Location, Location, Location!

“Location, location, location!”  We have all heard that saying, but while it usually applies to real estate, it also applies to photography.  As soon as my clients book a session with me, one of the first things we have to decide on is location.  Some people already have an idea of where they want to shoot.  It may be some place that is sentimental to them, or that they feel is particularly beautiful.  But the majority of my clients ask for suggestions.  So this post is dedicated to those of you who aren’t sure where you want to shoot.

Part of choosing a location for your portraits should be based on what type of a session we shooting (bridals, engagement, family, high school senior, etc.) and the type of clothing you are wearing as well as the look you are going for. With that in mind I will show you some images of various locations with a brief description of the look they give:

My first suggestion is Red Mountain Ranch.  I love this location because you can get a variety of looks here.  It has some very deserty areas in addition to green grass and water falls.  And we can usually finish up the session in front of their great pond with an amazing sunset: Another location that is very popular and has beautiful green grass and water, along with a great rock wall and unique gates is Val Vista Lakes.  Oh, and did I mention the funky underground tunnel?

Another fun location with large grassy areas, some water and unique rock work is Layton Lakes:

If you are looking for a more urban feel to your photos, the Mesa Arts Center is a fun location with a lot of fun colors and designs:

Another great urban location is Downtown Gilbert. There are a lot of great colors and textures.  (*But don’t ask for shots on the railroad tracks, not only is it dangerous, but it is illegal and you can get a ticket.)

Sometimes the best places to shoot are places that you would never guess.  This particular location is just a empty lot in the middle of Mesa with lots of great weeds and scraggly old orange groves:

One of my favorite places that gives a natural Arizona feel to the photos is Granite Reef.   You get an amazing view Red Mountain and the Salt River.  (**You must have a Tonto pass to park here.  You can pick one up at a local Walgreens or gas station along the way for $6):

Another great natural Arizona location is a bit further of a drive and has a weird name, but the scenery is amazing.  It is called the Water User Recreation Area and is about 11 miles north of Thomas and Power.  (**You must have a Tonto pass to park here.  You can pick one up at a local Walgreens or gas station along the way for $6):

And one more great Arizona look is a place called Tortilla flats.  This one is about 30 minute east of Mesa so it incurs a $25 travel fee, but it is worth the drive:

And for one last fun location, try Boojum Tree in north Phoenix.  This is a really fun and unique location.  However, they do charge a $75-$100 fee to shoot there so you need to call ahead and pay the fee before our session.

One of the greatest parts about being an Arizona based photographer is all the amazing locations for photo sessions.  We truly are only limited by our imaginations.  So call today to book your session at one of these great locations, or the location of your choice.  Call Stacey at (480) 620-1980.

*Please note that any benches, chairs, couches, old cars, etc used at these shoots belong the client.   I have my clients provide their own props so that they are unique to that family and their shoot so that all my sessions do not look the same.

Also, if you are looking for suggestions on what to wear to your shoot, take a look here, here, here, here, or just type in the search box “what to wear.” :)

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