Here are some images from a 90th birthday party and family reunion I photographed this past summer. Having met the family during an engagement party I photographed earlier in the year, I was excited to document such a special event in their own lives. It was humbling to meet “Birthday Al,” one of the original frogmen who reached the beaches of Normandy on D-Day back in 1944. Throughout the night, I was constantly reminded of his important contributions and sacrifices by the countless stories the guests shared with me.
In addition to honoring Al’s birthday, the evening served as a huge family reunion. Situated on the family’s large open parcel of land at the northernmost tip of Croatan, the evening was calm and peaceful (despite the threatening, late-summer sky). The laughter and conversation mixed with the sound of waves crashing on the beach, and the sound of fishing vessels returning through Rudee Inlet helped reinforce how much I love living down at the beach.
It was a treat working with Gary from Vision Quest Productions once again. And running into Sam and Terri Hughes was an excellent way to close down the night.
Happy [belated] birthday, Al; I wish I could spend every night down at Croatan with your family and friends.