Whenever I’m hired to do engagement photos or wedding formals, I always give the couples I work with a list of potential locations based on the style they’re going for. The choice is 100% theirs as to where we do photos, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t lobby for certain locations.

This was one of those times.

While I was researching places to do wedding formals in the Salt Lake City area, I came across some incredible photos from the Natural History Museum of Utah.

If you haven’t been there before, the Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) is an incredible work of modern architecture nestled up against the northeast foothills of Salt Lake Valley. (It also happens to be right by Red Butte Canyon, another favorite photo location of mine.)

While the items it contains (everything from Native American artifacts to dinosaur bones) are ancient, the building style is anything but. As a photographer who loves architecture photography, the NHMU is a dream come true with its stark monolithic walls, strong angles, and asymmetrical windows. I can’t think of a more perfect place to do wedding formals.

And so it was with strong bias that I sent my list of possible locations (though I felt I fairly promoted the other locations as well).

My bias paid off because almost immediately, Camron and Tori emailed me back and said they wanted to do the natural history museum.

I worked with the staff who very helpfully offered to let us come after hours when no one would be at the museum. We had the whole place to ourselves (which included Tori’s mother and sister who were big helps).

We started with a first look (which had to be carefully choreographed since the building consisted of little more than windows) and got some amazing shots with the sky, clouds, and mountain reflected in the glass.

Wedding formals first look in front of reflection at Natural History Museum of Utah

We then moved inside and took advantage of the incredible staircases, bridges, windows, and concrete walls that make up the central hall of the museum.

We also went to the top floor exhibit where we took the photo I’m most proud of from an editing standpoint. The sun was shining brightly through the windows and hitting this curved blue couch. The rest of the room was in relative darkness. I had the idea that I could probably darken everything out completely and just have them sitting on the couch with a black background.

Here’s a before and after of the shot straight out of the camera and then after I worked some Lightroom and Photoshop magic on it:

Pushpin Pictures wedding formals before and after retouching

After finishing up with some shots looking down on them from the bridge that spans the main hall, we hit up the dinosaurs because who wouldn’t? If you have a chance to take wedding formals with dinosaurs, you do it. Always.

This was one of my favorite shoots, and I’m really thankful to the Natural History Museum of Utah for helping pull it off and Megan Stewart, owner of Wild Rose House, for her incredibly unique bouquet and boutonniere. They were some of the best I’ve seen.

Here are the rest of the photos:

Wedding formals couple ascending glass stairs at Natural History Museum of Utah
Wedding formals couple kissing in front of blue sky reflection at Natural History Museum of Utah
Black and white wedding formals on modern architecture staircase at Natural History Museum of Utah
Wedding formals veiled bride with sun behind her
Wedding formals bride standing with sun behind and succulent bouquet
Wedding formals wedding dress in front of window reflection at Natural History Museum of Utah
Black and white wedding formals on iconic staircase of Natural History Museum of Utah
Wedding formals ornate detailed bridal veil and bouquet
Wedding formals groom boutonniere with succulent
Wedding formals bride standing in front of asymmetrical windows at Natural History Museum of Utah
Wedding formals looking down on bride twirling long exposure
Black and white wedding formals groom portrait at Natural History Museum of Utah
Black and white wedding formals bride portrait with curly hair and veil at Natural History Museum of Utah
Wedding formals succulent bouquet
Wedding formals couple lounging on curved couch with black background at Natural History Museum of Utah
Wedding formals couple kissing on balcony of Natural History Museum of Utah
Black and white wedding formals couple under dinosaur bones at Natural History Museum of Utah
Wedding formals looking down on bride and groom at Natural History Museum of Utah

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