soldier’s homecoming

welcome home John

This was by far the most emotional session I’ve ever had the honor of photographing. Every time I thought about it in the months leading up to the shoot, I would start bawling. And I feared that while it was happening the tears would flow again. (I managed, somehow, to keep it (mostly) together!) The reason for all the tears? Well, this is the story of my little brother’s return from deployment in the middle east to his beautiful wife and baby girl. Not only that, but it would be the first time he would hold his firstborn. Little Eleanor was born in late February, several months into his deployment, and while he was able to skype almost daily, he had yet to hold her in his arms to feel her baby soft skin or to make her giggle with his tickles. My sister-in-law is one of the strongest, bravest women I know and handled herself with the utmost faith, resiliency, and grace for the duration of their time apart.

I arrived a few days before Jon was supposed to land and relished the time spent soaking in my sweet niece, talking with my sister-in-law, and sharing in the expectation and excitement of Jon’s safe return to the arms of his beloved.

So dear, friends, here is the story of their beautiful reunion. (More family photos from later in my visit to come!)

Iassica

Someone is ready to meet daddy!JWJ_0610JWJ_0636JWJ_0638JWJ_0653JWJ_0677JWJ_0680JWJ_0696JWJ_0734JWJ_0741

Here they come!!JWJ_0747

All of the whooping and hollering of the excited families scared the babies – poor Eleanor wasn’t the only one who burst into tears after the 3rd round of screaming…JWJ_0763JWJ_0768

Can you see him? He’s the one in the black hat underneath the “o” and “u”.JWJ_0769 copyJWJ_0774JWJ_0822

No feeling in the world quite like it <3JWJ_0832JWJ_0841JWJ_0844JWJ_0847JWJ_0855JWJ_0856JWJ_0857JWJ_0858JWJ_0859JWJ_0865JWJ_0867JWJ_0868JWJ_0901JWJ_0908JWJ_0914JWJ_0915JWJ_0919JWJ_0926JWJ_0934 copyJWJ_0942JWJ_0950JWJ_0956 copyJWJ_0962JWJ_0970JWJ_0972JWJ_0978JWJ_1025JWJ_1087JWJ_1097JWJ_1103JWJ_1105JWJ_1120JWJ_1124JWJ_1129 copyJWJ_1147JWJ_1150JWJ_1153

JWJ_1157

Pure joy and tenderness…JWJ_1161JWJ_1169welcome home jon

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