Photography in Grand Teton National Park offers many stunning vistas where you can capture beautiful mountain panoramas, foliage and wildlife year round. Shooting options abound in Grand Teton any time of year, with each season affording its own options. I like to make a big thermos of coffee and just get out early to see what unfolds. You’ll see Grand Teton in a different light, such as animals moving around at dawn and other things that just don’t happen later in the day.
Pro Photography Tips for Shooting in Grand Teton
Be aware of sunrise and sunset times, as well as the weather forecast. Your best source beyond any doubt is our local weather site, Mountain Weather, which my friend and local meteorologist Jim Wood mencey publishes. Watch for clouds to the East that will block the rising sunlight. The “magic” happens when it’s clear to the East, but weather (clouds) are coming over the Tetons, as they will generate an amazing sunrise as the light reflects off the clouds. This might only be for a few minutes so pick a spot and stay there for sunrise.
The exposure difference from the first light on the Tetons to the unlit dark valley is extreme. You’ll need a split neutral density filter to compensate. This is a must-have filter to make the most of your shots. This really defines the amateurs from the professionals, so get one and look the part! Get them locally at DD Camera Corral.
Dress warmly. Anytime of the year you can wear a down jacket in Jackson Hole. Dress in layers and shed them as needed.
Be aware. There are large mammals (bison, moose, bears) to be aware of while you roam around the park. Bear spray is good to have, as is common sense. Please do not in any way harass the wildlife: This means don’t whistle, get close, or throw objects to make them look up. Be a good advocate for them and ask others who are too close to respect them.
Schwabacher’s Landing is my favourite spot to photograph in all of Grand Teton. Walking the river channel from the parking area north for approximately a half-mile affords an endless number of photography options. Make sure to show up early as this is a very popular spot. Pro Tip: Bring some river sandals so you can get wet and find angles that others don’t seek.
This location is good for both early mornings and late evenings. There is a beaver family that has dammed the river channel which provides a lot of entertainment during the evening hours. If you are traveling with a non-photographer, this will give them something to do while you are photographing away.
Mormon Row and Moulton Barn
Located on Antelope Flats, this is probably the most photographed barn in Wyoming, if not the world. This area, Mormon Row, was an early homesteading settlement in Jackson Hole before Grand Teton National Park was formed. The T.A. Moulton Barn is to the south on the row of buildings and to the north is the John Moulton barn, separated by the road.
If it’s your lucky day, a bison herd might be moving through and you’ll get the combination shot like the one above. Please drive slowly to keep the dust down on the gravel road that leads you to the Moulton Barn.