This was my first time being a part of a deployment homecoming… ever! You would think after living in San Diego for 8 years I would have seen at least a few by now – but nope! This was my first and it was such an amazing experience.
Crystal contacted me a few months back about shooting her husband’s return home. He has spent the last 9 months traveling over 80,000 miles with the Navy and as you can imagine, Crystal was seriously excited to get her man back! I loved hearing Crystal talk about Rob and how they managed to stay in touch via Facebook chat while he traveled the world.
When I got to the base in Coronado the ship had already pulled in and it was a matter of waiting for the bridges to be put in place so everyone could come greet their loved ones. (Ps. Did you know that the first people they let off are all the new Dads who are about to meet their babies for the first time!?) Rob called Crystal from the deck and she managed to spot him way up there. She burst into tears! It was such a sweet moment… “I wasn’t expecting to see him so soon!”
As everyone started unloading from the ship I can only describe the energy as, “joyful chaos.” Couples and families were reuniting, tears were being shed – it was something I won’t soon forget. Crystal and Rob’s reunion was just as beautiful and I was so stoked we ended up in the perfect spot for their pictures. There was a lot going on, but all the stars aligned for us to have plenty of space and an awesome view of the ship in the background.
I loved shooting this moment for Crystal and Rob – such raw emotion, such a remarkable story to tell! Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of something so awesome! I hope you guys love the images!