"Where are the best places to take pictures near me?" The Ultimate Utah Photography Location Guide
Utah is picturesque. Everywhere you look is a new beautiful site to see. Answering the question, 'Where is the best places to take pictures near me?' can be difficult because the options are endless. After photographing across the entire state of Utah, I will share with you my favorite (and some of my favorite secret) locations.
Utah State Capitol
350 State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84103
The capitol building is a photography location in Salt Lake City. It is gorgeous year round. My favorite time of year is in April when the white blossoms bloom all over the premise. This photography location is very versatile. Admission is free and is a perfect location for winter months when weather is unreliable. I shoot at the state capitol when clients don't have the option to reschedule due to weather. Come rain or shine, you have a beautiful location to shoot at. I prefer outdoors but if we are restricted with options to reschedule the capitol works well because you can shoot inside if you have to. I love photographing high school senior portraits with the city skyline or flag flying in front of the capitol building in the background for a 'conquer the world' feel. I also love photographing headshots at this Salt Lake City photography location.
300 N Canyon Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84103
Memory grove is one of the best places to take pictures near Salt Lake City. It is a fantastic location for smaller families and senior portraits. It is just down the hill from the Utah State capitol so it is easy to combine these two locations. It is quite versatile with scenery and structures. Admission is free. Parking is limited and can be a nuisance and it does get quite busy. Parking is easiest up by the capitol building and walking down the path on the west side of the park. I find smaller groups are easier to work around the crowds than larger extended family photo shoots at this location. There is a beautiful pond, lined with trees and a beautiful pathway lined with bushes and pebble stone.
1080 Eaglepointe Dr, North Salt Lake, UT 84054
Tunnel springs park is a gorgeous outdoor location near me and is one of those more 'hidden gems' of a location that not every photographer swarms. There are open fields encircled by the mountainous backdrop creating the perfect scenery for candid family photographs. This location would be ideal for extended family photoshoots, immediate family photography and Utah senior portraits.
Bonneville Salt Flats (Almost but not exactly)
This is my personal favorite outdoor photoshoot locations near me. It is one of those hidden photography location gems very few photographers know about. It is not as far as the Bonneville Salt flats and is way better, so follow these instructions carefully. Head west as if you are heading to Wendover on I-80. When you reach the salt mine on the North side of I-80 just passed Grantsville take your exit onto S. Spring Canyon Drive. Take your first left at the stop sign and stay on the North side of I-80 until you reach a dirt road that takes you over train tracks. Head North on the dirt road for as long as you'd like. I typically go all the way to the end which is about a 20 minute bumpy ride. This location is gorgeous because there is a skim of water year round without the bugs you find at the Great Saltaire. Best time for a Utah photoshoot here is at dusk and when there are some clouds in the sky. When there are clouds the water reflects the sky beautifully in your portrait. A perfectly clear day will make your portraits a bit bland. Remember to wear white flip flops so you can easily stand in the water and look like you are barefoot. The ground is course salt so it is very uncomfortable to walk on barefoot. Shoes and pants will come away with a layer of salt. It is a great location when everywhere is else is drab because it does not have trees and therefore does not reflect the seasons. The lighting can be very harsh so be prepared if there are no clouds.
Best Places to Take Pictures Near Salt Lake City, Murray, Sugarhouse, Bountiful and North Salt Lake. Big Cottonwood Canyon Locations.
Silverlake is one of the best Utah photography locations. Located at the top of big cottonwood canyon. It is across the street from Brighton Ski resort and is surrounded by mountains and a pond. A convenient pathway leads you around the lake and into the very rustic woods. Fall leaves turn at this location early as it is at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon and gets hit with the cold weather first. To catch the leaves in their full fall fire colors be sure to get up here early. Parking is limited but people come and go rather quickly so don't stress about parking. It is free. There are a lot of people to navigate around.
Big Cottonwood Canyon S-Curve
This photography location is an outdoor photoshoot location about halfway up big cottonwood canyon. It is located at the S-Curve in the canyon. It requires a little walk up some unstable rocks. Not a hike but I would not take anyone here who isn't stable on their feet. There is free parking at the bottom that is rather accessible. It can be a popular location and parking turnover isn't as high so you may have to park down the road and walk a bit. On top of the rock your backdrop are giant boulders in every direction. It is a great location for family portraits, senior portraits, engagements photos and wedding pictures.
Alleyway of Salt Lake City
There are a lot of alleyways in Salt lake City that are great Utah photography locations. My favorite is the alleyway behind Benihana located on 165 S West Temple. It has blue and maroon hues with rock and a chain link fence. It has an edgy vibe. There are a lot of buildings that make for cool backdrops in that general area making it a very versatile location to shoot.
Jordan Pines Campground
Jordan pines is a great outdoor photography location near Salt Lake City. It is located up Big cottonwood canyon and offers a backdrop of mountains and evergreens. There is a lot of parking available and is absolutely stunning in the winter.
4528 West 1700 South; Syracuse
Antelope Island is a favorite outdoor photography location in Utah because it gives you the fake 'beach look'. It is absolutely stunning at sunset. There is a $15 entrance fee per vehicle and about an hour drive from Salt Lake City.
5130 S State Street
Murray park is a great traditional location in the heart of Salt Lake City. With a river that runs through the park, giant mature trees and nice bridges it makes for a very convenient and accessible location. Entry is free. Be aware that during the summer the park holds farmers markets and can get very busy so check the parks schedule to avoid swarms of people.
6351 S 900 E, Murray, UT 84121
Wheeler farm is one of the best locations near me to take pictures in Murray Utah. It is in the heart of Salt Lake Valley. Wheeler Farm has a minimal $10 fee per session for family pictures. Wheeler Farm offers a lot of versatility in colors, backgrounds and scenery. You can use the red bridges or have a gorgeous mountainous backdrop or a pond in your background. There is an unpaved path and
The Great Saltaire
12408 W Saltair Dr, Magna, UT 84044
The Great Saltaire is one of my favorite outdoor utah photography locations near Salt Lake City. It is located just west on I-80 about twenty minutes from Salt Lake city. This location is easily accessible and free to shoot at. There is a cool white castle venue, open flats that look like the Salt Flats and about a ten to fifteen minute walk to the waters edge for some beautiful dusk water portraits. Parking is easy. Be warned that the bugs are pretty gnarly at this location. WEAR BUG SPRAY! I kid you not, you will get eaten alive if you are not prepared. The lighting is harsh and some off camera flash makes it a bit easier to shoot at this location. It is located near Tooele, just on the outside edge of Magna. It is easily accessible from West Jordan, South Jordan, Herriman, Riverton, Salt Lake City, Murray and Sugarhouse.
International Peace Gardens
1176 Iris Lane Salt Lake City
International peace gardens is one of the best photography locations near Salt Lake City. It is a great outdoor photoshoot location for engagement and senior portraits. There is a lot of versatility and completely free. Every section of the park has a different international theme. Easily accessible and not overly crowded.
Salt Lake Temple
The Salt Lake Temple grounds are one of the best photography locations near Salt Lake City, Bountiful, North Salt Lake and Sugarhouse. Aside from wedding pictures, the grounds at the temple are exceptionally great for high school senior pictures and utah family pictures. In the spring the cherry blossoms come on in May and the grounds are the first to be beautified in the spring time. If you are looking for an early spring shoot, this is your place. There are stone walls, tulips, iron stairs and a reflection pond that can all be utilized without having the temple in your background.
Salt Lake City Buildings
The tops of Salt Lake City Buildings is a fun outdoor photography location in Utah and is close to Salt Lake City, sugarhouse, bountiful, park city, North Salt Lake, Sandy, Draper, South Jordan, Herriman, Draper and Sandy. It is a fun viewpoint and the options are endless. Simply find a parking lot with parking on the top of a building and shoot from there. This is a great photography location for high school senior portraits and engagements. I also love this photography location for a more modern headshot.
Salt Lake City Library
210 E 400 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
The Salt Lake City library is a wonderful indoor photography location near me in Salt Lake City. It also has stellar outdoor architecture surrounding in all directions. There are a lot of homeless people nearby but they have always been quite friendly to me and I have never had an issue. Across the street on the North side of the library is a cool reflective oval. You need a current library card to enter the library. I park on the street and it costs a few dollars.
Best places to take pictures near South Jordan, Riverton, Herriman, Bluffdale & West Jordan
Daybreak Main Street
Daybreak main street is a great outdoor photography location for families, seniors and headshots. It is near Daybreak lake and makes for a convenient dual location option. There are many different colors and textures of walls and buildings.
The Herriman Cove
6979 West Rose Canyon Road Herriman, UT 84096
The Herriman Cove is a great option as a photoshoot location near Herriman, Riverton, South Jordan and Bluffdale. There is a grove of trees that is breathtaking in the summer months as well as in the fall. Along with the foliage there is a quaint pond and bridges and reeds that make for beautiful photographs. You can use this location for families portraits, senior portraits and milestone portraits.
Daybreak lake is one of my favorite outdoor locations near me as a Utah photographer. The lake is surrounding by homes and mountains as your backdrop. There are piers and bridges as well as grass, shrubs and reeds. It is free to photograph here but it does get busy so it is a better location for small families, senior portraits or headshots. Extended family photos would be more difficult.
Jordan River Parkway Trail
Jordan River Parkway trail is a little hidden gem I don't see many photographers shooting at. It doesn't look like much from afar. Park on Jordan River Parkway and about 10000 S. and walk to the waters edge of Jordan River. The reeds grow tall and are unkept and make for a very pretty backdrop. There is not a lot of space but you could easily photograph a family up to six or high school senior portraits. Just a ways up there are gorgeous pink cherry blossoms that come into bloom in May.
Best Places to take pictures near. Park City, Midway & Heber
Guardsman Pass is one of the best photography locations near park city and midway. It is closed during the winter for snow. It is a location that makes you feel that you are walking on top of the mountain range. Simple parking and access. No hiking necessary.
2002 Soldier Hollow Ln, Midway, UT 84049
The Ice Castles is one of the best photoshoot locations near near Park City, Midway, Heber and Salt Lake to shoot at. It is a bit of a jaunt but is worth the drive from anywhere in Utah. There is an $18 per person entrance fee. it is best to shoot in the afternoon when it is less crowded. The Ice castles are only available a few weeks a year. Typically January through the first week of February. This is a great family photography location, senior portrait location and maternity location.
3000 UT-224, Park City, UT 84060
Mcpolin Farm is one of my very favorite photography locations for family photography. It is conveniently accessible to those from Park City, Heber, Midway and Deer Valley. With a beautiful open field and the mountain range as your backdrop it showcases Utah's beautiful scenery perfectly. There is a white barn that hangs an american flag during the summer months. There are some very cool old oak trees with the greatest structure. With a stream and a bridge, a wood fence and some metal structures this location comes with a lot of versatility. It is free to shoot here. Parking is slightly tricky. It is on the opposite side of the busy highway. Park and walk under the underpass to access the grounds. Mcpolin Farm is open year round and is a great location sunshine or snow.
Park City Main Street
Park City Main Street is one of the best places to take pictures near Park City, Heber and Midway. I specifically love photographing high school senior sessions at this location. The best time to go is in the middle of the day as the evening gets a bit crowded. There are lots of different colors that pop. It is free to shoot here but does require parking. Parking is fairly easy to find and usually costs a few bucks per hour. Check the city's schedule because they hold Kimball's Art Festival every summer and thousands of people come around the world to walk the streets of Park City and take in unique art.
Best Places to take Pictures Near Utah County
1300 East Center Street, Provo, UT 84601
Castle Amphitheater is a fun outdoor photography location near Provo and Orem. It is quaint and romantic. Along with the castle structure there is an orchard of trees that comes into full blossom in April/May. The blossoms are white. There is a usage fee of $20 and you pay it to the Utah State Hospital.
The Poppy Fields are the best place to take pictures for anyone willing to drive to them! They are located in Alpine. It is the best place to take family pictures. The poppy's are in full bloom late May to early June. They are a wildflower and their season depends on the warmth of the spring, so you have to watch carefully to time this location.
Mona Lavender Fields
3700 Old Hwy 91, Mona, UT 84645
The Young Living Lavender Fields in Mona, Utah is the best place to take family, engagement, senior and maternity photos for those who live anywhere in Salt lake or Utah county. It is a about an hour drive south of Salt Lake City and so worth the drive. This location requires a reservation and a fee to use their land. If you want to photograph the mountains on the East side of the fields be sure to time your lighting right. Dusk lighting will put your eyes toward the sun, creating squinting. My favorite time to photograph at this location is about ten am after the sun has come up over the mountain and you can get beautiful lighting on your subject, the flowers and the mountain. Anything earlier will wash the mountain out.
Little Sahara Sand Dunes
27020 W Sand Mountain Rd, Nephi, UT 84648
Little Sahara Sand Dunes is one of the best locations to take pictures in Utah because it is so unique. It is still a relatively newly discovered location that many haven't used yet so you'd have a completely unique look for your portraits. It is a great location for engagements, families and wedding photography. It is about an hour south of Provo so it is a bit of a drive but so worth it for it's unique nature.
American Fork Amphitheater
400 South 200 East, American Fork, UT 84003
American Fork Amphitheater is a great photography location near American Fork, Alpine, Lehi, Pleasant Grove, Lindon, Orem and Provo. It is free to shoot at this location. It is a great photography location for Family photos, senior portraits, extended family photography and maternity portraits. It does not get overly crowded. However, they do rent the lower part of the park out for weddings and outdoor plays during the summer so be sure to check the schedule so you are not interrupting a scheduled event.
Cascade Scenic Dr, Provo, UT 84604
Cascade springs is a beautiful outdoor photography location near Provo, Orem, Alpine and Lehi. It is located on the Alpine loop between American Fork and Provo Canyon. It is closed in the winter. There is a minimal day use fee per vehicle. There is lots of parking. Gorgeous waterfalls and natural springs. Beautiful in the Spring, Summer and Fall.
3900 N. Garden Drive Lehi, Utah 84043
Thanksgiving point is a beautiful outdoor photography location close to alpine, lehi, pleasant grove, Lindon, orem, provo, Bluffdale, Riverton, Draper and Sandy. It is a Utah county photography location and has a lot of versatility. It is free to shoot here if you are holding an event at their venue. Otherwise there is a $50 fee to shoot on their grounds. There is a lot of ground to cover at Thanksgiving point so if you are wanting to utilize the various areas of this location I'd suggest renting a golf cart to save you time.
Albion Basin is one of the best places to take pictures in Utah. People from all over Utah venture up Big Cottonwood canyon to take advantage of the wildflowers in bloom in the middle of July. Albion Basin is located just above Brighton Ski resort. It is a highly trafficked area with a lot of hikers as well as photographers. Albion Basin use to require a permit but as of 2022 you no longer need to apply for a permit! Hooray! Please just be aware and respectful of taking care of the beautiful grounds so everyone can enjoy this location. Parking is very limited. Be prepared to wait for a parking spot. Parking is not allowed along the road. You will be ticketed.
Best Places to Take Pictures Near Alpine
Squaw peak is one of my favorite outdoor Utah county photography locations. It is free to shoot here and does not require a hike. Be prepared to walk down a dirt path that is difficult in heels but overall is quite accessible. Squaw peak is located up Provo canyon. With a giant field you can easily frame your family with Mt. Timpanogos in the background when shooting with your subjects backs toward the North. Flip around with your subjects backs toward the south you have a beautiful open green, lush background. In the fall this location is on fire with Red, yellow and orange leaves. It requires about a 15 minute drive up a dirt road with large holes. It is a bit of an adventure and so worth it! If you are shooting in natural light, you have about twenty minutes after sun down to get the perfect lighting of Mt. Timpanogos in the background without weird shadows cast on the faces of your subjects.
Aspen Grove is a gorgeous outdoor Utah County photography location. With fields and Mt. Timpanogos in the background it is a great location. Easily accessible. There is a $6 parking fee per vehicle. In the fall this location is on fire with yellow aspens.
American Fork Canyon Road
Is one of the best photography locations near Utah county. It is a location that is accessible from lehi, alpine, draper, sandy, Bluffdale, orem, pleasant grove, Herriman and Riverton. It is a 20 minute drive up American Fork canyon. There is a $6 car entrance fee if you plan to park and get out of your car. Otherwise you can drive through for free. Tibble Fork is beautiful year round with pines that are evergreen, a pond, mountain backdrop and a fun rustic fence and unpaved road.
Unnamed Road, Alpine, UT 84004
The Poppy Fields are the best place to take pictures for anyone willing to drive to them! They are located about forty minutes north of Salt Lake City. It is the best place to take family pictures. The poppy's are in full bloom late May to early June. They are a wildflower and their season depends on the warmth of the spring, so you have to watch carefully to time this location.
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