If you have ever walked through the Salt Lake City International Airport you may have noticed large families gathered with huge banners with the words “Elder” or “Sister” on them. These are families that are waiting to welcome back family members who have finished serving an 18-month or 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
*Update, at the bottom of the post, I have added the video I created for this event, woo hoo!
I was hired to photograph the return of Elder Isom as he returned from his 2-year mission to Croatia. While he served there he learned several languages because the cities and regions have a similar but different language unique to their region. They also asked if I could shoot some video—I’ll blog more about the video at a later date.
This was the critical moment to capture that first moment mom hugs her son. Mom claimed dibs and warned all family members not to get in the way. I wouldn’t be surprised if violence ensued if someone got to Elder Isom first.
This is the shot to end all shots. Mom’s embrace of her son. During a mission the family communicates via email or letters once a week. There are phone calls at Christmas and on Mother’s Day. Other than that, that is it!
And here is the whole family. We had fun navigating the swarm of people welcoming home their missionaries. There were about 8 missionaries by my guess. Some of the missionaries had left for Croatia together 2 years ago and they returned together.
Here is one of the welcome home signs. They can be pretty elaborate.
I think there were about 3-4 photographers and videographers there for the various missionaries. It’s a big event!
Update! I have finished editing the video of the event. It’s now on YouTube, hurrah!