Dec 4, 2022

11 of Arizona’s Best Engagement Session Locations

Arizona is host to destination weddings and elopements for people from all over the world. Whether you’re from Arizona or visiting to an epic photoshoot, I’ve got the location insight you need! As a wedding photographer of four years, I’ve had the pleasure of traveling across Arizona to shoot in the most epic places!

Couple kissing in Arizona and California Sand Dunes

Glamis Sand Dunes

While the Sand Dunes are technically in California, the dunes are right on the Arizona and California border. A 3.5 hour drive from Phoenix, the sand dunes create a blank canvas to get creative. Part of what makes the sand dunes so utterly gorgeous is that it is always windy. The wind makes hair fly and dresses flow in the breeze. However, fore warning, sometimes the wind is abrasive! If you’re headed to the dunes, be prepared for sandy scalp for quite a few days– especially if you have textured hair. Curly girl problems, amiright?!

Downtown Phoenix

Many of my clients want an urban vibe and don’t feel aligned with the desert-y locations that Arizona often provides. No issue here! Downtown Phoenix, though small, provides a number of gorgeous photoshoot locations for those glam sessions you’re dying to have!

Coon Bluff: Mesa, Arizona

Don’t let the name of the location scare you off, this location is absolutely stunning. With the Salt River flowing in the background, you often see wild horses walking in the water. The greenery and trees around gives a taste of somewhere other than the desert. The short but steep hike is absolutely worth it.

Water Users: Mesa, Arizona

Another Salt River location, Water Users offers gorgeous mountain views and playful opportunities if you’re comfortable in the water. This location is stunning, however, the best times of the year are when the water is low in tide. It’s when the grasses are high, pebbles are visible, and the landscape allows for the best lighting opportunities.

Buffalo Park: Flagstaff, Arizona

Breaking free from the desert vibes of many Phoenix locations, the park offers gorgeous pine trees that filter any harsh sun, open meadows, and mountain backdrops. Though it is most popular in the winter-time with snow on the ground, this location is gorgeous all year long. It provides so much variety in such a small area. You cannot go wrong!

Superstition Mountains

The address is technically Lost Dutchman State Park. The park requires a $50 photo permit fee and $10 per car for a parking pass. Many people find the fees to be worthwhile! While many people come to the Superstitions for the unique mountain backdrop, my favorite spot on the mountain is about a 40 minute slow incline hike into the trails. You get the mountain backdrop, gorgeous sunset backlighting, and epic mountain perched poses. If you’re ready and willing to hike, this spot should not be ignored!

Piestawa Peak: Phoenix, Arizona

Piestawa Peak provides a unique desert landscape because the mountain rock itself is different than many others. Different trails provide a variety of views that overlook the city. The locations all open up to the most gorgeous views of Arizona sunsets. Very little “hiking” necessary, if you can even call it a hike!

South Mountain: Phoenix, Arizona

South Mountain offers a variety of trails and views. Dobbins lookout is a gorgeous location to see layers of mountains, but my super-secret-favorite trail offers cacti galore! My favorite desert location provides thousands of cacti and small mountain backdrops. Often times you’ll hear distant coyotes and see people riding horses on the trails. Truly a favorite spot with very little walking/hiking required!

Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant offers a variety of views including cacti and canyons and playful waters. The Lake is home to many campers, so the trails and views are truly endless. Though the drive is a bit of a jaunt from Phoenix, it’s worth it!

Cathedral Rock: Sedona, Arizona

A very busy hiking location that is worth the effort! The parking is not easy, so arriving early is key! The hike to the epic locations requires some athleticism, tennis shoes, and patience but it is one-million-percent worth the effort. Called Cathedral Rock for a reason, the red rock mountain is topped with steeple-looking red rocks through which the sun is perfectly filtered.

photos not included, session occurred in 2019 and is no longer my editing style

Usery Mountain: Mesa, Arizona

Unique to the area, Usery Mountain and Tom’s Thumb alike offer gorgeous large rocks amongst mountain backdrops and cacti scattered through the background. This location is remote and quiet, setting up for the most magical experience for your engagement photos.

photos not included, session occurred in 2019 and is no longer my editing style

Couple kissing in the sand dunes in elegant black clothing

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