Deer Valley, UT for New Year’s Weekend | McGowan Images Blog


Deer Valley, UT for New Year’s Weekend

Before we left for our New Year’s weekend trip to Utah, I was a little upset at the weather here in Texas. I just love winter… it’s my favorite… and this winter has left much to be desired. I mean, 70 degrees the week after Christmas? No thank you.

Well, I don’t think I’ll complain anymore. While I’d still like to have cooler temps so I can get good use out of my collection of really cute sweaters, I think the photoshoot I did at dawn in the mountains in the snow has cured me of my desire for Winter Wonderland… for now. 🙂

Mack and I were so excited when Chelsea & Carter said they wanted to bring us to Utah for their engagement session, and THEY were excited to introduce us to a place that is so dear to them. After spending a few days in Deer Valley, I can certainly see why… Mack and I are already hatching plans to go back and take our family!

Those of you who follow me personally on Facebook saw lots of pictures during our trip. I admit it without shame… I’m an Instagram fanatic! I’ve committed to the 365 Day Instagram Challenge this year, and I’d love for any and all of you to come along on that journey with me! 🙂

There are no cell-phone pictures in this blog, though. We treated our trip like a photo safari (since neither of us ski), and really love having a little digital scrapbook of our quick trip. From Thursday night in Salt Lake City to the first morning of 2012 on the way to the airport, we made sure to document everything as best we could.

Here’s some of our favorites!

Mack had a bit of a circle obsession on this trip… everywhere he saw them, he took pictures.

Mack also played a bit with HDR. In fact, we had fun with grittiness on lots of our Salt Lake City pictures… ah, vacation… the freedom to over-edit when we’re feeling fiesty. 🙂

We spent about an hour walking around Temple Square. SO beautiful. I actually found myself crying at one point. We’re not LDS, but grand monuments built to the Lord are always moving to me.

As I said on the blog last Friday, we saw five different brides taking pictures at the Temple during the hour we were there. And that’s on a THURSDAY! I loved this sweet older couple the most, although there was one gorgeous bride walking around in a Kate Middleton dress that seriously took my breath away. Mack had to physically restrain me from asking to take her picture. He couldn’t stop me from snapping this one, though. 🙂

Friday morning was spent scouting locations for our afternoon/evening engagement session. Jack was unimpressed with the first picture I sent him of the snow, so we pulled off the road and shot this one for him. Yay, self-timer! 🙂

It is a REALLY low year for snow in the Park City area. Everywhere, actually. I think the base is only around 18 inches, when it’s usually more than 60. We were lucky enough to have it snow on us a bit Saturday morning, but mostly, everything but the deep shadowed skiing places looked a lot like the pictures below.

I’ll be sharing Chelsea & Carter’s engagement session on Friday, and believe me, you want to come back and see it. So much wonderful. But anyway, one of the things we did during that session was ride the chair lift. Spoiler Alert : I hated it. Oh my gosh, that was so flipping scary. I distracted myself by taking pictures of Chelsea & Carter in front of us, and everything else when our clients weren’t at a good angle. But suffice it to say, I won’t be clamoring for a chance to get on one of those rickety things again soon.

We did the last section of our session in downtown Park City, where the absolutely amazing sunset sky and the Christmas lights joined forces to make one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. Of course, once the session had wrapped but we still had the flash set up, I had to hand off the camera and get our sweet bride to take a picture of Mack and I. She was happy to do it, and I’m so glad to have it. 🙂

Saturday morning was cold. Really cold. 15 degrees, but felt like 1 degree because of the chill of 20 mph winds and whipping snow. I won’t go into a lot of detail about WHY I spent an hour outside shooting in this madness, but yeah… I did. Beautiful shots though, and my fingers DID eventually thaw out, so I’ll say it was worth it.

After my excursion first thing in the morning, Mack and I went back to this barn after lunch for a little exploring. The snow had started to melt again, but it was still SO pretty.

And of course, we had to do a variation on the “McG in the sand” picture we’ve done a lot lately… McG in Snow! 🙂

It was such a wonderful little whirlwind trip, and we’re so grateful to Chelsea & Carter (and Carter’s awesome parents) for giving us that opportunity. As far as we know, we’re not traveling again until late summer. It’s been nice to feel like jet-setters the last few months, but I’ll admit… we’re ready for some extended time at home. After all, there’s no place like it. 🙂

  1. Misty says:

    Wow, great pics (of course ;)! The LDS grounds are pretty imposing, LOVE the use of HDR on those! And the scenery, ohhhh the scenery, it’s just wonderful, thanks for sharing. 😀

  2. Amber says:

    Wow how beautiful these are and I love the grainy fun in the first set of pics!! Thanks for sharing these awesome pics with us!! I do love the snow although I’ve seen it a handful of times in my 29 years of life! Thanks a million for all your wonderful stories and pictures! I look forward to this just about everyday 😉

  3. Peter says:

    Beautiful places!

  4. Kevin says:

    That first picture of the barn & mountains is stunning! Seriously, I don’t know if it reminds me of a painting or a movie scene or what, but the picture is killer!

  5. Mike says:

    love! I’m glad y’all play around and have fun, too. So inspiring. McG in snow…should happen more often.

  6. great images! I love the HDR shots, that is something literally everytime I see I am blown away with but I have never tried myself. I hope you had an amazing time on your vacation the pictures are wonderful and the memories will last forever!

  7. Mandaroo says:

    Gorgeous pics!!

  8. Kendra says:

    I lived in Utah for 5 years while I went to school at Utah State University. But I moved back to Texas after the wind chill got to me enough.(At USU in January of my first year, I would regularly walk to class at 8am ….. the temp was like 5 or 10, but the windchill made it a steamy -20. That was also the month I learned…do not walk the 100 ft between the dorm and cafeteria with wet hair.)

    Your pictures make me want to back up and do some more photography now that I’ve learned a few more things. (Well and of course, my wonderful friends that are still in SLC, Ogden and Logan areas.)

    Good job with the HDR!!

  9. Liesa says:

    20, 21 and 26 are just plain too cool for words. And I adore the first squishy face of you (and the post)! 🙂 There is something about architecture photography that has a sweet spot in my heart, too. Happy, happy Liesa here!

  10. Abby says:

    I’m so glad that you got to enjoy some cold and snow! These pictures are gorgeous… and the temple is breathtaking! I wouldn’t have taken you for someone who didn’t ski!!! What a great way to start out 2012!!

  11. […] Salt Lake City around the holidays is just incredible… I’d love to go back someday! […]

  12. […] Salt Lake City around the holidays is just incredible… I’d love to go back someday! […]

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