Perhaps the most well-known type of documentary sessions that I offer are my "Homecoming Stories". I love that I get to be there during this very happy day when a family is reunited and becomes whole again after months apart. It is truly an honor to be chosen to capture these special memories our men and women in uniform.
For the Grier family's session, we arrived on base over 2 hours early because we kept getting new information about the flight getting bumped up, thought traffic was going to be worse than it was, etc. I didn't mind it because it gave me a chance to get to know this spunky momma and her two incredibly sweet kiddos. While we waited, we collected rocks in the parking lot, played, hugged, talked, and laughed.
As time went on, we watched two other flights arrive at the terminal, and each time the little ones' eyes would light up as they looked to us and said, "Is that my daddy's plane??" Then came crushing looks of disappointment when we told them, "No, not yet. But soon." Oh, the heartache in those beautiful brown eyes!
But finally, we were told that their ETA was 15 minutes. Those were the longest 15 minutes!! Momma and her littles looked to the sky in hopes that they would catch a glimpse of his plane. They strained to see down the runway, anticipating...they held their breath as it finally pulled into view, stopped...doors open...
And finally, he was spotted. There was a moment when time seemed to stand still. Momma's face lit up as she pointed, telling her babies that their daddy was here! "He is home! See? There he is!" Their little faces looked wary as they searched the uniformed faces de-boarding the plane...could it be? Is he really finally here?
When they finally saw their daddy, they couldn't wait for him to get past the gate. After a 4 month deployment, nothing could hold them back. They raced to him, held on tight, and seemed to never want to let go. Even Momma had to wait her turn.
Oh, and those smiles.