As a Black Branding Portrait Photographer, you meet folks that come through your life for a reason, season or a lifetime. Rarely do you think about a retirement milestone memory early on. A lot of folks I met in college at South Carolina State University was for a reason. Some of those reasons are wild and needs to be forgotten. Then, there are some that come for a season and you can’t wait for the calendar for them to flip and they disappear. Finally there are a few that come for a lifetime and you’re happy to have meant their acquaintance. Their connection with you is like a milestone or memory.
I met Uche in the mid 90’s while in the Computer Science and Mathematics Department of our beloved university. We had a few classes together. In her free time, she excelled in volleyball, while I excelled in being a part-time worker at United Parcel Services. After graduation (she is older), we semi-went out our separate ways but stayed in touch. I was blessed to have shot a milestone memory for her and earned her respect as a dependable photographer with a creative eye for creating fabulous images.
Since we left SCSU, Uche joined the United States Army and served as a Human Resources Officer. She became a mother to a beautiful young lady named Gia. She moved around the globe quite often and lived in many places such as TX, GA, AZ, Washington, D.C. and Korea. While in Korea, she met another young lady who called the United States Army her employer: Somjai.
Somjai’s occupations with the Army consisted of being a Warrant Officer and Human Resources Technician. She moved throughout the world as well, calling home to many places like AL, KY, VA, Washington, D.C. and Korea. She too, is a mother but she has two wonderful women calling her mother: Dymaryss and NeShae. Somjai didn’t attend SCSU but she did have a job working as a word processor on the east coast.
Late 2021, I checked in with Uche to see how things were going. As a Black Branding Portrait Photographer, I pride myself in staying connected. She said she was nearing 25 years of service and having a retirement party from the Army. WOW! I couldn’t believe that as young as I was, I had known her for over 25 years. She told me that she and a dear friend, who was like a sister, were retiring and they needed a MEMORY MAKER. Hey, that’s me!!! So we started working on the details. I was responsible for recapping the night of two retired soldiers celebrating 25 years of service to the United States Army. Not only were they both great mothers, they both had family members who served in the armed forces. Additionally, they both lived in over 7 different states and they share hobbies of shopping, amusement parks, plays, comedy shows, spending time with family and listening to music.
Not only do they love music, they love dancing and they are very popular. Their theme was to wear camouflage during their party and it was beyond a success. Here are a few images:
This was one of the top events I have shot in my time as a Black Branding Portrait Photographer capturing events and milestones. I enjoyed the inside of the Columbia Museum of Art. I photographed the Browns on the outside of the establishment: Surprise .. Now Smile!!! I would say this was likely the one of the best retirement milestone memory ever and I’m very grateful for my friendship with Uche to see how a party should be. It is safe to say I’m happy I crossed paths with Somjai to see how much love one receives from her family when they have accomplished a major milestone of retiring from a successful career. MoSeawell Photography wishes Uche success in her second part of life as a Private Party Bartender and Massage Therapists. And we hope Somjai makes ton of money as a Realtor-turned-Broker.
UCHE & SOMJAI, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!!