An (Updated) AZ Location Guide
Arizona is an expansive and gorgeous place to shoot. I'd be bold enough to claim it THE best place to take photos in the Western United States. I've been fortunate enough to tour it over the past few years. These locations are GUARANTEED to render phenomenal pictures:
Romantic and refreshing, Sedona is "nestled among a geological wonderland." The scenery, the weather, the nature, oh my! I have truly developed a love for Sedona because it's a breath of fresh air from the busy city life.
Verrado houses many diverse parks, each with a beautiful layout and scenery! It's a great area if you want both desert and greenery. Here are my favorite parks to visit when I'm in Verrado (map):
Using the map provided, you can find some cool parks! Google Maps also helps to find the addresses!
If you are looking for desert in the West Valley, Skyline is a top recommendation of mine. With an iconic bridge and easy trails, this is a great location for adventurous clients looking for a fun time in nature.
Estrella is home to two staple spots here in the west valley, the Star Tower and the Lakes. These locations, time and time again, supply what my clients love: a splash of color in the desert. The Star Tower is surrounded by a small waterfall and tall cattails (I call them hotdog plants). The orange tower itself is a wonderful piece of art that spirals up to the sky. The Lakes provide a more expansive location with various little buildings and landmarks that make for interesting background.
If you're looking for an original site, Scorpion Gulch is perfect! This abandoned building is full of history and wonder! My seniors especially love this location because of all the fun rooms and windows! It truly has so many little places that it begins to feel like a delightful maze of spots to shoot!
DOWNTOWN PHOENIX & EAST VALLEY
Phoenix is an expansive area, and there are a TON of places to discover! Here are a few classic photoshoot locations:
Desert Botanical Garden
Calling all nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts! The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, is a wonderland of local flora. The whole experience makes a photoshoot there worthwhile. With every step, you are greeted by gorgeous local flowers, cacti, and sculptures! They are open from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., and general admission is about $18 per person! NOTE: Only those who make reservations are permitted to enter. Trust me, if you've never been, YOU NEED TO! For our anniversary, Jessie shot Javier and me there and, well, the pictures are STUNNING!
Another perk is that it is right by "Hole in the Rock" at Papago Park. It's a lovely location to watch the sunset or sunrise - a perfect way to start or end a date after your photoshoot!
ALL of the Murals
Scattered all around Downtown Phoenix are some beautiful murals ready for you to take pictures with them! To help you hunt, Murals of Phoenix has compiled a map with ALL of the murals! However, if you're not looking to dig through them all, there are plenty of lists highlighting the most common ones! If you're looking for a fun splash of color in the hot desert, murals are an excellent location for taking pictures!
Located in Downtown Phoenix is this charming location! Heritage Square has antique written all over it! The house's beautiful architecture, coupled with the dense jungle location nearby, makes the site super versatile!
Should you desire more rugged or industrial-looking photos, turn to parking garages! I LOVE the roof of this parking garage because it is usually empty, especially on the roof. I may be a little bias towards this location because I have done quite a few fantastic shoots there, but I think it by far is one of my favorite places on this list.
A PSA: My clients and I park next to the daycare and then take the elevator to the parking garage's roof.
Papago Park is a very versatile location, featuring both desert, water, and greenery! I love the diversity of nature as well as the relaxed feeling of the park.
Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
The preserve is a gorgeous Arizona landscape featuring luscious flora, an iconic cactus garden, and some beautiful wooden fences and canopies. Located in Mesa, this hidden gem is one of my absolute favorite places. Be warned that weekends are packed with other photographers shooting.