Friday, August 8, 2014

Hectic Homecoming | Military Homecoming | Fort Bragg, N.C. Photographer

I learned a valuable lesson in equipment malfunction ... unfortunately, it was smack dab in the
middle of a homecoming session ... Lemme explain ...

Today's homecoming started off like any other homecoming day. Frequent texts and messages from the waiting family to keep me posted. Me finishing up my Army Reserve duty, picking up my littlest, grabbing my equipment and heading to Green Ramp. But today things got a little hectic.

I arrived at the location about 45 minutes early. Earlier than I usually arrive on most homecomings, because face it... they're never on time. I needed to feed the littlest before heading into the hangar -- you never know how long these things will last. And the last thing I need is a cranky 10 month old ...

I got a phone call from the family as I was feeding my son ... "My friend says they're already there and they're just circling around. I'm on All American." Wide eyed, I finish feeding the baby and grab my equipment. One camera, two batteries, and I was off with baby in my sling. Basically knowing that the family was a good 15 mins away. By the time I made the long walk to the hangar, the plane had landed and was parking. I informed the family ... they were still about 8 minutes away. Luckily, customs takes FOREVER and eventually when the plane door opened, the family came running to me outside. They had made it! Mommy was ready, lil' boy was even more stoked to have daddy home. He kept yelling, "Hurry up and bring my daddy!" He was ready.

The troops eventually made their way into the hangar where the National Anthem played, the invocation was given and the commander spoke real quick. Everything was going well. Even daddy was on the end of the formation and SUPER close to the family. There was not going to be any searching needed. And then, the below picture was taken .... and my camera went black.

I panicked. I turned the camera off ... then back on. Still nothing. The family was still hugging and talking. I took the battery out and put it back in ... nothing. I took lens off, put it back on ... a flicker ... and then nothing. My camera was dead. My heart stopped. Right at the pivotal moment of what a homecoming session is all about, my camera quit working. Battery was charged fully ... camera worked fine for the homecoming earlier that I attended. But this one ... it. just. died.

So, what did I do? I grabbed my iPhone. I know. I know. But I was panicking and I had to at least capture what I could. I could not believe what was happening. A professional photographer, with a nice camera slung to her side using her iPhone to capture these precious moments.

I'm not knocking iPhone's camera at all and it's actually a decent camera when it comes to fun candid shots. But not for a paid professional to use as a back up camera because her camera died...

Luckily, this family was soooooo understanding and they kept calm and reassured me. I was so close to tears. I had photographed their last homecoming a few years back and I wanted this one to be just as special! I hope I was able to capture the moment for them and I'm sure I'll never forget this homecoming.

In fact, as mentioned at the top. I learned a valuable lesson. From now on, I will be treating homecomings just like weddings. I will have two cameras on me at all times. These are moments of emotion you can't recreate! Thus, I learned this lesson and will never forget it. And as for the moment, I am down one camera as I'm shipping this one off to Canon for repair ...

*** Please remember that all images are copyrighted to Sharilyn Wells Photography, LLC. Please do not copy or alter any images without SWP, LLC consent. ***

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