SUMTER, SC (WIS) - A Sumter photographer's desire to try something new allowed a military family to share a new keepsake with their husband and father who is thousands of miles away serving our country.
Erin Kragt, of Erin Marie Photography, offered a free photo shoot to a military family because she wanted to try something new. Her idea was simple - showing a military family together while a loved one was away by photoshopping their loved one in.
"I had seen some similar photos that were beautiful and since most of my clients are military families, I thought it would be fun to try a family photo," Kragt said. "I offered a free shoot to a family with a deployed spouse."
Daphne Gimlin, 26, jumped at the opportunity found in a Facebook group for military moms. Her husband, 32-year-old Air Force Staff Sergeant Richard Gimlin is currently deployed outside of Dubai.
Gimlin says she likes to take photos of her growing family as keepsakes, but that professional photographers are very expensive, so Kragt's opportunity was really a blessing for the family.
The expecting mother of a 5-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy says she asked her husband to take a photo pretending to hold her son's hand. With the help of Kragt's husband, the little one was positioned perfectly to seal the Photoshop perfection.
Staff Sergeant Gimlin has been deployed since late April. He left when his wife was 12 weeks pregnant. Now at 22 weeks, Gimlin said she loves the photo and she cannot wait to have her entire family back together.
"We just miss him," Gimlin said. "We just can't wait for him to be back."
She says her husband is expected back home in November and their third child is due on Nov. 8. She's hoping that her husband makes it back in time, but her older children may have set a precedent.
"My older children were both more than a week early (12 days and 16 days, respectively)," Gimlin said. "I am hoping the baby holds on, but we will see!"
As a special tribute to the family, Kragt posted on her photography's Facebook page a salute to them and all military families for Independence Day.