Deployment Photography | Camp Atterbury

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.

Heather Crabtree -

I connected immediately to this because I have lots of family back home who live in Edinburg. But even if I didn’t, OMG, I love this! So emotional and real and beautiful! What an amazing thing for both of them to have! These photos are just fabulous!

Tiffany Gallagher -

David- Thank you so much for being part of this day with us. With Joe leaving, I was getting to be a little bit of a photo hog because i wanted tons of pics of him. And you were absolutely right about him…when he is in military mode and needs to take care of his guys, his head is always where it needs to be. But that’s one of the things I love about him.

As for his being gone, I am on day one of 365, and I will miss him desperately, but I am anxious to welcome him home and let him meet his child for the first time! You were great to have there and really kept me going when I thought I couldn’t so thank you for the support and I LOVE the pictures. You did an amazing job with limited time and resources. These are pictures that Joe and I will cherish and will one day show to our child when we tell him/her about daddy’s deployment. You were a lifesaver.

I can’t wait to see the rest!

Cailyn -

Nice job, David! The photos certainly capture the feeling of the day really well, and it’s so important for military families to be able to remember moments like this.

Jenny--Grise Photography -

I’m crying as I type this. The whirlwind weekend that was Joe & Tiffany’s wedding and Day-After shoot went by all too fast to focus on the emotions involved with what was to come. I already felt close to Joe & Tiffany from the engagement session I took of them a couple of months ago. Then the wedding day came, Tiffany found out she is expecting, and then the super cold outdoor Day-After Shoot. It was all so happy, as it should have been, and fun. And although I knew this was the last time the two of them would be seeing each other before Joe was deployed to Iraq, I didn’t FEEL it. It is with these photos you took, David, that I feel it. I feel for them. And I feel such a great sense of pride. This is a special couple, a strong couple, a beautiful couple. A couple that will forever be in my heart. I’m so glad you were able to capture this moment for them. I look forward to seeing Joe come back safe in less than a year now and photographing them with their new blessed addition. Thanks again for covering this as I was unable to. And I wish the best to Joe and his family.

Grise Photography

Christopher Bartelsk -

Beautiful stuff. Great work. Any HD video?

Wayne Toshikazu -

Great photos – very emotional and heartfelt. Awesome work capturing it all!

Paige Green -

I never cry. I’m not much of a crier (not when I comes to images anyway.) don’t get me wrong, I feel moved at times and appreciate the work, but I never cry.
These images brought me to tears.
The love emanating between those two and the pain and pride in their goodbye is so emotion-FULL. I wouldn’t have been able to get through this shoot.
Well done.

scott neumyer -

These are GREAT, man! SO jealous of your new 5dMii!

Crystal Courtney -

This brought tears to my eyes. Beautifully done.

Lori Herrin -

David, you continue to amaze me on how you “capture the moment” and again fill me with emotions on people I don’t even know. Your words and your photography of this special couple brought me to tears. How blessed you must have felt to be able to capture in your lens the love that Joe and Tiffany have for each other. I am sure that they’ll never forget this day and how nice to be able to look back at the photos you took. My prayers are with them and that Joe returns home safe and sound to Tiffany and their soon to be child. What a homecoming that will be!
Love you lots!

Jess (studio3z) -

oh my…what an incredibly touching story. What an honor to be able to capture as well….you did, very beautifully.

Heidi -

I love so many of these shots. Tears are literally rolling down my cheeks… Military couples steal my heart every time!

Cathy Kosin -

David – words cannot describe how gratful I am that you were able capture this. Joe is my brother and not being there to see him off broke my heart. Your pictures bring great comfort. I am thrilled that you are able to give the world a glipse of this amazing guy and the story of how he finally found the love of his life – the agony of leaving her – and the promise of what he has to come home to. He really is as great as he seems (I am not just being proud big sister) and as for Tiffany, the look on his face tells it all. We are truely blessed to have them in our lives.

Lara @ Southern Weddings -

I love these images. I wish someone would have been there when my husband left for deployment too. So much love in that room. Beautiful images, Cathy and David. My heart goes out to families of service members!

Alfred -

Great set of images! You can feel the emotion in all of them. Amazing job!

Lori Herrin -

So showed Lou the words and the photos and he cried. Loves the last picture best and says it is suitable for framing to go in anyones house. Love Mom and Lou

Maya Laurent -

Amazing photos David. What an opportunity to be part of this with this couple. You captured beautiful moments. I’m sure he will somehow have one of these on him while he’s on duty. Great job David!

Karalee -

Oh my gosh, I hardly ever cry looking at photos – that shot, where she’s grabbing the back of his head, he’s clutching her cheek and they’re kissing – that just switched on the waterworks straight away. That is just an AMAZING photo! I’m still teary! Well done David!

Dad -

Well done son. I’m very proud of you as I am of all of our service men & women and their families who make such a sacrifice. This goes on every day and we take so much for granted. I pray that the Lord will keep them all safe and that they lean on Him for their strength. I’m thankful that He allowed you to be a witness to this piece of history.

Love, Dad

Hanssie -

Great job capturing the emotion in each image. But you messed up my makeup and my nose is all read and snotty. Thanks a lot David!

Doris Gallagher -

You have tastefully captured heart wrenching moments in our lives. I would like to thank you for your being a part of this.

jodi -

you have given this family a great gift and reminded the rest of us of the sacrifice that our servicemen and women make for this country. well done, david.

Phyllis -

These pictures are so touching! I’m glad you were available.

Ryel j -

I totally teared up reading this post! What an amazing session… I love how you captured the emotion.

Michelle -

So touching…

SSG Joseph Gallagher -

I want to say thank you to David, you took amazing pictures. I honestly got lost in my work and thankfully you have shown me what I missed. These pictures will help my family a great deal. People like you and my family are the reasons I do what I do. Again thank you….
SSG Joseph Gallagher

Donny & Deb -

David…Awesome pics…i had to stop crying before i could e-mail you…Deb & i really was touched by these pics…they do tell a story of an young soldier departing from his family to defend our country…God bless you david & cat…May God protect him & his fellow soldiers… love ya & dad hargis

PAT Ozan -

Joe is our son-in-law. We live in Louisiana and were not able to be there. Thanks for the great pictures. We loved being part of it through the pictures.

joshua k -

Very touching. Great shots!

Alistair -

David- what a moving story.

I’d love you to hook up with Jeremy Hogan sometime (photographer at the Herald Times). He has been dedicating most of his spare time to documenting these topics. I know you’re both addicted to Facebook, so getting to share these with him will be easy! I know he wants to publish a body of work sometime, so I’m sure you guys would enjoy sharing and discussing.

Cindy -

Tears rolling down my eyes, and pride felt in my heart. This was so touching. You did a great job with these pictures. I’m sure it meant the world to this family

Jessica Monnich -

ahhh come on guys that isn’t fair!! I got all teary eyed!! Beautiful shots!I love the impromtu photo sesh outside- so sweet I know she will be framing some of those!

Heidi@Truly Engaging -

To one of my first blog friends… I nominated you for Blog Luv Award 🙂

Caitlin McCready -

David, I adore the humanity of the shots. A sweet couple, familiar story, and I, as a newlywed, teared up. Keep on doing what you do and stay in touch.

Melody -

How awesome…such an honor. I’m sure they will treasure those for years to come.

In Love and War -

[…] of these incredibly touching photos can be seen at Cathy and David’s blog.  Go… they’re […]

Erika McCauley -

This is so touching – beautifully done you guys

bobbi -

these are so sweet! 🙂

tracylynnt -

this is wonderful that you were able to do this. there is actually a group of affiliated photographers that does this type of work on a philanthropy basis, they are all over the’s called Operation Love Reunited or OPLove for short. they do homecomings and deployments.

Cathy Crawley -

These are such emotional photos. I hope they all come home safe and well. I remember the day my husband Steven left for the Middle East like it was yesterday, oh the pain!

Lisa Ford -

Thank you so much for capturing my baby brother’s devotion. I adore my brother and so does my son (they are two of the same mold)he will be deperately missed as he was last time. He is prayed for daily by our entire extended family. I am so proud of him words can not describe the depth of my love for my brother. I am so glad our prince has finally found his princess and they are expecting their first baby, Joey will be a wonderful father, as he has been a wonderful uncle to my son, May God Bless you and keep you Joey as we wait for your return home.

Sally -

These are amazing shots. My boyfriend will be deploying from Camp Atterbury in a few short weeks and seeing these shots is definitely hitting home. Thank you for capturing an incredible day.

Austin -

i love the pictures
i am really thinking about going to camp adderberry in indianapolis.

Kathy Kelley -

My husband is related to the Gallaghers. And just retired from the military from Shelbyville Indiana Thanks for sharing your pictures. Maybe we are related. God Bless and Go with you!

Chris Olry -

Very nice… beautiful photos!

Amanda -

These are beautiful and so touching.

Deployment Photography Part 2 | The Return Home | Chicago Wedding Photographers | Cathy and David -

[…] back (over a year now!!) we were honored by the request of Tiffany to photograph her husband Joe’s deployment. Joseph was going off to war and Tiffany wanted us their to capture the emotions, and the feelings […]