Happy Homecoming

DaGoddess @ 06:00

It’s hard for families to be apart, but when there are little ones involved, sometimes it’s even more difficult to help them understand why mommy or daddy isn’t at home. Spending the morning with this family, I was reminded of just how arduous it is for the spouse on the homefront. It’s a delicate balance in reminding the children of the parent who’s off serving and, at the same time, not upsetting the kids. What amazes me, time and time again, is how well these parents handle the pressure and walk that fine line. Military service is more than just a commitment made by one person; it’s a whole family that serves.

God bless them all.

OpLove Homecoming

OpLove Homecoming

OpLove Homecoming

OpLove Homecoming

OpLove Homecoming

OpLove Homecoming

There are many more photos from this homecoming that I’ve not yet seen. I grabbed these on the fly because I really wanted to post some photos. This is definitely a rapid, photojournalistic style of shooting than I’ve been doing recently and I’m still trying to get used to it. (Yeah, I know, I was more of this style before. But now, I’m actually feeling more and more comfortable with posing and such. Go figure.) I see a million things wrong with all the images I shot and a million ways I’d do things different the next time. Even worse, this mom is another photographer and I’m so bummed that I didn’t do a better job. Ay yi yi! Thankfully, she’s a lovely woman and is grateful for any photos. Let’s hope she still says that after she sees them all.

Photo editing software: Paint Shop Pro X2 Ultimate
Image of concern: 5th image down



  1. I think they’re beautiful and moving. How could she not love them?


    Comment by Pam — 2009/07/10 @ 07:04

  2. As a professional you are bound to see things we amateurs don’t and as a perfectionist you are bound to never be completely satisfied by your output. [My professional creative field is haiku and scifaiku, and the same things apply to me there.]

    But as a consumer of your photos, I’m looking at more than the technical details. And I look for and see the emotional undertones and the ‘story behind’ these photos. [As my readers remind me.]

    Well I think you captured these aspects wonderfully well.

    Comment by Lloyd — 2009/07/10 @ 12:28

  3. You know, these are so important to you, I have a feeling you’ll never feel they are quite right even if you had all the time in the world to pose them.

    Not to worry, they perfectly capture the moment, the emotion, and they brought tears to my eyes I’m so happy for them all! Excellent job! :thumbs:

    Comment by Teresa — 2009/07/10 @ 15:21

  4. These images tell such a story, I wouldn’t worry as much about the technical aspects of them. I’m not sure what your camera settings were, but I think that I would look at changing your aperture to more of f8 or 9. The other thing that is tough, especially where they held this event is the part shadows on the little girls faces. This is just something that you might need to move around or have the subject move a bit. (even though that is near impossible to do with a spontaneous event or an image with pure emotion like these. I think the goal is to get these images as close to tack sharp as possible.

    I played around a bit with these images. On both of them , I ran unsharp mask. Then I burned the edges and then lightened the image back up just a bit.


    This second image, I used the dropper to take a sample next to the shadows of the face. Then used a low opacity, I painted those shadow to lighten them a bit. This can be very tedious. So to help with that overall look of the photo, I desaturated the image. The loss of color really adds to the photojournalistic type of shot.


    Once again, great job. Thanks for joining us this week.

    B Dad

    Comment by Boybarian Dad — 2009/07/10 @ 23:03

  5. Oops, I got my images mixed up. LOL. Those links just flip with each other.

    B Dad

    Comment by Boybarian Dad — 2009/07/10 @ 23:06

  6. Thanks so much! You know, the mom loved them and since she’s also a photographer, I just handed over the files and let her make the changes she wanted on the shots she wanted. It was kind of a wuss move on my part, I think, but since I have only about 3500 images to edit from the past week for military families, it was also a case of self-preservation. I’ve never done that before and won’t do it again, but then I’ll also (hopefully) not have a week as busy as this one. Or if I do, it’ll be one of those where I’m handsomely paid (not that I regret even a moment of the time spent shooting for OpLove — I adore it!).

    Focal length 35mm

    I was very tempted to go higher on that f-stop, but because the action was so, so busy, I didn’t want to slow the shutter. Ideally, I would have remembered fill flash, but chasing after the girls as I was, it didn’t occur to me until too late.

    Thanks again for the input. It’s very much appreciated. I hope you’ll come back and see other photos that are better examples of what I usually shoot — even when the action is crazy!

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/07/10 @ 23:33

  7. Some shots though, are so true to life, that they don’t need any editing. Nice work – I know the wave of feelings rushing over everyone in your photos, it’s all too familiar to me, and very emotional.


    Comment by Leanne — 2009/07/11 @ 04:30

  8. I love the one of the little girl smiling over her daddy’s shoulder. Like others here, I think you capture the story of these families very well. I love looking at these journalistic shots of yours.

    Comment by Kimberley — 2009/07/11 @ 07:27

  9. Thank you, thank you. I’m starting to like the photos more. Of course, I haven’t posted the worse ones. I’ll still with these, thank you.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/07/11 @ 07:55

  10. So moving. I’m having a tough time [many reasons] and these photos humble me…

    Comment by Chris — 2009/07/12 @ 11:20

  11. Chris, I hope whatever challenges you’re facing melt into nothing. You deserve much happiness.


    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/07/13 @ 00:36

  12. Keep takin these pics….cause most days I really need a good smile.

    Comment by Punk Rock Dad — 2009/07/13 @ 12:33

  13. I’m sorry to hear about your friend. Fuck on a pointy stick.


    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/07/13 @ 22:51

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