Are you getting ready for your first military deployment/homecoming? As a spouse and Navy brat I have experienced a lot of homecomings, as a military homecoming photographer I been to even more homecomings than I can count here are my top 7 tips on how to make your first homecoming a stress free experience.
- Wear something comfortable! There are really no wrong homecoming outfits, it should be something comfortable and that you feel yourself in. My favorite colors to photograph are natural colors, white, beige, cream, grey, black. Another homecoming color favorite of mine is Navy blue, this is classic especially for Navy homecomings. Lastly reds and sage greens! Don’t be afraid you will look overdressed in a dress, you won’t but also I’m a huge jeans girl and think you can absolutely rock jeans and a cute top to a homecoming! One of my favorite shops is Fig and Willow.
2. Weather happens, having a clear or cute umbrella in your car is always a good idea for homecoming. Especially if it’s a ship and you will be waiting outside in the elements. Check out these cute clear umbrellas you can get on Amazon.
3. Join your Ombudsman and FRG groups! Getting involved helps make the time pass faster. This is also where you will get all of the info on the homecoming. The ship Ombudsman is an amazing resource that you as a spouse can use if you are struggling with anything during deployment. Let’s face it sometimes its really hard, you aren’t alone so take advantage of this. Military 1 Source is also an amazing and free resource for spouses.
4. Don’t stress duty day homecomings! The last thing you want to hear after months away from each other is that you have to wait one more stinking day! Trust me I know.
But it doesn’t have to be bad or that much different! Here are some tips I tell my clients when they get told their husband has duty on homecoming day!
- don’t stress it, yes I will still be there for you to get photos, even if it’s at 0600 the next day.
- go wave the ship in, we can get super cute photos of this as well!
- this is the hard one, don’t see your spouse on homecoming day, save that moment for the following day when you get A COMPLETELY PRIVATE AND INTIMATE HOMECOMING!
- ask your spouse to wear their dress uniform.
Duty day homecomings don’t have to be bad. Make the most of it. You waited this long you can go one more day!
5. It’s the perfect day even if it’s not perfect. Don’t set unrealistic expectations it will all be okay. The kids get their outfits dirt, so what your spouse won’t notice or care! Your hair gets all windswept also don’t worry you look fabulous.
6. Hire a professional photographer, thats also a spouse! Thats where I come in, as a spouse and military homecoming photographer I want to be there for you! The spouse part is pretty important because you don’t want the added stress of trying to get your photographer on base or have them awkwardly ride in the car after with you and your newly home significant other. It also helps when your photographer knows where to go and personally understands the importance of this day for you!
7. Lastly remember OPSEC especially when posting on social media! This not only protects the ship, squadron and mission but it protects you as well. Don’t share dates or give the internet to much access to information thats mission related!