Snowbasin, Huntsville, Utah
In September of 2020 my daughter started her mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was called to serve in the Roseville, California mission speaking Spanish. We had to look up where Roseville was and saw it close to Sacramento. I have always loved California: the beaches, sunshine, fresh produce, sea air, palm trees... It's so different from Utah where we have snow today on April 6, 2021. Yes, snow and it's in the 30's outside. Now she is in Antelope, California enjoying 80 degrees in the spring and having lemon trees outside.
My great grandparents lived in Sacramento and are buried there. They were immigrants from Salerno, Italy and started out in New York then came west with the railroad. At one time they were in Ogden, Utah where my grandpa was born. So I have roots to California and have enjoyed my visits there.
She is such a cute girl with those deep dimples. We drove to Snowbasin and saw some fall colors for our photos. In Kaysville we had wind storms that blew away all the fall leaves (seriously.) The one plus was we didn't have to rake this year, but I missed our yellow maple leaves on our trees.
Missionary Photo Session Tips
Dress in Neutral Colors
If you are going to have photos taken outside I would recommend wearing neutral colors. Missionaries wear conservative colors and this will look good against a colorful background. If you want to have photos with your parents it looks better to have everyone dressed up. I wasn't planning to be in any photos, but my husband came too and said to have a photo with my daughter. (Here's my less effective example of me in my pink hoodie and my daughter dressed up.) Nothing is perfect but if you plan it right it looks better.
Wear Comfortable Clothes and Shoes
(But not that comfortable like sweats and slippers)
I like to take photos of people moving, walking, standing...so I would wear shoes that don't pinch your feet. I don't think sister missionaries wear 3 inch heels, but I have had ladies wear big heels to a family shoot and then can't move around in them. Flats are great. If you're going to be outdoors plan to move around and have shoes that are broken in or comfortable.
Come on Time
(early is good too)
If you're like me it's hard to get out the door and I always go back to the house to get something. Plan to meet for your photo session 10 minutes early. It's so much stressful to be running late and rush to the session and hurry to get photos outside before the sun goes down. I like to take photos about an hour before sunset, earlier if it's in the mountains. The light can be golden or even like these photos. Taking photos midday has more shadows and doesn't look as good for portraits. So I like to shoot around sunrise or sunset. Plan to leave your home early and get to the photo session early.
Include Other Family Members
(just let them know ahead of time)
My daughter wanted to have her dad in the photos, which he wasn't planning on (notice the jeans). I love the idea of having other family members or other missionaries or friends in your photos. My suggestion is to plan it ahead of time and to dress the same, have everyone more formal.
Props Can be Fun in the Photo
You can bring a book or flag to use in your photos. We used the Spanish Book of Mormon here and I purposely blurred my daughter in the background. The focus was on the book. We didn't have a California flag, but it can be fun to include the mission area's flag (like the state or country the missionary is serving in.) The main thing is to have a fun time remembering who you were before your mission and remembering the places and people in your life at that time.
I'm a believer in documenting family history and keeping those memories to look back on. I have a photo on my wall of my daughter who has been gone 6 months and it helps me to miss her less. Are you ready to make a memory of your missionary?