One of the best things about photographing homecomings is getting a glimpse back in time, back to young love and it's passion and honesty. Sometimes I forget about those long-gone days of crazy, unabated love. Photographing reunions of young couples who have spent hundreds of days apart is a sobering reminder of just how sweet love can be.
Alicia (love her name!) contacted me a few weeks before her husband's return and unfortunately, I was already booked. When I found out I would actually have a window of opportunity to shoot her husband's homecoming, I contacted her immediately and we made our plans. Alicia was so eager for her husband's return that she showed up 5 hours early-- while I was still photographing my other client's homecoming at the same location! I totally fell in love with her at that moment. She was nervous and admittedly happy to be so early because she'd get a chance to watch other families reuniting prior, allowing her to see exactly how a homecoming unfolds. This was the first deployment Alicia faced as a married gal and although I'm sure the months dragged on, she seemed to be an independent, committed, supportive wife-- the perfect combination for a military spouse, obviously. I loved watching her from a distance, stretching a long nervous smile and chatting with her friends to pass the time.
When the buses pulled up and the Marines started filing out beyond our vision, it didn't take long for Alicia to find her husband. In fact, she was one of the first ones to find herself wrapped up in camouflage arms. Her smile was almost as big as his. Sometimes families longer around after the arrival, but not these two. They made quick execution of gathering bags and headed straight to their car. I followed them through the parking lot, then hollered my good-bye, thinking, "Oh, young love." There's nothing like it.
Here is their sweet homecoming story, enjoy :)