Where do I start…I have to say today’s shoot at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corp Base was such an amazing experience, I don’t think I can really explain it all in a short blog post.

A month or so ago I was contacted by Annie, the wife of a Marine who was on his way home from a 7 month deployment. He was also coming home to see his 5 month old son for the first time. When she asked me to be there to photograph her husband’s arrival, I was honored and thrilled for the opportunity.

I have the utmost respect for anyone serving in the military and the very least I could ever do is to take some photographs for a family who has sacrificed so much on our behalf. So I offered to do the shoot for free.

Annie, her kids, her brother, her parents, and her grandparents were all there and I was amazed that they were constantly thanking ME for taking the photos. Them thanking me? I should be the one thanking them! They were all SO nice it was a pleasure photographing their family.

Anyway, I could go on all day about the excitement, the emotion, the amazing photo ops, etc. It was quite the experience for me. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get home and go through the photos.

Thank you to the Bull family for such a great experience!

Click here to see their slideshow.

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PinExt homecoming ©2011 Darin Fong Photography
  1. Chung Nguyen posted the following on December 19, 2008 at 5:29 pm.

    These images are so touching. It’s hard to believe that Barry has never seen his son, and yet the wee boy seems to instinctively flock to him. That’s love. And family.

  2. Jennifer Remelius posted the following on June 13, 2008 at 4:48 pm.

    Hi Darin,

    I’ve known Annie since before she even started dating Barry. What you did is amazing. Annie is one of the strongest people I have ever met and living right down the street from her during the time Barry was gone, I know this is not something I could ever have done. They truely are amazing people. Thank you so much for capturing their love for each other and strenth as a family. Beautifly done, it left me in tears.


  3. Donna posted the following on June 10, 2008 at 7:34 am.

    I am a long-time friend of the family and I was deeply touched by this slideshow. It captured intimate moments that would have been confined to the limits of memory – now the family can relive this precious experience again and again. You did an amazing job, and I’m grateful the family shared this with me.

  4. Kathyjo McCloskey posted the following on June 6, 2008 at 10:17 pm.

    Dear Darin,

    I am Annie’s Aunt that lives in Thousand Oaks, CA. I work for the Hallmark Corporation. Can I submit this to our Corporation? This is the best Hallmark Commercial I have ever cried to. Thank you for your kindness with our little family.

    Many Blessings,

    Kathyjo McCloskey

  5. Deidre (Annie's mom) posted the following on June 4, 2008 at 11:12 am.


    What an immense and burgeoning blessing your contribution has been to our family and friends! Barry’s homecoming to his precious family and meeting his son, Christian, for the very first time, was a most special time for us.

    Your beautiful documentation of the occasion is allowing loved ones who could not be there to enjoy it with us.

    As I looked at some of the expressions you caught on Barry’s face, it gave me great joy to know that the moment he had awaited and longed for, for months, had at last come, and his cup was full.

    These photos powerfully swept into the background of time the long months that both Barry and Annie endured apart, each with their own challenges. . .and brought to the fore the fruits of a job well done by both of them, and the proof of God’s faithfulness to them.

    Thank you for capturing these high moments and giving us a visual reminder of this very special day for our family.

    You have done a very generous thing, and we are grateful.


  6. Janet posted the following on June 3, 2008 at 9:34 pm.

    Hi Darin,
    What a beautiful thing you did today.
    My sentiments are the same as yours about anyone serving our country. We can never do enough for their sacrifices.
    Your emotional slide show brought me tears of joy to see the loving family united again.
    These preciious captured moments will be a constant reminder of their love and devotion to ecahother forever.

  7. Tim Mulligan posted the following on June 3, 2008 at 7:41 pm.

    This is a great contribution yet humbling when you compare what they have sacrificed. Darin turned me on to oplove.org last year and they help connect photographers and military families to enjoy the gift that keeps on giving.

  8. Dawn posted the following on June 3, 2008 at 7:26 pm.

    I don’t know the family and I wasn’t at the homecoming. I saw your post on the UT news article about the homecoming and wanted to see the slideshow. It made me cry. You did an absolutely amazing job. My husband is leaving and I know if I ever wanted to do what this family did in capturing those special moments, I would definitely call you. Thank you for sharing this beautiful slide show.

  9. Mom posted the following on June 3, 2008 at 2:56 pm.

    Everytime i watch the video or look at the pictures I get teary eyed. All i can say is “Wow!”. I am so glad you were part of it, Darin.

  10. Annie posted the following on June 2, 2008 at 5:49 pm.

    Darin, we are amazed at how the pictures have turned out! Thank you so much for being a part of our experience, your photos are not only unique but some of the best we have ever seen. It will be an adventure to see and go through the rest, which we look forward to.

    From Barry :

    Darin, today was my first day meeting you but your professionalism is top notch. My wife asked if this would be a good idea and I was more than willing to do it. The sacrifice I have made truly was a great one, one that will stick with me for a lifetime, but you have helped me to capture my own first moments with my new son and the rest of my family. I am in your debt.

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