Best Photo Locations Near Salt Lake City

Utah is an amazing place with a lot of variety of places for photos for your portrait session (family, senior, maternity, bridal, wedding photos). You can go south for the red rock desert scenes or find lakes, mountains, fields of flowers, or beaches in northern Utah. I grew up in northern Utah around the Wasatch mountains and went to Bear Lake every summer with my family. I liked to bike, hike, and explore the outdoors. Now that I'm an adult I still like the places I went to in my youth and love the 4 seasons of Utah.

McPolin Farm

Park City's McPolin Farm is a short drive up the canyon from Salt Lake. There is a large White Barn as well as open fields with mountain backgrounds. In the winter it's a great place for family photos away from the skiers and busyness of Park City and Canyon resorts.

In March it was snowing and we still had quite a bit of snow in Park City. It turned into a blizzard and we had to be quick for the kids. One thing you cannot control is the weather so you have to dress for the weather and plan on uncomfortable weather during the winter season. Here are some photos from the extended family session I did. It was a family reunion with people from Idaho, Florida, and other states that came together for a weekend ski trip in Park City, Utah. This is just a mile away from the Canyon Ski resort and about 20 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City.

One thing to note is that parking is across the street and there is a tunnel to cross under the highway to McPolin Farm. (Click here for more about McPolin Farm)

Utah State Capitol

The Capitol building is open during the day for photos and is especially a good place during the winter and colder weather. It can be a busy place on a Saturday with brides and couples taking photos there. During the week you might find school groups here taking a tour of the building. I'd check their website to find the hours they are open, but it's a free place to take photos. Usually it's open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m but there are other holidays and events where the capitol might be closed. (Capitol website click here)

The Utah Capitol is a neoclassical design, which is common for government buildings in the early 20th century. This style draws inspiration from classical Greek and Roman architecture, characterized by grandeur, symmetry, and columns.

One of the most striking features of the Capitol is its dome, which rises above the building and is topped with a statue of a seagull, symbolizing the state's pioneer heritage. The dome has copper and has a stunning interior with intricate designs.

Inside the capitol building during the day there is a lot of natural light. The light reflects on the light stone and is very flattering for photos. Also, you can explore the ornate halls, chambers, and galleries. The inside is made of marble, granite, and intricate woodwork, reflecting the craftsmanship of the era.

The Capitol is situated on Capitol Hill, which is the highest point in downtown Salt Lake City. The hilltop location provides panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

The outdoor grounds surrounding the Capitol are beautifully landscaped and include lawns, gardens, and walkways. Visitors can stroll through the grounds and enjoy the scenic surroundings. Photos outside the capitol are beautiful with the large columns and stone steps.

In the springtime the cherry blossoms are out and it's a popular place for spring photos. Usually during the first week of April the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. the best time to take photos in the spring is about 45 minutes before sunrise. More people come in the evening and it can be REALLY crowded, especially on the weekend. Your least busy time is in the morning on a weekday.

The entrance is on the east side and plenty of free parking is there also. There are public restrooms inside.

Tunnel Springs Park

In North Salt Lake overlooking the valley is a beautiful park called Tunnel Springs. There are tennis courts, biking trails, open fields, tall weeds, rolling hills, and a view of the Great Salt Lake. It is a popular photography location but in the mornings it's less busy and the park is large enough to hold hundreds of people.

I found out the name "Tunnel Springs" comes from a nearby historic railroad tunnel that was built in the late 1800s as part of the Utah Central Railway. The tunnel served as a transportation route for freight trains and passenger trains during Utah's early days. Today there is no sign of the railway and it's a recreation area on the side of the mountains.

The park is open year round, but to get there you drive up steep residential streets, which could be tricky in a snowstorm. I've been there in the winter and the parking lot by the trail is closed, but you can park by the tennis courts. Wear boots for the winter time because there isn't a paved, cleared trail in the winter.

Tunnel Springs Park is a great place for kids to run around for family photos. I've taken bridal photos, maternity, family, senior, and graduation portraits here.

Memory Grove Park

By City Creek in Salt Lake City a beautiful park is hidden from downtown. Memory Grove Park is known for its scenic beauty and peaceful atmosphere. It features lush greenery, tree-lined pathways, and a peaceful creek that runs through the park. The park's natural beauty makes it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and photographers. (click her to learn more about the park)

The rock bridge is a favorite place to take photos, as well as by the pond. The flowers are beautiful here and it's a great place for bridal photos.

Antelope Island

A beautiful place in spring is Antelope Island north of Salt Lake City. The fee is $15 per car to enter the state park plus $2 for the causeway. Drones are not allowed during the summer, but off season you get a permit. You can have saltwater lakes, rolling hills, rocky shorelines, and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains as a background. These diverse landscapes provide a stunning backdrop for family photos, offering plenty of opportunities for unique and captivating shots.

Some of the most photogenic spots on Antelope Island include Buffalo Point, White Rock Bay, Garr Ranch, and the Fielding Garr Ranch Historic District. Each of these locations offers its own distinct scenery and atmosphere, allowing you to choose the backdrop that best suits your family's style and preferences.

(Click here for more about Antelope Island from their website)

Best Utah Locations

So, these are some of my favorite photo locations around Salt Lake City with a variety of backgrounds: beach, mountains, open fields, and indoors.

If you want to schedule a session with me please reach out below.