THIS IS A GUEST POST COURTESY OF VALERIEKAY PHOTOGRAPHY
This flight line homecoming for the Kenny family is one of my absolute favorite sessions of my entire career. The images were even featured on the local news. As a prior military spouse, I’ve been shooting homecomings as long as I’ve been a photographer. All of them are overwhelming with beautiful emotion and loving connection that really isn’t felt anywhere else.
This was the first time on an Air Force base. I had no idea what to expect at all, I just followed the client as she went into a big hanger. I thought to myself, “a big dark inside space is typical, this must be it.” She continued walking and then went out of the hanger doors to the other side. As I followed out the door, I was overwhelmed with such awe! It was a huge flight line, military planes everywhere, with our beautiful Colorado mountains in the short distance. We had snow the previous day with full sun on this day. So in all the images, you see a beautiful fog evaporating, making the horizon line of the ground almost seamless with the sky. I was completely blown away with all of the beauty around me, just breathing in each moment the best I could to try to experience it all.
If you haven’t been to a military homecoming before, It’s mostly just waiting and waiting with the loved ones full of nervous energy. I like to make sure I have my confidence up to keep the conversation going to try to distract them. I like playing with the kiddos so they are comfortable, snapping photos of them as they wait, rounding out a whole story told through their gallery.
For this one, we got to watch the plane land, which was incredible! As they start to deplane the airmen, the anticipation and emotion are at an all-time high. It was for me, even though I’ve done several homecomings. I like to joke that it’s great I’m able to hide behind a camera in case of my own happy tears. I just wait, having no idea which one is their airman. I am waiting to go follow them at a second’s notice, setting my focus point to the center of my viewfinder for ease. When they go, I follow as fast as I can, seriously snapping, focusing, snapping, focusing, etc, etc. There isn’t a second that I want to miss.
After the initial embrace, I stand back snapping photos as they reunite with other family members. I typically take some video clips as well to put together a film for them. Once all is calm, we take a few family portraits and that’s it!
Military homecomings are an incredible type of session to be able to do. They are demanding of your time, they can be any time of the day or night, but after it all, it is so worth it to be able to capture these moments for our amazing military families.
Valerie Kay Photography
Valerie Kay Photography is a nationally published photographer that has been recognized by Expertise as one of Colorado Springs top family photographers as well as by Hulafrog as one of Colorado Springs favorite family photographers for 2017, 2018, and 2019!