January, 2009. Edinburg Indiana, Camp Atterbury.
So this has to be a definite first for us. We got an email a couple weeks ago from Tiffany saying that her new husband was being deployed and she wanted to know if we did deployment pictures. She thought it was a strange request. I thought it was anything but and wondered why we’d never been asked to do them before.
Cathy was unavailable that day so I got everything set up and yesterday I drove up to Edinburg, Indiana. Arriving at the gate I gave the guard my credit card instead of my ID like I was at a drive up getting a burger and fries. After a bit of a laugh and pointed in the right direction, I was introduced to the family, Joe’s parents and Joe. It was obvious that he had an amazing sense of duty. Even though this was the last chance he’d get to see his wife until Christmas of next year he was running about doing his job. Joe got things done, helped set up chairs for people. As the ceremony started, I found myself moving back and forth between looking at all the tearful faces, tears of pride more than sadness, and the troops standing in a row. I completely forgot about the fact that I was using our brand new cameras. I didn’t care anymore. I was amazed by the courage in their eyes and the calmness that they had about them.
After an interview with a local newspaper Joe returned to Tiffany and heartfelt tears were had between the two of them, and never once, even during the little portrait session out doors did I have to ask them to kiss. They just did, over and over again. These two just got married (their wedding was shot by our good friend, Jenny, of Grise Photography, who was unavailable and sent them our way) and they just found out they’re going to have a baby. (Congratulations again!) I couldn’t help but be filled with emotion on the way home. I couldn’t help but be proud of a guy I’d only known for a couple of hours in mixed conversations. I missed my wife. Getting home and looking over the photos I couldn’t help again but to get emotional. I think Jenny said it best in an email I got from her this afternoon as she worked on their wedding photos:
“Those two just touched my heart. I find myself missing Joe already, so I can only imagine what his family and Tiffany are going through.”
Cathy and I are blessed with working with what we think are the best couples out there. Time and time again we wonder if the next wedding or engagement will be as good as the last and every time it’s better. It’s photos like the ones I took yesterday that remind me why Cathy and I love so much what we do in being able to capture memories that people will cherish when the ones that are close to them are so far way. Our prayers go with Joe as he goes to serve his country and we wish him a quick and safe return.
As always, on with the photos.
There is one thing I have to mention. Joe is seriously awesome at getting people together for formals. I wish we could bring him to weddings to order people around. He got a group of like 50 people together in less than 5 seconds. It was amazing.
While I was there I took some family portraits for Joe’s friends, a lot of times I’ll snap off a couple of photos just to make sure everything looks alright before taking the ‘final shot’. Sometimes we get some keepers and this turned out to be one of our favorites.
After the ceremony was over and Joe’s parents had said their goodbyes I asked Joe and Tiffany to go outside with me for a little portrait session of just the two of them. I’m so glad I did.
Thanks for reading! -David.