Emina and Trevor’s engagement session in the Arizona desert with cactus and sunshine was one of my favorites!!! Emina grew up in Iowa so the desert landscape is very unquie to her, just like to me coming from Ohio!! Trevor grew up in the area and isn’t new to cactus but he still enjoys the landscape!! They wanted the classic Arizona desert look so I took them to the White Tank Mountains in West Phoenix for this beautiful look!
They met on a plane of all places!! Fell in love over the phone after Trevor asked for her number. Through the years they did long distance and close. They are so in love. It was a joy to photograph them in the Phoenix desert. I also got to be their wedding photographer…but look for those photos soon since I’m not finished editing them! I love being an Arizona wedding photographer, it’s my joy to photograph engagement sessions and weddings in such beautiful locations.
On New Years day, after we all took naps from celebrating the night before, Austin, Morgan + I met up at this cute coffee shop in Denver. They told me their sweet love story of meeting in Flagstaff in the sandwich line of Sprouts. Austin couldn’t help himself but start conversation with her! Unexpectedly the next day they saw each other again and he knew he had to ask her out. Years later after moving to San Fransisco then to Denver, they became the best of friends and fell in love deeply.
We braved the winter wind and went to Out Look Mountain just 30 minutes from Denver. Denver is amazing because you can get into the mountains so quickly but also be in the city. They have fallen in love with the city and will be staying here. Although, their wedding will be in Flagstaff, where their love first sparked. Austin is very funny, creative, and gentle. Morgan is the sweetest human I’ve met I swear. She is so kind and feel like she is truly listening to you when you talk. This love is made of friendship and respect.
Lydia and Paige met in class while studying in Seattle. “It was an instant connection” they both said as we walked through the forest to find that sunset light coming through the trees. They are so sweet with each other, the way I want someone to be sweet on me. There is a gentleness and humility between their relationship I am in awe of. They both work together as Engineers in town. And they recently bought a house together on a whim just down the hill from where we were photographing. We all laughed a lot. I really cherish clients like these who turn into friends by the end of our session.
Claudette and Brian are from Cuba. Their families moved to Miami when they were children and have strong roots to Cuba still. Because of this their families cannot come over to celebrate for a big wedding. Instead they are just going to the court house and having a small dinner party with their immediate families. I was traveling out to Miami for a wedding and they found my through the bride! She booked immediately with this vision in mind. To have an engagement/wedding picture mix!
We drove all together from Miami to Jupiter Florida. The sun was setting and the wind was strong. But Claudette and Brian were able to wrap up in each others arms in this beautiful location unlike anything else I’ve ever seen in Florida! The Blowing Rocks Preserve stretches on for a few miles with rough jagged rocks on the cost line of southern Florida. We had the most perfect sunset and they ended up dancing in the water by the end of the shoot. Afterwards we went to a local beach club for music and tacos!!
On the Mexican border lies a tiny little town that offers much. Ajo, Arizona. Logan and Parker would drive to the beach in Mexico and always joked they wanted to get their engagement photos taken in this corky little town. Well- I help dreams become reality for people!
Logan and Parker met on Bumble. On their first date they both knew it was meant to be! From then on they have been inseparable. Their hearts are united so closely as friends and lovers. They are so sweet on each other and towards each other. I am always amazed by all the different types of relationships I get to see through photography. Their’s is truly special.
Ajo has streets and streets filled with artwork and it’s AMAZING! Down every alley there is amazing street art that lines the walls and fills the town. We HAD to stop and grab a few fun shots in front. The colors popped!! Then we raced out into the desert to find the most perfect cactus and scenery. Logan is from Louisiana so cactus are so amazing to her. Parker is a phoenix boy but loves the desert vibes. We ate Mexican food, had margaritas, and danced till the sunset. Cannot wait to photograph their Phoenix wedding next year!!
The reason why I love Arizona is because the immense diversity all in one state. You have mountains, desert, cactus, lakes, canyons, red rocks, and trees. It’s truly an amazing state, one that often gets only recognition for being a desert. Below is a list of my FAVORITE Arizona locations for outdoor engagement sessions. My clients usually want something extreme and different than their normal. I try my best to find the most unique locations to have a beautiful experience to remember.
Maybe it’s because it’s the place I feel most at peace in Arizona or it’s gorgeous landscape but Sedona is my FAVORITE place to photograph couples in Arizona. With the epic red rock background and creekside sounds Sedona has something for everyone. I have my top spots to go such as Tlaquepaque, Cathedral Rock, Oak Creek Canyon, and Red Rock Crossing to get a variety of Sedona. You will see below why it’s my favorite.
Can you say OMG epic? Between Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell Page has endless options for photoshoots here in the desert. The orange rust color does amazing things to the skin. Just remember to get a permit (if needed for location), bring water, and get tacos after the shoot in Page at any of their amazing Mexican restaurants. Also, don’t wear the color orange/red because you want to stand out among the rocks not blend in.
3. Grand Canyon
Ridiculously amazing is a good phrase to use for a Grand Canyon engagement session! It’s overwhelming and romantic. Park entrance fee is $30 so be prepared for that! With the Arizona harsh light be aware it is VERY hard to shoot until the sunsets or right after. The canyon is beautiful but hard to shoot sometimes. Find spots where the photographer can be up higher to get a more full look of the canyon.
My hometown! This place is special because I know all the hidden gems to get the best angles of the mountain. If you want a view of the mountain you’ll have to stay in town or go out on a forest service road. If you want to be in the mountain and aspen go up to either Snowbowl or Lockett Meadow! In August there are sunflowers EVERYWHERE. If you want snow come up during the winter and if you want the colors of leaves changing come up during late September-October. It’s a glorious place to get your photos done always with good sunsets!
There are MANY spots you can go in Phoenix to get a desert cactus look! Botanic gardens is a great spot along with South Mountain. Remember the desert is best to photograph in the morning or evening due to harsh light. Light colors look good in the desert along with black. You really can’t go wrong. It’s unique and different!
6. Fossil Creek
YES Arizona has waterfalls!! you just have to go searching for them. This location is a bit of a hike but SO worth it. You will need a permit to go because they only let a few people in each day. Remember to do it online through the forest service a week or more in advance! Those blue waters are perfect to take a dip in and then photograph with a lover.