“You will never hold someone as tightly as you hold them the day they leave and the day they come home.”

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Meet the Ingrams. Otis and Lisa have been married for 18 years and since then he has deployed 5 times!!! They have three amazing kids, Jackson, 8, Lillian, 6, and Dean, 5.

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So… I must admit I have never had the opportunity to capture a military homecoming before, and oh boy am I obsessed! The joy and love on the families faces when they see their dad/husband/friend who has been gone for months is beyond gratifying. This family in particular is so sweet and Otis, the father, has been gone for 9 months.

What I loved about this is that Lisa decided not to tell the kids the exact day that Otis was coming home.

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So I met them at the building he was at and when I met them they were all wearing matching shirts. Lisa had told them they were doing pictures before their dad came home. We walked up to the entrance of the building and I started snapping pictures…she asked the kids why they were there and they said “we are taking pictures” she then said, “do you know why else?” They looked confused, so after a few seconds she said “your daddy is home!” They all looked around not knowing if it was true but shortly realized that she was telling the truth. The look on their faces was priceless. See for yourself!

We walked in the building, and as I looked around I noticed Otis in a different room while the kids and Lisa were chatting. I had such a blast getting all these images.

There is pure joy and love on everyones face, and that is something you can’t hide! I just love my job! Lisa had some close friends come also, and that along, with everything else, was so amazing to see. The love they have for Otis and his family is heart warming!

Jackson was so overwhelmed with emotion, he slowly walked away and sat on a chair to collect his thoughts. I left him alone, as to not overwhelm him anymore, and the next thing I knew, Lisa was loving on him and helping him cope with the surprise. Look at how she is holding him and how much he loves her! He melted into her arms and after a few seconds he got up and was back to his normal self. The power of a mom is an amazing thing.

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I loved watching the kids climb all over Otis like a jungle gym. They could not get enough of him.

I can’t even imagine having my husband deploy, and then needing to try and be a single mom…I don’t care how many kids you have. Lisa does it with such grace and is such an amazing mama to Jackson, Lillian and Dean. I am truly inspired by her and all the moms who are military spouses. God Bless YOU all! It is because of sacrifices like that, that keep our country a great place and to that we are indebted to you!

Thank you Otis Ingram for your service and for all you do for your family and your country. It was truly an honor to capture the love you have for your family and vis versa.

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Thanks for reading about this amazing family! Can’t wait to photograph another one and get all the feels again!