I love┬ádoing big family photos.┬áThere’s a lot more energy when you have a big group of people, and it makes it easier on me as a photographer to get a bunch of good photos because I have so many different subjects to work with. Rather than taking a ton of photos of a family of 4 and trying to make each one look unique, I can recycle poses and specific locations with individuals or sub-groups.

Doing the group photo of everyone together, however, is not easy. I’m pretty sure there’s some quadratic equation out there that shows the diminishing probability that everyone is going to look good at the same time (hint: it’s basically hopeless once you go over 8 people). I don’t know if I’ve every done a large group photo where I didn’t have to swap faces of at least one or two people.

Thankfully, the Santores are a ridiculously photogenic family (though I did have to do some face swapping so that everyone’s eyes were open):

I had never shot at Red Butte Canyon before (it’s up in the northeast corner of Salt Lake Valley past the University of Utah campus). I’ve seen lots of photos done at Red Butte Gardens, but it’s an arm and a leg to do photos there (it’s $12 an adult and $7 a kid to enter). Right next to the gardens, however, there’s this nice little canyon with some great trails running off of it.

Since I had never been there before, I arrived early and did some trail running to scout some good locations for photos. I decided on a little section of river trail at the end of the canyon’s accessibility (most of it is closed off for conservationism) which had a nice little bridge and some cool stairs that we could do photos on.

I also found a trail that went west on top of a ridge that overlooked the Salt Lake Valley. With the beautiful sunset lighting, it was a truly fantastic place for family photos.

And family photos are ALWAYS made better when you have an adorable baby girl in a flower headband:

A big thanks to the Santore family for letting me do their family photos and for following along when I made them hike steep trails in their nice clothes. Check out the gallery below to see the rest of the photos from this family shoot!

Camron & Tori – Natural History Museum of Utah Wedding Formals

The Natural History Museum of Utah is one of the most beautiful examples of modern architecture in the state and a perfect place to shoot wedding formals.

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Kim & Greg – Salt Lake City Temple Wedding

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Christensens – Donut Falls Family Photos

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Atkinsons – Country Road Family Photos

If there’s anything better than doing family photos on a dirt back road in rural Colorado at golden hour, then I don’t know what it is.

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Kim & Greg – Salt Lake City Temple Formals

There are fewer more picturesque places to do wedding formals than the Salt Lake City Temple, and no better people to do them with than Kim and Greg.

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Camron & Tori – Squaw Peak Engagement Photos

Squaw Peak’s beautiful views of Utah Valley matched with an unbelievable sunset was the perfect combination for these engagement photos.

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Santores – Red Butte Canyon Family Photos

The Santore family and I ran all over the trails of Red Butte Canyon in Salt Lake City for this family shoot. We got a little dirty and dusty, but the views and beautiful sunset lighting were definitely work it.

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Mckaylund & Tess – Salt Lake City Temple Wedding

Rain can make wedding photos a little difficult, but with Mckaylund and Tess’s wedding we were able to get beautiful photos despite the stormy weather.

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Greg & Kim – Donut Falls Engagement Photos

After winter weather prevented our original plans, we found a beautiful backup location for magical forest engagement photos – Donut Falls.

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Brett & Lisa – Utah State Capitol Building Formals

I finally realized my dream of doing bridal photos in the Utah State Capitol Building. It was glorious and everything I hoped it would be.

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