I moved to Arizona a year ago and was heartbroken to look around and see nothing but… brown. Brown dirt, brown houses, brown dust everywhere, and brown trees somehow? But photographing Arizona elopements and desert engagement sessions has definitely opened my eyes! I’m starting to find the beauty of the desert. It has taken some time. Knowing where to look has been the hardest part! I’ve explored and found tons of gorgeous landscape right in (or nearby) Phoenix!
Papago Park is centrally located, next to the Phoenix Zoo and Downtown Tempe. Besides being super easy to get to, it also has an incredible desert scape. Think cacti and red rock mountains! It’s a perfect backdrop for a photoshoot of any kind. It is VERY popular with photographers, but it’s expansive enough that it’s usually not too crowded. Check out this sunny desert engagement session shot in Papago Park!
Looking for more desert engagement session locations?
Check out these rad spots in the valley and let me know where you want to explore for your shoot!
1: Desert Botanical Gardens – Phoenix, AZ I was in awe the first time I came here! The Desert Botanical Gardens are located right next to Papago Park and the Phoenix Zoo. If you want lots of greenery and plants native to Arizona, then this is the place to go!
2: Camelback Mountain – Phoenix, AZ A Phoenix landmark with beautiful desert landscapes and city views (if you have the energy to get to the top!)
3: South Mountain – Phoenix, AZ South Mountain has very walkable trails with great backdrops for a desert engagement session or other photo shoot.
4: Coon Bluff – Mesa, AZ On the other side of the valley, Coon Bluff is a nature haven in the desert. It even has the Salt River running through it!
5: Usery Pass – Mesa, Az Also in the east valley, Usery Pass has huge, beautiful Saguaros for that true Arizona vibe.