It's no secret that Utah County is a hot spot for weddings. In fact, Utah is ranked fourth in the nation for most marriages per capita. This is especially interesting considering that it is ranked 35th in the nation for how much couples will spend on their wedding. This means that if you want to succeed as a wedding photographer in Utah, although finding clients won't be too difficult, you have to think how you can be more affordable. One of the easiest ways to cut costs for clients is through choosing free locations.
Location is everything. One of my favorite parts of photography is being able to spend so much time in beautiful places; however, finding locations (especially free ones!) has been frustrating. This is additionally difficult being located in Utah County. Despite weddings being so common, most couples don't want to travel lengthy distances or spend extra money to get to a beautiful spot! This has increased the pressure on me to find close, beautiful, and free locations.
When I first started photography I made it a goal to find spots that fit this description. I remember searching on google for locations for hours and coming up short on ideas. I remember asking photographers for their locations, and many wanting to keep them secret. I have spent dozens of hours driving around the mountains, hiking through the foothills, and getting lost 100+ times in pursuit of the best locations. After all my searching, I have been able to find some of my favorite spots to shoot that my couples love.
The best part? You don't have to do all of that to get these locations. Below I have included photos and descriptions of six of my favorite free spots in Utah County. Picking a spot to shoot has never been easier: just share this post with your clients and let them choose their favorite!
1. Utah Lake State Park Road - N Boat Harbor Drive
Utah Lake State Park and the lake itself is beautiful, but to shoot at the lake there is a $10 entrance fee per vehicle. I found this spot right by the lake that gives you beautiful trees and pastures as your background. A lot of the gates were open so we stepped right inside a got a few great scenic shots of big open fields. There are free places to park all along Boat Harbor Drive that makes getting to this spot that much easier. I recommend this spot in the Spring and Summer to get those greens everywhere.
2. Aspen Grove - 9521 Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, Provo, UT 84604
Aspen Grove is a location that is pretty all year long. Aspens and Evergreens are everywhere along the grounds and mountains. Whether you want changing fall leaves, beautiful snow-covered evergreens, or green grass this is a must-see. The easiest way to get there is by going up the alpine loop through Provo Canyon (the turn off the canyon road is the one that gets you to Sundance!). You follow that road all the way up until you hit a toll booth at the very top. Aspen Grove is right next to the toll booth. Sometimes they charge a fee ($7) to enter, but most of the time they don't charge that fee.
3. Tibble Fork Reservoir - American Fork Canyon
Tibble Fork Reservoir is one of the most common spots for photography and it's no secret why. Tibble Fork has the beautiful blue water, Mt. Timpanogos in the background of the bowl, and evergreens everywhere. The best part? It is beautiful during every season. There are so many great spots to shoot at Tibble Fork that you can discover a new spot every time you go. My favorite "less-obvious" spot is on the far side of the reservoir. If you walk along the bowl from the parking lot to the other side of the lake, there is a small trail that wraps around a fence. You walk around that and down the path and you get great views of the trees, and it is more secluded.
4. Squaw Peak Road - Provo Canyon
Squaw Peak is a great spot in the summer and fall. If you drive up the road, about a quarter mile up there is a large dirt parking lot where you can park that has great spots for photos. My other favorite spot is at the top at the overlook spot. There are huge sloping green hills as well as pretty dirt paths all along the road and at both spots.
5. Downtown Provo - Provo Center Street
This spot is a great spot if you are looking for a fast and easy shoot. My favorite spot along Center Street is right across from the City Center temple. They have string lights and street signs everywhere that add a fun background. This is another great spot for any time of the year because it never changes looks from the season.
6. Alpine Poppies
This spot is only around for two weeks each summer but is a classic. The beautiful poppies are easy to find and make for such an easy background. I found the easiest way to get there is to park on Box Elder Circle. If you look up "poppies" on google maps it is very easy to find. I recommend shooting here in the mornings because the afternoons are packed with other photographers.
I hope this list gives you more confidence for every season in the year. Comment below and tell me which location you are most excited to see! And also, don't forget to subscribe to my blog to get more photography tips and tricks!