake so long (all in the name of good light!) & conked out by the last few shots.
Mmmmm, newborns are the sweetest.
So teeny. So precious. So new.
I love that she was still a little fuzzy:
this next one is my absolute favorite image from the session –
can’t you just hear mama saying “shhhhhh?”

Welcome Home, VMM-266

Last week I had the honor of photographing another USMC homecoming from Afghanistan.
This cute family had made it through their first deployment
& they were so excited to welcome daddy/hubs home!
The weather was perfect & the Marines showed up right on time.
We stood outside on the tarmac & waited for VMM-266
We cheered as 10 osprey flew in formation over us, followed by 4 helicopters.
They circled around & landed… the Marines got out of their aircraft,
lined up for a short speech from their CO & then they cut the ropes separating us from them.
The mama & kids held up their signs & flags & watched & waited –
their Marine found his family quickly & came running in for hugs & kisses.
The kids were so excited & probably still haven’t stopped smiling/putting their sunglasses on their daddy!
Such a sweet family, such a sweet reunion.
The hugs & kisses & teary eyes mean so much
– I can only imagine how long the past 7 months have been for this family (wife!).

I’m so lucky that I get to share these tender moments.
(you can see the whole gallery here)

Welcome Home, 1st Battallion 8th Marines

I had the honor of photographing a military homecoming a couple weeks ago.
This sweet family survived a 7-month deployment to Afghanistan
…during which their little girl was born.
There was so much excitement & nervousness in the air that night-
so many families & friends waiting
and waiting
and waiting for their dear Marines.
I’m pretty sure the 3 hours of waiting at the arrival point was almost as long as the previous 7 months.
The kids did great & it was so amazing to witness daddy meeting baby girl for the first time.
I know understand why some countries require military service from all their youth.
There is an indescribable love & a pride & a sacrifice these families have/give
& I am proud to be a small part of this amazing community.
Welcome home, 1/8 & especially to GnySgt Williams.
Thank you for your service.

And we walked in fields of gold…

{ meet the frame fam }
Frame… such a fitting name for such a frame-worthy photogenic family!
He is an osprey pilot for the USMC.
She is learning to decorate cakes,
that is, when school is NOT canceled…
6-year old S is silly & smart & has the cutest giggle around.
(Well, almost as cute as mom’s.)
4-year old K has the most beautiful hair & amazing blue eyes, I think they might glow.
We laughed through this whole shoot
& enjoyed a 66-degree new years eve!

(dear 6-yr old S: thanks for being such a good assistant/art director!
and don’t worry, I showed your pictures to “the boys” & told them all about you, as instructed.)

 I have a slight obsession with eyes.
They are so beautiful.

Going to Afghanistan…

This sweet mama/photographer called me to see if I could shoot her husband’s deployment.
He was scheduled to leave the day after Christmas…
We got a snow storm & the date was delayed 24-hours.
The weather was nasty – a bitterly cold, windy, sad, sad day.
Everywhere I turned, there were concerned faces, tears, embraces…
…little kids not quite sure why there was tension.
Megan & Jarrod have 2 gorgeous little boys
Big brother wanted to look outside & see the “Ossies” (Osprey) & loved running around in the hangar.
Little brother was happy to watch the action from a cozy spot & warmed plenty of hearts.
Daddy is an osprey pilot.
Military wives are my heroes
They are strong & amazing.
God bless & please protect our Marines.


 you can see the whole thing here

the Matt + Heidi fam

{ meet the Matt + Heidi fam }
An awesome family & such a great couple that even their eyes match.
Yes. They have the EXACT same color eyes.
She loves decór, accessories, ruffles, lady gaga (shhh) & throws a wicked party.
He loves to hunt with the dog, mountain bike & is the best youth group leader ever.
Their kids are beautiful, sweet, hilarious & feisty.
They did awesome & even traipsed through the weeds {in uniform} for me.
Thanks for such a fun shoot, guys!

PS Matt – you may want to frame a big one of you in this next picture to chase away all the boys that will be after your BEAUTIFUL glass-eyed daughters in the near future.

ODS Graduation

United States Navy
{ officer development school graduation }
newport, rhode island
5 weeks of officer “boot camp”
to learn the Navy & become an officer
7 people fainted during the ceremony;
it was hotter than sin at 0900,
thanks to the heat wave on the NE coast.