BELLEVILLE, Ill. -- A photograph captures just a moment in time but it can have a lasting effect.
"You feel a little more pressure because you know how important the images are, " says photographer Doug Howell.
Today's session is with the Bolin family whose time together is about to run out for a while.
"It's my third Afghanistan deployment, " explained Master Sgt. Sean Anthony Bolin.
Sgt. Bolin leaves in just a few weeks for 9 more months in
Afghanistan. He's here with his family today, thanks toHeartsapart.org, a
non-profit created to keep families connected while our military men
and women are serving overseas.
"I looked on their website and learned about them and was so excited
when they decided to pick us for a session, " says his wife Jennifer
Every image is professionally shot by volunteers and then the photos are given to the families for free.
"As a small way to give back to our military families, I can donate
an afternoon and photograph them and their families, "says Howell.
For Army veterans like Sgt Bolin, commitment to country and commitment to family can be a difficult balance.
"It's kind of hard because he's always gone, " says his 16 year old daughter Reality.
And deployment brings so much uncertainty.
"Not knowing if he's ok, ' she says through tears.
So, the hope is these photos displayed in the family's home on a table or wall will bring some comfort.
As for the servicemen and women, copies are printed on durable
waterproof cards, so they can keep pictures of their spouses and
children in their uniform pockets.
"He'll be able to just reach in and look at it, anytime he wants, " says Jennifer.
Serving our Armed Forces, while they continue to serve us.
"I want him to look at that photo of his wife and I want him to know that that's who he's going home to, " explains Howell
Heartsapart.org. Making sure that out of the country never means out of the picture.