Never Forget

In my hometown, there is an annual display of Freedom Flags. Last year I took this picture of my daughter there.  I loved the expression on her face and the way the flags were blowing in the wind.

girl with freedom flags, Jackson TN

This year I was inspired to create a more emotional image. My son loves to play “soldier”, and I wanted him to understand that real soldiers have died for our country, that in the real world, being a soldier is not a game.  He helped me pick out his costume for the shoot from his stash of soldier things.  He even took medals off his old Cub Scout uniform to wear on his pilot jacket.  In my initial idea for this image, I envisioned my son standing amongst the flags saluting. And although I did get one good picture of my initial idea which I might post later, this is the image that spoke to me more than any other. I wasn’t even going to bring my daughter, but at the last minute she wanted to come and I am so glad she did.  From a photographic standpoint, this image was VERY difficult to achieve. The sun was high and very bright and the wind was not blowing very much, which meant that the distant background was much more exposed. The background consisted of a busy bypass, powerlines, parking lots, and big buildings. Here is where it is important to know how to simultaneously shoot manual and think about composition. I certainly gave my brain and my camera a workout on this one!

This image, to me, represents several ideas, the most obvious being that many people have sacrificed for the freedom of our children. But I also see more here.  A soldier and his family.  Love and loss.  The dark nature of war.  Hope for the future.  Above all, we must have hope, and so must our children.  I love my country.

soldier boy with freedom flags

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