by SSgt Jodi Martinez

A member of the Croatian Military Assistance Forces looks up at a special forces instructor during room clearing training at Jackal Stone, Delnice, Croatia, Sep. 17, 2012. United States of America, Slovakian, and Croatian Forces joined together to train, compare differentiating TTPs, and build on their international relationships at Jackal Stone.  Throughout the exercise, international NATO Forces meet  to train together and undergo scenarios that replicate real world international military challenges. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jodi Martinez/Released)

Photographer's Narrative


During this shoot, I noticed a Croatian military member looking up at a U.S. Special Forces solider, who was pacing back and forth on the top of a brick wall as he was giving instructing. During the pacing the instructor cast a shadow over the young man. The young man had a dirty face, which was filled with a deep look of concern. I did not know what he was thinking, but I knew the shadow cast over him could be a strong element if I could capture it. I waited patiently for the shadow to blanket him. After a while my patients paid off because the solider making the shadow not only moved to the right position but placed his hand on his hip, my subject’s eyebrows raised slightly and I took the photo. The shadow and subjects facial expression complimented each other. To me, patience is the key to making a great photograph. This photograph is when I truly learned what it meant to see photographs. From that day forward I fell in love with photography.