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Harris is used to shooting American icons in pho-tographs. In New York he shot John F. Kennedy Jr.’s first formal portraits since he was a child in the White House. He’s also taken photographs of US Presidents, including Clinton and Carter, and a host of American luminaries. Then when he moved to Wilmington 17 years ago, he continued his work, as a set photographer for Hollywood films and TV shows shot here, and as an industrial photographer for major corporations like GE and Raytheon. Hearts Apart is his way of giving back. “What I personally like is the direct good feeling from the families, that you know you’re giving them something special. And it means so much to all of us,” he says. Like Jennifer, the Army wife who blew up Harris’s photos of her husband into life-sized images and placed them in her children’s bedrooms after her husband Dave was deployed. After her family’s photo session, Jennifer was overwhelmed by its effect on her family. “Having such amazing photographs of Dave allows our children to go to bed and wake up each day seeing their daddy’s smile,” she wrote in an email. “A simple thank you seems to barely scratch the surface on how this experience touched our lives.” Hearts Apart is having an even deeper impact with its photographs of newborns for the deployed father who can’t experience the birth. One of the first newborn shoots Harris did was for a mother who gave birth on a Friday and came in to be photographed on a Monday. “Shooting a three-day-old baby was something in itself,” Harris says. But then, while shooting, the wife Skyped her husband in Afghanistan, who hadn’t seen the baby yet or any photos. “I held up my LCD viewfinder to the Skype camera so he could see his baby girl,” says Harris. “Then I looked at the Skype screen and he was crying.” Connecting soldiers and their families is “why Hearts Apart is so important,” Harris says. “It’s something so simple.” Back in the studio, Harris was on a roll. At the five-hour mark, the shoot had already gone longer than any other he had done. Harris captured poses of the soldier in full camouflage, the family in University of Texas outfits, and the wife with a rifle with her back to her husband in full gear, in a James Bond pose. The gear reminded Harris that he once came close to going to war himself. In college at the height of the Vietnam War, he was registered for the draft. “It was a very scary time,” he says. He participated in his share of anti-war protests 42 WBM july 2013


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