Sunday, July 13, 2008

Operation: Love Reunited reunion pictures for Michelle

*WARNING* You need tissues for this post.

For weeks, she's been obsessive about getting her home ready for her beloved husband to come home from serving our country in Iraq. As the days grew closer, Michelle has worried about seeing him, hoping that we'd get to the airport on time, and worrying that the kids would recognize him.

Yesterday, I had a vendor show in the morning, and I called her to see how she was doing. Her morning was super-busy, getting 4 children dressed and ready for a church activity (for which my son couldn't go because he was sick-ish). I could feel her anxiety over the phone and felt it the rest of the time I was at the show. She picked me up and we went to the airport on base, to catch the bus to go to the Anchorage Airport. We were accompanied by many men and one woman in uniform, to make the official welcome home, and there was another gal who was meeting her husband too. We got to be in front of the lines, as we were VIPs, and got to go to the gate. I was trying very hard to swallow back tears because this was such an emotional moment. We got there in time to see the first person walk off the plane and I told Michelle, while I had my camera trained on the doorway, to tell me the second it was him. I knew what he looked like, but I had to be sure. As soon as he appeared, my photography instincts took over and I just started composing and clicking, and enjoyed every moment of photographing their wonderful reunion. You can see different folks' reactions in the back grounds of the images and how touched they were. I love the joy expressed on Kayla's face. She was stuck to her dad like glue and wouldn't leave his arms once she was settled.

Yesterday, when I got home and loaded them onto my computer, and watched them SOOC, I cried when I saw them because the emotion finally washed all over me. Please have some tissues ready before you look any further. Michelle, I hope you love these as much as I do. Thank you for letting me capture your family's reunion; it was truly one of the best experiences I've had since I decided to go into business for myself.

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