As we all know, there are many different types of photography…which is why there are many different types of pictures.
I was recently asked to do a family portrait session for a former colleague and friend. So, Sunday morning my assistant (my daughter Brigid) and I met with the family and did shots at three different locations in the city. It was great fun; cold but fun. We probably spent almost 90 minutes taking pics, traveling to the next spot and taking more pics, etc. And we chatted briefly afterwards to catch-up. As I said…90 minutes of great fun.
The night before was also great fun, but a much different shoot. In a “salute to families of members of the military” the family of a member of the Air Force was invited for a ceremonial puck drop at the Niagara University hockey game. What the family didn’t know was that the puck was being delivered to them by their husband/father who was returning from Afghanistan.
I was fortunate enough to be on the ice for the surprise event…camera in hand.
As the family was walking out on the carpet purple carpet, I heard the public address announcer introducing them. I was taking a couple pics as they got into position, and then I heard the slashing of skates on the ice and I knew the airman was coming.
He joined his family. They hugged, smiled, laughed, and cried, and he had the chance to see and hold his 7-week old baby daughter for the first time.
After a brief moment, he handed his wife the puck he carried out with him. She wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do with it, but it became clearer as the captains from Niagara and Holy Cross skated out for the ceremonial puck drop. Everyone lined up and the puck hit the ice.
There were some more celebrations as both captains acknowledged each member of the family and thanked the soldier for his service. We then exited the ice so the game could start.
Arena lighting can be difficult, leading to camera adjustments that can affect the quality of the photos, but after loading the photos on my computer I was pleased to see that I had a few memorable shots. I did some post processing and started to share the images to great response.
The emotion in the wife’s face as she realizes who is skating toward her, and the utter look of shock of the older daughter as she makes the same conclusion are priceless. And I’ve come to love the moving shot of them in one large, loving embrace.
People commented on the emotion in the images, and the emotions they felt, even as strangers, in viewing them. I’ve watched my share of these types of reunion videos and they almost always choke me up. There is so much joy in that moment that it is a very moving experience. However, I didn’t feel that when taking these pics, and here’s why: it was a whirlwind.
The time of the first “aha” shot, to the pic of the puck being dropped was just fifty four seconds. A lifetime of memories captured in less than a minute.
In looking back it was a busy weekend. I took nearly a thousand photos at a few different events, including the Sunday morning family portrait session. It was all fun and added to my experience as a photographer.
But those fifty four seconds…that may be a memory I never forget.
Thank you to the Torcasio family for the sacrifices you make, and thank you to Frank Torcasio for your service to our great country.