ericamay photography blog: thought studio.

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Operation: Love Reunited Session in Leavenworth February 22, 2009

Last week, my brother went back to Iraq to finish his tour. It was so nice to spend time with him while he was home on leave, and I feel like through his deployment, I can understand a little bit better what the families who are experiencing military deployment go through during that time. I am even more excited about my participation in the Operation: Love Reunited program, where photographers offer free sessions to families during a deployment. 

This weekend, I got to meet another wonderful military family through the program. Both parents are active duty Army, stationed in Ft. Leavenworth. When Jen e-mailed me to do a portrait session of them to send to her husband, who is currently deployed in Baghdad, I was excited. I love these surprise portrait sessions — I send an album directly to the deployed soldier, who usually doesn’t know that it’s coming! It’s such an awesome way for me to give back to the men and women who sacrifice so much — including precious time with their families — for our freedoms.

I met the family in their Leavenworth home, since it was too cold outside for an outdoor location. With sessions in the home, I like to capture families doing what they do best — spending time together! So we started off with Mom reading a book to the kids (their dad’s favorite one!).




And we even got a few close-ups of the kids by themselves to send to Dad! I love these, and I’m so excited to send him portraits of his beautiful children!




I can’t decide which of the next two photos I love more. She is just the most precious girl! These are definitely some of my favorite kids’ portraits.



And some sister-brother bonding!



I love this classic headshot of Mom! I’m sure her husband will, too. :) It’s no wonder the kids have beautiful smiles — look where they got it from!


Mother-daughter photos just never get old, especially not with two lovely ladies. :)



Such great smiles! I love everything about this — from the joyful smiles, to the American flag print in the background…



The bear in the photo below is “Daddy Bear” and it plays a recorded message from Dad to daughter!



Jen, thank you for scheduling a session with me. It was a joy to meet your family, and I can’t wait to send the surprise package to your husband!

If you know a military family who is going through a deployment, send them my way for more information about an Operation: Love Reunited photography session!

This also helps me meet my goal for #81 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days (don’t worry, even though I’m crossing that item off, I’ll still be doing may more OpLove sessions!).


5 Responses to “Operation: Love Reunited Session in Leavenworth”

  1. Betsy Says:

    Hey, Erica- Adorable pictures! Those kids are SO cute! I just joined up with OpLove last week. I’m so excited to be a part of their work and can’t wait to get my first call. It’s not very well known in our area, so I hope to help change that. Great job on these!

  2. Chris Says:

    love the lighting of these indoor shots! very very impressive! and the eyes! absolutely gorgeous! can’t wait to see more of your OpLove sessions!!!

  3. rachelboese Says:

    oh. my. goodness.

    most precious little girl ever! I love the braided hair…and I LOVE the mom and daughter shots. For indoor photos, these look superb! The lighting is excellent! :)

  4. Stacy Says:

    These pictures are great, Erica! Way to do a shout out to Leavenworth too (my hometown) whoop whoop! :)

  5. Karen C Says:


    My brother in law is going to love these – you took some amazing pictures! Thank you for donating your time.

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