For the duration of my photography career, I've lived in Goodyear, Arizona. And, for the duration of my career, I've driven what feels like millions of miles to and from the East Valley to shoot at some iconic spots.
It's time to set the record straight: the West Valley has hidden gems that are severely overlooked and underrated. It's time to give the West Valley some love by introducing five of my favorite West Valley photoshoot locations.
1. The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Arizona
The Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa, located in the lush Sonoran Desert, is chock-full of picturesque locations! It's charming Adobe-styled architecture paired with the gorgeous landscaping makes the Wigwam grounds the perfect desert oasis backdrop for engagement and headshot photos.
FUN FACT: Did you know that the Wigwam Resort served as a set for a B-film? Released in 2017, "Love's Last Resort" follows Eric and Chloe in a whirlwind of rom-com shenanigans. Go check it out!
2. Sahuaro Ranch Park in Glendale, Arizona
When I say this is my favorite West Valley location ever, I mean it. This spot is as versatile as versatile can get! Rustic barn doors, brick houses, palm trees, and lush rose bushes lining the walkways - it's a farmhouse-lover's dream location.
For my Shrek fans, at the southwest side of the lot, there is an outhouse resembling that in Shrek's swamp.
You will require a photographer's permit to shoot on premises. You can apply for a permit HERE.
Peacocks, ravens, and pigeons wander throughout the park, and I find it so magical. However, for those fearful of birds, I'd advise selecting another spot on this list.
3. The Asante Waterfalls in Surprise, Arizona
Mythology fans, prepare to be amazed! Driving into Asante's luxurious neighborhood, you pass over a mystical cobblestone-feel bridge with waterfalls... YES, YOU HEARD ME! Who would ever think a place this magical could be in the Arizona desert?
Please consider that you are in a neighborhood, so be respectful of signs posted and park courteously.
4. The Murals and Color Walls on Western Avenue in Avondale, Arizona
Western Avenue is home to many historic Avondale landmarks including the Old Town Avondale Reception Hall and Avondale Water Tower. Though, my favorite feature of Old Town Avondale are the murals and colorful walls everywhere you look. Pasta Factory with it's eye-catching green building and the vibrant red tiling lining the "Phoenix Motor Leathers" store - I'm telling you there is every color around every corner!
Parking is along the street, and many of the shops and murals are within walking distance from one another. The most popular murals include the "Tangled Cacti" near Coldwater Coffeehouse and Bakery as well as the new "NASCAR Raceway" mural. Click on either link to see a complete list of the public art and murals in Avondale.
5. Main Street in Downtown Buckeye, Arizona
Yee-haw, get your Western on!
Stretching down Main Street in Downtown Buckeye are some beautiful, historic buildings awaiting photographing. Of the locations down there, my favorites include the Buckeye Valley Museum, Saba's, and the antique U-Haul Gas Station.
To avoid crowds, I usually shoot during the late afternoon on Sundays or in the mornings during the week.
Bonus TWO Locations!
For making it here, I want to introduce you to two more bonus locations!
For those visiting Arizona in September through November, soak in the autumn weather and fall festivities at:
6. Tolmachoff Farms in Glendale, Arizona
Potato cannons, pumpkins, and ponies, oh my! Tolmachoff brings the fall nostalgia with corn mazes, hay rides, and petting zoos to enjoy with the whole family. It is sure to be the picture-perfect autumn backdrop for any type of portraits!
My recommendation: go early in the week to avoid the large crowds in the background of your photos.
7. Rocker 7 Farms in Buckeye, Arizona
Rocker Seven Farms is home to the most photographed fields on this side of Arizona. Start off your spring sitting in the cottonfields and catch the sunflowers blooming in late summer!
I had the pleasure of capturing my friend's wedding on the property, and the weather, staff, and company was delightful.
There you have it!
If you did not believe me before, I hope it is clear that the West Valley has some spectacular, photo-tastic places of its own!
Without scrolling back up, answer these trivia questions about three of the locations:
Which location was once a set for a B-film called "Love's Last Resort?"
Which location is home to a potato cannon?
Which location has an outhouse resembling that from the first Shrek film?
In the comments, write your answers numbered one through three!
Which location is the BEST Photography Spot in Arizona?
Dallas Rogers (a.k.a. Dal) is a professional photographer specializing in photographing fashionable high school and college seniors in Scottsdale, Arizona. She aims to provide them with an editorial photography experience, creating ever-lasting, ever-empowering images of themselves.
Want a photo session at one of these fantastic locations? Look no further: book NOW for Fall and Winter 2023!