About four years ago, I was invited to an undisclosed location just outside of Atlanta by some friends who knew my strong interest in photography. The invitation was for two reasons. One was the fact I had a camera. The second was they thought I would enjoy the experience because of my own personal background. Once I arrived on location, I was given a security brief. I was informed that I would be photographing some active duty military members and that I had to take great care with their identities.
I was introduced to the service members and could tell they were a little wary of the guy with the camera. My friend decided to give them a little bit of my history and it definitely broke the ice. I could not believe how interested they were to hear about my SWAT experiences and stories. I was equally, if not more impressed with their experiences.
After some conversation and a range safety brief, the training began. I drifted throughout the training capturing what I could. I even got a few shots that were only possible because of the mutual trust between me and the shooters. The photographer side of me wishes I could do this again. Hey, it's been four years and I know so much more about my craft than back then. The other side of me, the proud American, is just happy to have been invited and shake their hands personally.
Watching these guys go through their drills was insane. When I asked if they would mind if I stood a few feet right of their target, the response was " We are cool with it, if you are."
I got a lot of shots behind the firing line, but these have to be my faves.
Years have passed since I met these great men. I only hope that they are back safe with friends and family.