Thursday, May 7, 2009

The photo I wish I took

As a military photographer, majority of the photos I take are... how do I put this delicately... quite pedestrian.

Oh sure, there's the exciting events in which we're involved (like yesterday's post). I shot almost 300 photos on May 5 of the Oregon National Guard's Counterdrug Support Program and their light armored vehicle charging through waist-deep mud puddles at Camp Rilea in Warrenton. Fun stuff.

Sure, events like that make for great photography, but I long for those iconic photos which highlight the "human" aspect of our soldiers and airmen. Perhaps my longing reflects most people's need to connect with their fellow human beings... even if it is through a photo.

Don't get me wrong... I've shot my fair share of portraits, and by default, have captured the range of human emotion, ranging from deep sadness to uncontrolled glee. But those opportunities are few and far between.

That's why when Maj. Mike Braibish brought this photo to my attention, I felt a slight hint of jealousy. While I was happy someone got this photo, I secretly wished I had been the one to push the button.

Above: Husband and wife Leticia and Paul Farrally share a kiss while their 3-month-old daughter Ada sits on her mother’s hip after the Deployment ceremony for Oregon National Guard soldiers to Iraq at Lane Events Center Monday morning.

But photos are nothing without context. This was shot by Amanda Smith of the Eugene Register Guard, at the mobilization ceremony for the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team on May 4. The ceremony was held at the Lane County Fairgrounds' Performance Hall in Eugene. Smith blogged about the event on the Register Guard site. You can read about it here.

And if you liked this photo, check out the others in the series on this link.

I think as we see more images of our Oregon soldiers doing great work around the world, this photo may become an iconic representation of not only the sacrifice of our citizen-soldiers and citizen-airmen, but also the families they leave behind.

If nothing else, this photo is going to stand tall as one of the favorites for this military photographer.

Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon National Guard Social Media Manager

1 comment:

Amanda Smith said...

Thank you so much! I just stumbled up this and was so touched! It has been a hard couple of months after being laid-off from the Register-Guard and starting my own photography business. Hearing your kind words was a nice treat :D