If you love the mountains and want pictures there, this is the place for you. Nestled quietly in the northern corner of Wyoming (below Yellowstone National Park), The Grand Tetons National Park’s views are some of the best of the best in the world. I’ve traveled far and wide, and the Tetons are in my top three favorite places on earth. Here’s how serious I am about the Tetons: my husband and I had our honeymoon there. So, we’re 100% all about the Tetons. And look at these images. This is why!
What seasons are best to shoot at the Tetons?
The Grand Tetons National Park experiences all four seasons in the most dramatic and gorgeous way. Summer doesn’t get as hot as other places in the United States due to elevation, but it is lush and green. It can still get up to 100 degrees on the hottest day, but it isn’t common. Summer is also when the park is busiest. While the park is open all year long, its peak season is June through September. Many places close in the winter months, meaning you will not be able to experience the park and Jackson Hole in its entirety. This can include summer recreational activities (boat rides, four-wheelers, some hiking trails, etc.), restaurants, hotels, resorts, and more. Jackson and the park gets a whole lot of snow in the winter, so while the skiing is incredible, many people don’t travel to the Tetons in the winter.
Autumn is probably my favorite time in the Tetons. The colors are incredibly vibrant, and the sweater weather is on point. The snow typically comes as early as late September, but really, it can snow anytime of the year. Early to mid-September is when you’ll want to visit if you want to see autumn here, because it definitely doesn’t last long! I’ll talk about what things to pack in the next section, because you will absolutely want to be prepared.
Spring is also fantastic. In June (yes, this is Spring weather for the Tetons), millions of wildflowers bloom throughout the hills and mountain sides. They are phenomenal for photos, and you can see them in these images since this shoot was in Spring! But be aware that spring and fall can also bring a lot of unpredictable weather. Storms in that area can be wild, and there will be a lot more rain, hail, wind, and snow during these seasons.
Do you charge travel fees to the Tetons?
I do! But I’m ALWAYS looking for an excuse to go to the Tetons! It’s one of my favorite places, so I am constantly giving discounts to go there. If I’m insanely busy during the time you’re wanting to go, you may find that I cannot give discounts, but usually, I’m happy to work with budgets if I can.
To give a brief idea, the Teton’s are about a seven-hour drive away from me as I’m based in SLC, Utah. So, I typically charge a travel fee for mileage, gas, and drive time, plus hotel since I can’t make it there and back in a day safely! If you have any questions, shoot me an email and we can chat about your adventure session!
What are the best places to stay during our stay at the Tetons?
I LOVE so many places. If you’re wanting to stay close to the mountains, Signal Lodge or Jenny Lake Lodge are the closest. You have incredible views, you can stay right on the lakes, and you’re closer to the good stuff. If you’re looking on a budget, the city of Jackson, commonly known as Jackson Hole, is probably the place for you. There are some beautiful resorts in Jackson, but a great mix of hotels and lodges to stay at too.
Jackson is 35 minutes (roughly) from the entrance of the park, but then you typically have to wait in long lines to get in. I’d probably say you’re looking at about an hour or more to get into the park if you stay in Jackson. It’s why I recommend staying closer to the Tetons, budget permitting. I also love staying closer because we can photograph you guys inside the hotel rooms, because some come with balconies or windows that feature the Teton ranges right outside your door. It also doesn’t take as long to drive to our next locations!
What is there to do before and after our shoot?
Let’s talk about Jackson/Jackson Hole. Before jumping into all the fun travel plans, you’ll want to know that Jackson is definitely a more expensive location to visit. It’s a mountain town, with limited services, hotels, and whatnot, but it’s absolutely worth going to. It has an adorable downtown square with unforgettable deer antler arches, great restaurants, western bars, and beautiful art galleries to keep you busy for hours. If you want to do a session here, you’re going to want to make a trip out of it, no matter which season you’re visiting in!
There are hundreds of things to do around Grand Teton National Park! Local bars and pubs feature live music on the weekends during the summer months, rental equipment can be easily found to go adventuring, and camping is awesome here. Different lodges and resorts also offer some activities depending on the season. The sky is the limit: skiing, hot tubbing, boating, hiking, back-packing, kayaking, river-rafting, bar-hopping, wine-tasting, snow-shoeing, hunting, shooting, and so much more.
My favorite places and what I always recommend are the following: Jenny Lake, Signal Lake, Schwabacher’s Landing, Hidden Falls, Snake River Overlook, Jackson Lake, Jackson Hole, The Cowboy Bar, and more. I have my secret locations I take my clients that I absolutely love, and I keep those places for clients only, but as you can see by the pictures… they are absolutely amazing.
What should we bring to our session?
There is quite a bit I would bring with you on your trip that you potentially are going to need. First off, layers! No matter which season, you’re going to want to be prepared. Depending on the type of session you do, you’ll want to bring something to keep you warm and dry. Plus, layers usually look fantastic in photos! Layers can be anywhere from a raincoat, to a heavy winter coat, cardigans, sweaters, jackets, scarves, hats, and more. Ask me about color choices if you’re struggling!
No matter what shoot we’re planning on, high heels are definitely a no-go if you’re wanting to get some amazing adventure shots. You can bring them to be in the photos, but you’ll definitely want a change of shoes nearby for walking to the locations.
An umbrella is never a bad idea, for obvious reasons, but if it’s windy, you likely won’t use it. What you most likely will use is a blanket! I like to photograph couples sitting, snuggling, and laying on a blanket. So, if you don’t have a cute-ish blanket you can utilize, it may be a good idea too purchase one! Unless you’re fine sitting on the ground in your outfits, which is also dope.
Shoot me an email if you’re ready to see your Tetons Session come to life. I’m excited to make that mountain magic with you!