MCAS Iwakuni Marine Corps Birthday Balls

Summer of last year (can’t believe it’s already 2018!)  I received an email from our FRO saying that the MCCS needed to hire a photographer for the Marine Corps Balls this past November. A few hours later Jeremy forwarded me the same email saying that I need to apply. So I did. I interviewed for it even though I seriously doubted I was what they were wanting. But surprisingly I was offered the gig.

Back home I use to run Santa Claus photography booths at malls, so I figured I would that as a base idea of how to run everything. I hired two awesome women to assist me, Dawn and Shawna. I definitely couldn’t have pulled this off without them. For the most part, it ran smoothly. We did have some issues with being set up in a racquetball court with crappy lighting, down a dark hall where it was hard to find us, and drunk Marines turning off the lights repeatedly which caused us to wait for 20 to 45 minutes for the lights to turn back on. All in all, I had fun with it and meeting so many people from this base. I loved seeing everyone dressed and having fun. There were so many different styles of dresses. Pretty much everyone I have spoken with loved their photos. Plus I have sessions set up for when things get warmer around here out of this.

This is just a small selection of some of my favorite pictures from the Balls. I had a hard time not posting my top 100 pics.

Of course, through the four nights of the Balls, I had some fun quick sessions. On the first night one of my friends, Kaitlyn, came with her husband. She was absolutely gorgeous. They were so much fun with their poses. A friend who was helping me go through some the editing said she looked like Elsa from Frozen. I want to work with her in the future on some fun cosplay photo sessions.

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Towards the end of one of the nights, this group came in. They wanted to do poses that hadn’t been done yet. I think they succeeded. They were a lot of fun to photograph while they practiced their poses. They had all of us in giggles the whole time.

My favorite couple was this adorable couple. They had so much fun the first time that they decided to do a second session a few minutes later. During the second session, they asked what they should do. I threw out a few suggestions that others had down, one of which was gang symbols. Her date said they should do the symbol that she is doing in the picture. To which she replies “Lance Corporal?” None of us was expecting that response and we burst out laughing. Thank you for smiles and laughter.Marine+Corps+Birthday+Ball6

The main reason I went quiet for the past few weeks was that I was editing the Ball photos and trying to upload them to private galleries. While I knew our internet on base was ridiculously slow I didn’t expect to be able only to upload 3 galleries an hour if I was lucky. Of course half way through the uploading, my iMac desktop died. I didn’t lose the pictures thankfully because I had them saved on a back up hard drive, my laptop, the original memory cards, and my phone (I was in mercury retrograde and I wasn’t going to be its victim). I have it boxed up to take back to the states to see if it can be fixed but judging by the soot stain on my wall, I doubt it. Uploading with a MacBook Pro was even slower. I basically didn’t sleep for the 3 weeks after the Balls. Then right before I was done, the internet for the WHOLE base went out for a day. Thankfully Ana at EZ Wireless brought me two hot spots so I could work while the internet was being fixed. After everyone got their gallery information I slept for a few days and then went on a much-needed vacation with Jeremy.

While I don’t know if I will ever do this type of photography again, I loved doing it and seeing everyone so dressed up. I’m looking forward to being Jeremy’s date for this year’s Ball where ever it is.

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