The Bonneville Salt Flats have been a favorite among elopement photographers in recent years, and for good reason: The 30,000 acre swath in western Utah—once a massive patch of salt water named Lake Bonneville before it dried up and left behind salt deposits—is one of nature’s blankest canvases for photographers to work with. https://margaretwroblewski.com/
Margaret Wroblewski, a DC-based elopement photographer, recently traveled to the Salt Flats for a styled shoot. “Filled with tremendous beauty, breathtaking sunsets, and endless mystery, photographing an elopement at the Bonneville Salt Flats has been on my bucket list for ages!” she says. “I’d always imagined how incredible it would be to document the unique way the light hits right before sunset, setting the endless horizon ablaze. And when I arrived and saw the incredible clouds building in the distance, I knew I was in for something special.”
Two hours before sunset, models Katie and Austin arrived. As they explored the Salt Flats, the sun started to dip, signaling the beginning of the session.
Scroll for Margaret’s absolutely whimsical photos of this dreamy styled shoot, plus her tips on how to plan one. While the clouds try to steal the show, they’ve got nothing on the stunning couple.
Here are Margaret’s tips for photographers and other vendors as you plan a styled shoot:
- Pick a location where you want to work in the future.
- Find the best time to photograph in that certain location.
- Make sure you have a backup plan for everything.
- Pay for the models’ time and hotel.
- Budget how much you want to spend for the shoot.
- Make sure all the vendors know the plan. Get them excited for the shoot.
- Figure out what publications you want to submit to.
- Be creative as possible and try different things you wouldn’t normally try with your clients.
- See if your location needs permits.
TIPS FOR A SALT FLAT ELOPEMENT OR STYLED SHOOT
To have a photoshoot at the Bonneville Salt Flats, which are government property, you’ll likely need a permit, depending on certain variables (that info can be found here). You can access the flats by a paved exit off I-80. Do not drive on the flats when they are wet or flooded—you will likely get stuck. Temps can climb higher than 100 degrees during the summer and below freezing in the winter, so pack sunscreen, extra clothes, and snacks. Always snacks.