Indianapolis Family Photographer | Raw Sugar Photography
At this point, there isn’t much that I haven’t photographed, but one thing I hadn’t and always wanted to, was a military homecoming. Despite having no military ties, I have always felt this sense of duty to military families. The struggles we everyday folks have, pales in comparison to the sacrifices military families make on a daily basis. It’s truly awe inspiring to see them keep their families together and strong despite regular moves, deployments, holidays alone, and of course the fear of whether your husband or wife, or son or daughter, will be safe. I won’t even get into the fact that our government doesn’t take care of them nearly as much as they should, but that’s why we as their neighbors and friends should feel a sense of obligation to them to make sure they are well-taken care of, appreciated, and applauded for all they do for us.
I am very blessed to live in such an amazing community, we all help one another and watch out for each others’ kids and homes, and pets, and lost mail… it’s really like Pleasantville up in here. We also have quite a few military families in the neighborhood. It’s absolutely adorable to see all the kids’ eyes light up when they see one of the guys in uniform, they flock to them like little ants to sugar, just wanting to be close to them. One such family lives around the corner from me. The Hultgrens.
A year ago, I didn’t really know Adrianne, she lived just beyond my normal reach of neighbor interaction, so I had no idea she was alone with 3 kids while her husband Elliott was deployed to Africa for a year. We “officially” met one day at the park and got to chatting, and I instantly liked her and her magnetic personality. At some point I mentioned that I met her to another neighbor and they told me about Elliott being deployed. My first thought was, how hard that must be, my second thought was, how the heck does she seem so sane and look so calm?? Since I didn’t know her very well, I felt a little awkward bombarding her with offers to help, though I really wanted to, but I did make a point to let her know I was thinking of her from time to time. I told her I would love if she would let me photograph his homecoming, it was one thing I knew I could offer that maybe not everyone else could, so I was really hoping she would take me up on it. Fortunately, she did.
Arriving at the airport, I felt a little nervous, and then I saw his family. They were beaming with excitement, the kids were pressed up against the window waiting for sight of his plane, Adrianne was cool and calm trying to keep the kids from getting too crazy, and Elliott’s mom was smiling from ear to ear waiting to hug her son again. I was so happy to be there. As he got closer to exiting the terminal, Lani couldn’t contain herself, she darted past the security checkpoint and into her daddy’s arms, Jamo, who had been playing it pretty cool had the biggest smile on his face, he was glowing, and baby Sawyer was just ready to share her goldfish with her daddy. It was beautiful, and seeing Adrianne tear up as he wrapped the kids in his arms, made me tear up too. It was such an honor to be part of such a beautiful reunion. Welcome home, Elliott and thank you.
Shaindel of Raw Sugar Photography is an Indianapolis newborn photographer located in Indianapolis, IN. Shaindel creates quality timeless images of your babies, family portraits, newborn moments and all the days in between. Serving Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel and surrounding communities.