Utah’s Ag-Gag Law Prosecuting Photographers

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Tips, Utah

This is a really interesting topic for local Utah photographers: The Ag-Gag Law. Utah is one of the few states that prohibits people to take pictures of local agricultural operations, including farms, ranches or slaughterhouses. Be warned, it is not only illegal to take these pictures, but if you are caught possessing them, you can be punished.

In fact, Amy Meyer is a woman who was charged for filming a slaughterhouse. She drove by the location in Draper, Utah and was astounded at what she saw so she started to video the scene from her smart phone.
After being told to stop by the property owner and the police, and saying she was in her right because she was on public property, a fact disputed, she found out she was being charged. This was the first prosecution of this kind of case in the country, so it went viral. The charges against Meyer were dropped because she was deemed to be on public ground.

This is the exception: the law only applies to photos taken while trespassing. That way, if a school group visits a local farm, or if you are on public property, there is no fear of the images captured during these visits.

The reasoning behind the law is to protect farmers, ranchers and food processors from unfair representation, while many people argue this will prevent journalism or animal-cruelty-whistleblowers.

Whatever the reasoning, Utah photographers should be aware of the limitations to their rights, especially when trying to find new or interesting locations to shoot.

What do you think? Is this law excessive or does this make sense?

Salt Lake City – Gilgal Sculpture Garden

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Utah

In the years I’ve lived in Utah, I spent hours scouring the internet for interesting activities and Utah secret spots. Needless to say, I get really excited when I find something brand new. Here’s a spot I’ve never heard of before: The Gilgal Sculpture Garden. Located in downtown Salt Lake City (749 East 500 south) this secret garden is now a public park.

The concept itself is really neat: A local Utah businessman, Thomas Battersby Child, Jr., spent almost twenty years of his life building his own special place where he could retreat from the world.

Can I create a sanctuary or atmosphere in my yard
that will shut out fear and keep one’s mind young and
alert to the last, no matter how perilous the times?

-Thomas Battersby Child, Jr.

Luckily Child was a masonry contractor so he created his retreat with stone sculptures in a small garden. As a place of reflection, each statue mirrors some of his religious ideals with some stones acting as a direct translation for scriptures, others record texts, poems and script. The work is unique, and for many would probably be categorized as weird, but it all captures a fascinating perspective.

After Child’s death in 1963, a neighbor purchased the area. Over the years the neighbor struggled to know what to do with the area. As a private park in downtown there was no funding for upkeep nor to prevent the night-time vandals. After various options were discussed, including razing the park to build condominiums, the Friends of Gilgal Garden coordinated the 2000 purchase of the area, officially making the it a public park. Since then, the work to restore the statues has been slowly moving forward as the group struggles to find funding.

What are your thoughts on the area? Do you think saving the park was worth it?

May Photography Opportunities in Utah

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Tips, Utah

Good news! Spring is here and it’s an amazing time for the photography opportunities. Once again, I will provide you a list of Utah-based events that you can use as a photographer. Please share any events I may have missed.

Cotton Days – Washington City, Utah April 26-May 4
The season of Utah rodeos has started! If you’re in Southern Utah check out the Cotton Days events. There are youth dances, fun runs, a car show, cotton-themed events and so much more. It should be a blast and get your spring started right. Learn more about it here.

Provo Rooftop Concert Series – Provo, Utah May 4
If you’ve never heard of the Rooftop Concert Series, it can be compared to a more intimate version of the Salt Lake Twilight Concerts. They happen the first Friday of the month throughout the warmer months. The first one of the year is May 4 at the Central Bank parking terrace and will feature Desert Noises, The Blue Aces and Caleb Darger. Learn more here.

Utah Pasifika Festival 2013 – Provo, Utah May 17-19
Downtown Provo will be hosting an multi-Polynesian event at which there will be food, dance and culture. If you’ve never seen the Haka performed live, do yourself a favor and go check out this event. Find more information here.

Moab Art Festival – Moab, Utah May 25-26
The awesome thing about this festival is you can still be a part of it! This year celebrates 21 years of this local art festival, with everything from photography and sculpture to food and clothing. Admission is free for, but if you are interested in setting up shop check out the link. Southern Utah is one of the most unique places in the world, both geographically and historically. Definitely check out this event.

The end of May is also Memorial Day weekend. Don’t forget!

KSL Monthly Photography Contest

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Tips, Utah

As a website dedicated to Utah photographers, Utah Photography is pleased to keep you up-to-date on opportunities to promote your work! Every month KSL hosts a photography competition, the winners of which are then compiled into a calendar. Pretty sweet, right? Submit your photos and vote for the winners here.


Here is one photo submitted by Michael Boman of Salt Lake County.

Sometimes the hardest part of monthly photography contests is finding inspiration. Utah state is full of beautiful photography opportunities, but it’s easy to miss the beauty that is right in front of you everyday. To help you out, here are some photography opportunities in Utah this spring.

April Photo Opportunities in Utah

Alta in April – Alta Ski Resort, UT
April 1 – April 14, 2013
Alta Ski Resort is known for its snow and skier only atmosphere. As a spring skiing special, the first two weeks of April are full of deals and lessons and events. Grab your camera and take advantage of the spring lighting to get some fantastic end-of-the-season pictures whether of skiers or from the top of the mountain.

Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival – Thanksgiving Point, UT
April 3 – April 28, 2013
The Tulip Festival is an annual tradition that draws thousands of visitors. It is a great opportunity to practice your macro photography techniques on the fields of flowers and the competition blooms. Because the campus is large, and they offer fun food music and drinks, it’s perfect for family photos or individual portraits. Bring the family and reward a successful sitting with a picnic surrounded by 10 variants of flowers.

Lamb and Wool Festival – Thanksgiving Point, UT

April 20, 2013
Once again, Thanksgiving Point delights us by offering a day dedicated to lambs and spring. Come capture frolicking lambs and goats or the presentations of traditional sheering techniques. We’d really like to see pictures of that, let us know how you capture that.

Extreme Rhythm Clogging  – Thanksgiving Point, UT
April 20, 2013
Not really sure how much more of an explanation I can give for this that is better than the title itself. The possibilities provided by the movement and color of clogging is an opportunity that should not be passed up.


What other events do you recommend for the April?

Utah Photographers and the Rio Tinto Center

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Tips, Utah

If you haven’t had the chance to go visit the new Natural History Museum of Utah at the Rio Tinto center, I recommend you go. It’s full of interesting exhibits about different aspects of Utah history, nature and geography housed in an architecturally fascinating location. The building just is Utah and it’s surroundings are rustic and a beautiful photography session backdrop.

Just check out that picture. It’d be a perfect Utah location for senior portraits or a family photo when all the grand-kids are in town! Because there’s enough interest between Utah photographers and the Rio Tinto Center, the Museum has set up a Utah Portrait Photography request page.

The building is new enough this is still a fairly well kept secret, so I recommend you book your portrait schedule before it becomes the next big Utah photography trend!

Utah’s Cultural Diversity

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Utah

Unless you’ve never been outside of Utah, it is easy to recognize that the demographics of the Beehive state are pretty monotonous. Yes, it is not exclusively white, but the stigma of a white-Utah is strongly founded. And so, it is with great pleasure I share with you proof that this is not entirely, nor historically, the case.

The Salt Lake Tribune recently ran an article in which it shared a slideshow with vintage photographs of the cultural diversity boasted by Utah in its founding days.

The first picture, the one above, is of George Stevens (born in Mexico) and his wife Lucinda Vilate Flake, whose father came moved across the United States with Brigham Young. Captured in this photograph of utah culture is a lot more than just two people, there is a story and history hidden just below the surface! I recommend you make the jump and check them out.

A Ute Indian Warrior and his Bride

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Photastic, Utah

Beautiful photography captures a moment in which a story is told. That is why we find it so important to take pictures at life’s milestones, whether a maternity photo shoot, the first day of school or a wedding.

These stories, told by a photographer and his camera, are what make photos priceless. It is why photography is so prevalent in today’s pop culture and even when photography was rare, photos were still important.

This photography, ”The Warrior and his Bride,” by J.K. Hiller is one of those vintage photographs that captures a moment so beautifully. The story of these two Ute Indians at a special moment in their lives, along with the history this photograph captures.

A story of Utah that can be so easily forgotten, were it not for this moment carefully captured on film.

Bountiful Photographer’s Work Throughout the World

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Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy formally instituted the Art In Embassies program, that looks to develop international diplomatic ties through art. The different types of art pieces and galleries are on display throughout the world and is key in building relationships with local people.

As a part of this program the photography of Bret Webster, a Bountiful photographer who capture vivid and fantastic pictures of the Utah sky, will be put on display in the U.S. embassy in Tunisia.

Webster’s work captures the magic of Utah; the infinite and ethereal quality of the land that is easily felt, but difficult to photograph. He is an interesting photographer, with a background in rocket science and chemical engineering, but he uses no tricks in his work. He uses natural sources of light and a slow shutter speed to illuminate the landscape along with the sky.

Starting January 12, Webster’s work will be on display at the Natural History Museum of Utah as part of the “Weaving a Revolution” exhibit.

SLC Capitol Theatre

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Salt Lake City’s Capitol Theatre is an iconic location, with roots starting in 1913. It is impressive to realize it was home to silent films, Vaudevillian shows and then talkies, and continues to house modern shows and performances. It’s presence is a reminder of the history of the city and it’s people, as well as a tie to the days of Baby Peggy, Westerns, and 5¢ soda pop.

In many ways the theater is more than just a symbolic tie to the bygone days of Utah, as the building is said to be haunted. Doesn’t get much cooler than that, does it? A beautiful building full of history and mystery.

A North Carolina art professor, Benita VanWinkle, has spent years photographing old movie theaters in an effort to preserve the art of the locations and the stories each tells. Out of all the theaters she’s seen over the years, Utah’s Capitol Theatre is one of her favorite. If you want to see her photographs of the Capitol Theatre and of the other theaters she’s captured, keep an eye out for a her book, or go see her site.

Utah December Photographs

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Photastic, Utah

If you’re in the mood to showcase some of your winter photographs, check out this KSL slideshow, and submit some of your own. It’s a great chance to put your work out for the public eye, especially if you’re new to nature shots or are nervous about moving beyond the personal-use photography.

They have a little big of everything: snowfall, Christmas lights, wildlife and architecture. Let us know if submitted your work, especially if that’s a leap of faith for you as a photographer!

Scuba Santa: The Ultimate Christmas Card

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Tips, Utah

Yes, you saw that right. Santa Claus in a fish tank.

If you’re going to be around West Jordan, UT today between noon and six go take your picture with Scuba Santa at the Sport Chalet. The publicity says you don’t need any snorkeling experience so if you want some neat pictures for a really unique Christmas card, you know what to do. Let’s be honest, you can’t beat that.

And if you do go, send us a copy of the picture!

Utah State Capitol Building

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Utah

Exactly 100 years ago construction began on the Utah State Capitol building. There aren’t any events to celebrate today, since it would take four years to before the building was dedicated and it wasn’t made a National Historic Landmark until 1986.

As always, photographers commemorate events even when the rest of the masses forget. Utah has kept some photographs of the building under construction, one of them is below and the rest can be found here.

The capitol building is set on top of the hill looking over Salt Lake City, which causes most pictures to come from the same angle; looking up. But, as photographers we know it is our job to see objects in new and unusual lights. Go use this anniversary to photograph this historic area in a new way. (Hint: One of the coolest pictures I’ve ever seen of the Capitol was taken from across the hill.)

Let us know what you find and how you photographed this building in a new way.

Instagram photos: Utah Winter

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Uncategorized, Utah

Utah winters are full of short, darkened days, but it provides some of the most elegant photograph opportunities. A late sunrise seems to provide a brighter pop of color, a layer of new snow accentuates the intensity of the mountains and the world is wrapped in a seasonality brought to life by the yards of Christmas lights.

If the cold has you feeling down I recommend you check out the #Utah hashtag on Instagram*. If you think you have an awesome Utah cellphone picture, send it our way and we’ll share it.

*If you are on Instagram, I recommend you follow @igutah (and, of course, @UT_Photography).

Ogden history in photographs

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Utah

A picture says a thousand words, yet sometimes words further the impact of a photograph. Two new books, “Ogden’s Trolley District,” by Shalae Larsen and Sue Wilkerson and “Legendary Locals of Ogden,” by Sarah Langsdon and Melissa Johnson, do just that. By combining historical images, thanks in large part to the Weber State University library’s special collections, with context the authors expand the story of each image to develop the history of Ogden.















You may not be from Ogden, but if you’re in Utah, and have an interest in the way things have changed, these are worth flipping through. Check out this trolley car, that’s pretty cool. Is it just me, or is it weird to think one day our photographs will look that antiquated?


Utah: Wall Arch in Arches National Park

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Utah

Southern Utah is famous for its red stone and soaring, natural arches. For decades they have been photographed, but as a photographer in Utah it is important to remember these stones are in many ways as passing as the fire-y fall foliage. Below is a photo of Wall Arch after it broke one day in 2008.

This arch was slowly created over centuries of erosion until it was destroyed by that same power that created it. It is so important to not take the surroundings for granted and to find how you can capture the now for future generations.