Samantha and Kenn are no strangers to my blog. They were married on January 1 2012 and not long after, Kenn was transferred to Afghanistan. Kenn was gone for a total 11 months, 9 of which were spent overseas. Sam and Kenn communicated via Facebook chat, Skype and the occasional phone call. Their homecoming was one of the most emotional and beautiful things that I have ever had the opportunity to shoot. You can see it here.
Since their wedding was pretty small and intimate, they decided that when Kenn was home for good they would throw a huge reception. I love what they did here, because they took a tractor barn and transformed it into a beautiful reception hall. With tools still hanging on the shelves, the addition of some christmas lights and rustic decorations made the whole place seem like new. The entire day was a giant reunion. Family came from all over the United States, and many hadn’t seen Kenn since before he had left. Tears were shed, drinks were poured and I was reminded once again why I love my job so much.
These pictures bring so much joy to my heart. Not just because I am so glad that Kenn and his fellow soldiers are home safe, but because I have known Sam since high school. For me, the pictures mean so much when it is a collaboration. A mesh of my relationship with who I am shooting and both of our desires to make wonderful images. When there is a connection between me and my clients, and when they trust me to do my job … that’s when art is created. To just capture the day as it is. No fake emotions. No re-dos. That’s what makes me happy. To give these pictures to Sam and Kenn fills me with joy. I hope they remember just how special they are, and how strong their love is, and how much support is behind them.
These are just a handful of the men who were with each other in Afghanistan. Their friendship is so strong and they are so much fun to be around.