The Old West is part of Cheyenne’s bread and butter. The western heritage in the capitol city runs strong, and a big part of that is the abundance of history. Museums, guides and street railway trolley rides can teach you a lot about our amazing history and culture - a part of the old Cheyenne slogan “Live the Legend.” But what about a chance to be a legend? That’s where Emma’s Old Time Photos comes in as one of the top things to do in Cheyenne, offering a unique opportunity for fun family portrait ideas and a dive into antique western pictures.

Run by Val Martin, Emma’s has been creating antique style photos in one way or another for the last 7 years. In 2021 the studio moved from mobile to a permanent setting in the historic Hynd’s Building. Val combines a talent for photography and her passion for history to take you back in time, offering photos with a lot of fun flavored with historical insight.

What Are Old Time Photos?

That love of history along with Val’s creativity and talent turns Emma’s Old Time Photos into an immersive experience. They put you back in time in Cheyenne’s history, giving you the chance to pose as a frontiersman, a cowboy, a cattle baron or baroness, a bartender or socialite and many more. 

Of course even with all her historical knowledge, Vall ensures Emma’s Old Time Photos are fun first - which means they aren’t 100% authentic. For instance most people take their picture smiling. Back in the 1800’s, pictures took so long to take that most folks didn’t smile for their portrait. 

The sets are made by Val and don’t exist anywhere else, and most of the outfits she either makes or buys and modifies herself. 

Types of Antique Photography at Emma’s Old Time Photos

When you pose for a photo at Emma’s you are going to get a picture that looks like the real deal. This is because Val studies a lot of old photos to see what photographers back in the day have done. All the while, these photos are taken with sets  based on actual Cheyenne history. 

Where to get Old Time Photos

In general, the Hynds Building is on Lincolnway in Cheyenne. But that’s not the “where” we are talking about. We mean where in in Old West Cheyenne do you want your photo taken?

The Capitol Saloon

Based on an actual saloon in Cheyenne’s history, this set is ideal for families. Pose by the swinging doors for that genuine cowboy look!

Inter Ocean Victorian Parlour

This set is based on the hotel that once stood in the same spot as the Hynds. It’s a Victorian set complete with fireplace. This is the place to look classy and well to do, like the cattle barons and socialites of the day. 

Tivoli Speakeasy

Ah, the Tivoli. The building it’s based on still stands at the corner of Pioneer and Lincolnway. This is a fun set ready to be taken in prohibition-era Cheyenne. Channel your inner wiseguy with some pinstripe suits, or use it as an old west saloon for a cowboys and saloon girls pic. 

Pink Pony Western Set

Bring the whole family and your friends for this one. The Pink Pony is a larger, more open set that makes a great option for larger groups. Made to look like an Old west storefront, this set also has a custom build coffin that can be the perfect addition to a Halloween photo shoot!

Steampunk Wall

Steampunk might not be an actual historically accurate genre, that doesn’t make it any less fun! This is the place to let Old West dreams, Victorian aesthetics and science fiction collide. This is a great set for teens to let their imaginations run wild. 

Best Times to Get Old-Time Photos

While Emma's Old Time Photos welcomes guests year-round, the summer months and select special occasions provide an unparalleled opportunity to delve into the Old West through antique photography, offering a unique blend of fun, history, and memorable experiences tailored for all ages.

Annual Anniversary Giveaway

Emma’s got its start as an idea from Val’s daughter, Morgan. Now, every year they celebrate their anniversary of this creative and fun activity. In fact you can win a gift certificate worth $100 by entering in their Annual Anniversary Giveaway. The giveaway happens in Juune, and entries are accepted from May 1st to June 1st. 

Date Night

Photos at Emma’s aren’t just fun, there are memories that will last a lifetime. This makes a session with Val a great date night idea. Whether you’re a new couple or you’ve been together for years, this is a fun experience you can keep forever!

Team Building

Nothing says teamwork like a posse bringing in a gang, or posing as gangsters and flappers in a speakeasy. Of course, a lot of what makes Emma’s Old Time Photos great for team building is the fun and the laughter. Make an appointment with Val and just let the fun begin!

Birthdays & Parties

Is your mom or dad a fan of westerns? Maybe gangster movies? Maybe they love history or they just enjoy a good time. Whatever the reason, the historical fun and lifelong memories make a great gift for Mother’s and Father’s Days.

Mother’s Day & Father’s Day

Is your mom or dad a fan of westerns? Maybe gangster movies? Maybe they love history or they just enjoy a good time. Whatever the reason, the historical fun and lifelong memories make a great gift for Mother’s and Father’s Days.


We mentioned the Pink Pony set and the custom coffin it has - this is where that can all come in with great effect. Of course, any of the sets at Emma’s can make great Halloween photos. Come in costume or let Val help you find one! This is also the season to get a “seance sitting” where you and your group pose for an old fashioned seance. 


Christmas in downtown in a big deal - just ask old Saint Nick himself! The Old West Holiday is a classic experience for the holidays in Cheyenne, and Emma’s Old Time Photos is right there in the middle of it. Emma’s offers a great option for a Christmas activity - Christmas Victorian sets, or grab the “New Old Fashioned Santa Experience” package!

Creating Memories: Experience Fun Family Portraits Today

Emma’s Old Time Photos is one of the hidden gems when it comes to things to do in Cheyenne. For just about any celebration or any time of year there is fun to be had taking antique style photos. That’s why Val likes to call herself a “Funtographer”. She’s an expert in the industry, a member of the international organization for Antique Photography and is ready to help you create memories that will last forever. 

You can book an appointment anytime at