Recently, I traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the first time in my life. One of my photography goals is to photograph a wedding in all 50 states. So far, I’ve photographed a wedding in 32 of the 50 states. A byproduct of this goal is the opportunity to explore and adventure in new places. A huge thanks to Erica and Michael for trusting me to travel to Wyoming! View a preview of images from their incredible day here – Erica & Michael’s Jackson Hole, WY Wedding! I spent 42 hours in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and here is what I experienced…

When I discovered I would be in Wyoming during the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower, I knew I wanted to try astrophotography for the first time. I asked for help from my photographer friends. I read a ton of articles. Yet, as often is the case with photography, trial and error is the best way to learn (at least for me). I found a campsite with an incredible view of the Grand Tetons, but unfortunately, the meteors were a bit lackluster =( My first attempt at astrophotography I like to call “Little Grand Tetons, Big Big Dipper”

Grand Tetons Big Dipper

My accommodations were rather luxurious all things considered. Brisa and I received this North Face Roadrunner tent for our wedding over 9 years ago (thanks Shimps)! Admittedly, I haven’t used it as often as I would like, but it was absolutely perfect for this trip. Lightweight, fit into my carry-on luggage and yet plenty of room for me to spread out with all of my gear! Thanks to FreeCampsites.net, I was able to find super awesome dispersed campgrounds in both Idaho and Wyoming!

North Face Tent Under Stars

For sunrise, I wanted to photograph the beautiful colors highlighting the Grand Tetons, but I definitely did not account for the herds of bison crossing the roads. These “Wyoming Traffic Jams” were inconvenient…

Wyoming Bison Traffic Jam

…but they were incredible if you have your camera ready! Another one of those travel lessons I have learned the hard way is to always have your camera accessible and ready. I photographed the next two images through my front windshield with a Canon 135mm lens and minimal cropping. This guy was probably about a foot from my front bumper.

Wyoming Bison Crossing Road

As I was making my way through the Wyoming traffic jam, this behemoth stopped and glared directly at me. Immediately, I photographed him and then I started to wonder if he was going to charge my rental car. Thankfully, he liked my Subaru Legacy (which was the perfect car for my trip ~ all wheel drive and compact size) and carried on across the road. Whew.

Wyoming Bison

Eventually, I made it over to Mormon Row to photograph the iconic Moulton Barn. I joined approximately 30 photographers there who had the same intentions as me. My intent with my photography is to always be unique. Upon joining my fellow photographers, I stood and watched them all stand in the same spot to essentially create a very similar image. Then, I waited for everyone to leave and included a foreground element to add a compositional layer to the image.

Moulton Barn Grand Tetons Sunrise

As I was walking back towards my car, I really liked how the trees perfectly framed the barn and the Tetons. The colors from the sunrise-kissed mountains were breathtaking!

Moulton Barn Grand Tetons

After the Moulton Barn, I headed over to Schwabacher’s Landing for a classic Grand Teton reflection photograph. As I explored the area, I was amazed at how the Snake River defiantly mirrored the mountain. I set up my Manfrotto tripod on a small bank and stood back and took in this view.

Schwabacher Landing Grand Tetons Reflection

During an extremely rare (for me) three hour break on wedding day coverage, I was able to try a local spot, Snake River Brewery, for food, beer and to do a little editing. The food was satisfyingly good (order their steak tacos). The beer was refreshing. The people were the best part…super friendly and awesome!

Snake River Brewery

On my last night, I tried astrophotography for the second time to take advantage of the Perseid Meteor Shower. Well, I was reminded again how astrophotography is incredibly difficult. Probably more telling, I confirmed how little patience I have for landscape photography in general. From my campsite, the amount of visible stars were mind-numbing. As I looked through my tent to ponder at the vastness, I smiled, my typical goofy ear-to-ear smile, because I felt happily blessed.

Perseid Meteor Shower Grand Teton National Park

I departed from the Jackson Hole Airport with a spectacular view of the Grand Tetons. Seriously, every where you go in this area, you can’t help by stop and gawk at those mountains. In anticipation of this trip, I figured once I saw the Grand Tetons, then they’d be like every other mountain range. However, when you’re in this area, you are always aware of where they are and how they look over you.

United Airlines Jackson Hole Airport

I had an absolutely incredible 42 hours in Jackson Hole, Wyoming! The area is absolutely gorgeous and the people were amazing! All of my Grand Teton Jackson Hole photography will be available for purchase via the next Photography For a Cause event! If you ever have an opportunity to visit this area, I highly recommend it! And I hope you love it as much as I did!

~ Chris


Check out my latest TOP TEN! post…TOP TEN Reasons Why I am Thankful for Photography!
Check out my latest Dear La Brisa post…Dear Photographers: “How To Prepare For Your First Wedding” By Chris Hsieh!

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