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Engagement in the clouds: Bonneville Salt Flats

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

How have I not blogged this session yet?? This night was one of my all time favorites as a photographer. I've often told my husband that, at some shoots, everything comes together to make it absolutely perfect. The soft, golden light, an amazing and happy couple, the most magical location, perfect weather, and good energy. Add to that some insane cotton candy skies and the Bonneville Salt Flats and you have one of my favorite sessions of all time.

Kam and Jax reached out to me on Instagram and asked me to photograph their wedding. After the obligatory Insta stalk, I was STOKED. This couple is one of the raddest, most adventurous, and best-dressed couples I have photographed. Kam showed up as a bride in the best ways. She already knew where she wanted engagements and bridals and her reception was planned for the most gorgeous greenhouse venue I have ever seen. Seriously, working with them is any photographer's dream. When she told me she wanted engagements at the flooded salt flats, I could not have been more excited. I planned for the perfect lighting and weather, charged my battery, gathered my favorite SD cards (btw if you're a photographer and don't have a favorite SD card, are you really even a photographer?), and packed up my trusty Nikon and lots of snacks (it's quite the drive), I took off in my Outback listening to Crime Junkies all the way.

When we finally got out to the flats, my heart and head was buzzing with that photographer's anxious excitement (compare to a child on Christmas morning expecting that shiny, new red bike). This was going to be good. The evening sky was filled with the most dramatic, cotton candy skies and the flats looked like glass. Kam and Jax arrived and looked freaking hot, as always. Being the adventurous souls that they are, they took off their shoes, left them on the shore, and stepped out into the freezing cold (It was December!) water. The first bit of the session was completely candid as they explored this INSANE new environment.

The whole time we were shooting, I couldn't help but think of Jesus and Peter walking on the water haha can I say that? We finished up as the sun was dipping below the mountains and I went home and started editing as soon as I sat down. I'm forever obsessed with the salt flats and hope you will consider a shoot at this magical location.

Here's a few tips if you decide to plan a shoot at the Bonneville Salt Flats:

- Decide when you want to do your shoot. In the summer, the flats have amazing geometric shapes in the salt and it is completely white. In the winter months, the flats are flooded and make for the prettiest reflections!

- Wear shoes that are okay getting salty. This is less of an issue in the summer when the salt is hard. In the winter, it's best to either go barefoot or wear shoes you are comfortable getting salty!

- Plan the shoot about an hour before sunset and plan to stay until the sun goes down. The flats get the most beautiful sunsets you won't want to miss.

- Prepare a few podcast or an audiobook for the ride! Unless you live in Wendover, you're in for a bit of a drive.

- Dogs are allowed at the salt flats, but keep in mind the salt can be harsh on their little paws if they are on it for too long. Consider bringing along doggy booties.

- If you plan to shoot in the winter, make sure to walk out into the water for about a minute. Right near the shore, there are a lot of ripples, but out a bit further the water is as smooth as glass and makes for the most beautiful reflections!

- If you're a photographer, don't put the sun directly behind your clients unless the sun is right about to set. The white salt is extremely reflective, so it can be very bright when it is directly behind your clients.

- Have fun and enjoy! The salt flats are absolutely gorgeous. Plan to stay a while to take in the beautiful surroundings.

If you would like to book a session at the Bonneville Salt Flats (or anywhere for that matter!), email me at or find me on Instagram at @tianajphotography.

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