When I mention at dinner Tuesday night that I'm pretty stoked to eventually shoot homecomings, two other photographers present exchange knowing glances.
Homecomings are a hurry-up-and-wait situation, they explain. One reminisces about a time they waited around for six hours because the arrival time changed so frequently. I consider myself forewarned, though no less excited.
And of course, it's later that night that I receive a text message: "Are you guys coming to the homecoming tomorrow?"
Two fellow Dagorhirrim are returning from the 24 MEU tomorrow! Excitement! We coordinate and plan and eventually wind up outside the barracks at 1830 the next day (since it's a military thing, I feel like using military time is appropriate).
And then the game of 'what time will they get here' begins. Anyone who's done this before is probably all too familiar. It seems like every hour we get word that it's going to be a while yet. And finally, the bus we've been waiting for pulls up at 2345 (that doesn't even look like a time..). Even though the crowd of waiting friends and family had thinned significantly over the evening, many happy hugs are evident, and a place full of happy hugs is a place for me.
Two main lessons learned here:
1. Patience is key.
2. Bring a damn flash unit, even if you expect to be photographing in the daylight.