I am close friends with someone in the U.S. Navy. I met this man nearly five years ago, and we have been friends ever since. His dedication to his country, family, friends and church is unmatched. He is a role model and a hero in my eyes.
This friend of mine approached me and asked if I would take some environmental pictures of him. He lost a friend, a fellow serviceman, who is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, a while back and wanted a few photos of him next to his buddy’s memorial. He asked for something simple and reflective that would capture the journey he has been on – a “where I’ve come from and where I’m going” type image. I jumped at the chance.
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
For those of you who have never been to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, it is reminiscent of Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington, D.C. There are over 100,000 servicemen and women along with their family members buried here. The grave stones are lined up in straight lines along both sides of the Point Loma peninsula. Some stones face the east toward the downtown San Diego skyline, and some stones face west looking over the Pacific Ocean. It should be on the list of every vacationer visiting San Diego.
The weather was cloudy and overcast during the morning of the photoshoot, which was very fitting for the mood of the image. I had a vision in my head of what I wanted to create, and I was very pleased when I arrived to see an old tree in the background – exactly what I was hoping for. After a few minutes of chatting and setting up a single light, I began shooting.
We ended up with the two final images you see here. I wanted one that showed the grave stone as well as a more reflective, somber image. I am very happy with how these turned out.
I enjoy environmental portrait photoshoots like these. I think a photo’s background and surroundings can add so much to an image and the story it is trying to tell. I think these photos are two great examples of such a portrait.
Thank you again for your service, friend. You deserve much respect and honor.