Daddy is FINALLY Home! | Personal

The day has FINALLY come!!! We have waited 7 months for this moment. Well, Joseph has waited his entire life to finally meet his daddy in person.  Seeing my husband and my son finally meet face to face instead of via a computer screen brought me to tears. It made me remember the day I checked in to Chesapeake General for my induction, to the emergency c-section I had to have because of a cord prolapse, to all those sleeplessness nights and half awake days trying to finish homework assignments.  All I knew was that I was finally getting the other half of my heart back and I wasn't letting him go. 

The morning of, all I could think about was getting to work, keeping myself busy until I got to leave to head over to the base.  Of course, they flew into the AMC terminal, which meant their plane was going to fly RIGHT over my office.  Every plane that flew over, I'd excited, thinking that it was him.  But once it got closer, I KNEW it was their plane based on the sound alone (thanks to my husband that is obsessed with naval aviation and has rubbed off on me).  The moment I heard their plane, I immediately starting running through the office, trying to look out the window to watch it make its way to the AMC Terminal and started to tear. But of course, my girls Stacey and Liza, would took time out on their lunch break to give me a mini makeover, I couldn't start bawling like I wanted to! Hearing that plane fly over was definitely a sigh of relief. No more sleeping alone, no more late night and early morning chats, no more!

Video captured by Langley Public Affairs:

So glad that daddy is finally home and he is finally able to meet and play with Joseph. 



Daddy's Almost Home | Personal

As some of you may not know, my son, Joseph was born just after his daddy left for a deployment with the Air National Guard.  He is a Staff Sergeant with the 203rd RED HORSE Squadron, which RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers.  They are essentially the equivalent to the Navy SEABEES (they also train at NCBC Gulfport in Gulfport, Mississippi).  We were hoping that Joseph would make his appearance before daddy left, but as any military family (even though we are a Guard family) can tell you, things don't always go the way that you plan it!

Although we have been together for over four years, this is our first deployment together, and he has missed his birthday, two of the kids' birthdays, as well as our first wedding anniversary, which was on October 5th.  Thankfully, where he is at, we have been able to keep in contact with him pretty much every single day.  Although I can't really discuss when daddy is coming home, but all I can say is that we are ready for daddy to come home and we can enjoy being a family again!  They say that keeping yourself busy helps pass the time by a lot quicker, and I do have to say that it actually does seem to, especially since I returned back to work from maternity leave and have shot three weddings, second shot a few weddings for my gals Nicole of Nicole Jean Photography and Leslie of La Bella Bonita Photography, as well as a few other sessions.  And let's not forget about the classes that I am still taking in pursuit of my Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice through American Military University.

Daddy, we can't wait for you to come home and for you to finally meet Joseph face to face for the first time! I already know I will be a blubbering mess that day and I know that I will need to ensure I have several boxes of tissues with me!

Just a Little Life Update... | Personal

Gosh, it has been awhile since I have last posted! Life happened.  Little do most people know, I got married last October to my love of my life, we moved to a house in Norfolk in February, gave birth to our son, Joseph Colin in April, and daddy is currently on deployment.  But of course, I couldn't just mention about Joseph without sharing his cuteness! 

I was due on April 4th, but Joseph decided he was too comfortable and was evicted.  Although I planned on having natural birth, he entered the world via an emergency c-section due to a cord prolapse (you can read more about cord prolapse HERE).  Like everyone knows, they take photos of the newborns, just like we had when our parents had us back in the day.  But they are totally nothing like ours! 

Joseph Colin was born at 7:09 AM on April 12th.  So far I am enjoying maternity leave, and I can't believe how quickly it is coming to an end...  I just wish it wasn't only 6 weeks! :( I'm gonna miss seeing my baby boy every day.  Recently, we had photos done, which happened to be on the day he turned one month old (I need him to stop growing now. I cant't believe that he's already a month old!!!! GAH!).  My photog pal, Tricia of Teal Tree Studios Photography & Design  took some AWESOME photos of our little man.  And at least I know that he's a ham in front of the camera; mommy should have no problems with getting photos of him as he continues to grow!

Here are my most favorite photos from his newborn session with Tricia.

Joseph, mommy wants you to stop growing! Before I know it, you'll be a year old! :( 

Welcome Them Home - Owens Family | Hampton Roads Homecoming Photographer

My friend and fellow photographer Kayse of La Mia Bella Photography messaged me one day asking if I could help out her friend Stephanie.  Stephanie's husband was returning home from a deployment and she needed a photographer to capture it.  When she told me he was with ACU-4, I got excited since I have never photographed a homecoming that involved LCACs (Landing Craft Air Cushion)! 

Stephanie, Caidyn and Kylee waiting for 7 months to see their hero. And let me tell you, just like at any other homecoming, I got teary eyed as I watched them reunite with him.  Owens family, thank you for allowing me to be able to capture your special reunion!

Taking It Back to 2011 | Hampton Roads MIlitary Photographer

Since today is Thursday, I figured I'd post for Throwback Thursday (#TBT).  And the fact that we just celebrated Veterans Day and the USS Bush will be home soon, why not post about a homecoming from 2011?  On the USS Bush's maiden deployment in 2011, I had the opportunity to shoot the homecoming for Christina and Chad.  Chad is an F-18 pilot and was flying back in at NAS Oceana with the Tomcatters.  Christina was 9 months pregnant and ready to pop when Chad came home.  We all thought Hudson would make his debut before his daddy came home. But we were lucky enough that he waited a few more weeks after.

It was a cold December day.  We all patiently waited as the boys flew over us to prepare for landing.  Now if you have been to a homecoming before, you know that emotions run high, especially as loved ones see the ship/sub/jet for the first time in months.  I have to admit, even as I see them come into view, I get caught up in the emotions too and find myself wiping tears away.  Needless to say, with Christina being pregnant the entire deployment, and she and Brady seeing Chad as he emerged from his jet, emotions were in super high drive.  As soon as Christina reached Chad, his hands went straight for Christina's belly. 

Then there is the homecoming kiss.

This kiss just says it all! In fact, the emotion behind this photo actually caught the attention of the editors at Glamour magazine!!  They contacted Christina and I to see if they could use her story and my photo in a feature about six wives, girlfriends and soldiers reuniting with their loved ones when they came home from a deployment.  Needless to say, we were over the moon!!! And come to find out, they wanted to use my photo for a FULL page spread, AND another one of my photos. I mean, how COOL IS THAT?!?!?!?

Full page spread!

Having your photo(s) featured in a magazine is a HUGE accomplishment.  I may never have another photo featured in a magazine or on a website again, but knowing that my photo is still being seen, even 3 years AFTER, it still is an amazing feeling!

To Christina and Chad, like I always told you, ya'll are famous!! ;)


Fair Winds & Following Seas | Hampton Roads Military Photographer

Sarah and her family hold a special place in my heart.  They came into my life in the beginning of 2013, just before Jake went on deployment.  We had their Pre Deployment OpLove session at Fort Monroe, and Sarah had on some FABULOUS sparkly heels that I drooled over.  Then while Jake was deployed, we had a Doctor Who themed session for the boys at the Adam Thoroughgood House.  I must say the boys were dashing!  It was quite eventful since during the session, they were beating the wisteria with their light sabers (yes, it totally happened!) and caused my allergies to go haywire.  To this day, Sarah and I joke about how the boys almost put me in the hospital that day.  On the day that Jake returned from deployment, I was fortunate to be there as well.  As emotional as homecomings already are, seeing Jake reunite with Sarah and the boys melted me heart.

Fast forward to this year, I get a message from Sarah that Jake was retiring, and she asked me to be their photographer.  Of course I said yes, they were like family to me!  The day finally came, and boy, was it a wonderful day.  There were many tears and laughter, needless to say, there couldn't have been a dry eye in the house.  Jake, Sarah, Liam, and Maddox, I love you guys so much! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives and special memories.  In this crazy military life, I am thankful to have found awesome friends like you that have turned into family.

Fair Winds & Following Seas!