We are SO FREAKIN LUCKY to live in such an amazing city where we have so many options for photos. From city to mountains to rolling hills and of course the most spectacular desert. Now, while I am a firm believer that any spot that a couple chooses to get their photos done is a perfect spot, I wanted to share some of my own favs!
If you scroll through my insta, check out my website, or look through my location guide you will figure out pretty quickly that this is one of my favorite spots in town! Part of the reason why I love it so much, aside from the gorgeous saguaros, is because of how incredibly convenient it is! The trail is seconds away from the parking lot, the paths and trails are all very flat and easily accessible, you can get beautiful mountain views, and you have all the cacti you could want! Broadway is on the east side of Tucson which is nice because most of the really good desert spots are up north/west so this gives some options for those on that side of town.
The comparable spot to Broadway is Saguaro National Park (SNP) West. The main difference aside from location, is the terrain. The west side is more rocky and mountainous, there are definitely still flatter areas so this isn’t a huge deal but the overall look and feel is different for sure. SNP requires an entrance fee which broadway does not, so that is another small difference. Both spots are excellent, but I usually recommend Broadway just because of how easy it is!
Another favorite of mine is out in Sonoita by the Empire Ranch Foundation (I know, not technically Tucson but its still pretty close). This is my go-to spot when clients was a different vibe from the desert but still want to be out in nature. Sonoita has some of the most gorgeous rolling hills and fields. Now, the fields are definitely more like dead, dry grass lol but in a rustic boho way. There is also a bit of versatility to this spot as well because there are also some really pretty trees and paths hidden around this area.
Okay, so there are a couple downsides to this spot. One being that it is a bit far. Depending on where you live in town the drive can anywhere from 45min to over an hour. Another downside is that sunset can be a bit tricky because its sets behind the mountains really quickly. In my opinion, the best place for a good sunset is out in the desert but you can still get some really glowy photos out here too.
Ahhh the mountain. I have such a love/hate relationship with this place. I love it because it is beautiful and I hate it because it is a looong drive lol. My favorite part is that it is absolutely stunning in pretty much every season. Colored leaves in the fall, snow in the winter, wildflowers in the spring, etc. It is muuuuch cooler up top so it’s a great option in the summer and it is incredibly versatile. There are a TON of options like grass fields, big pine trees, gorgeous overlooks, and more. The only big downside to the mountain is that it can be a bit unpredictable. Sunlight looks so different in every spot so it can be a bit tricky to plan around. Obviously that is my problem and I always do my research and try my best to plan the perfect time for your session so that we do have perfect lighting but there is only so much I can do about the weather!
Okay, if you want sunset photos in the desert then this is the spot for you. Gates Pass is gorgeous and full of gorgeous saguaros and cholla and mountains. This spot is really dense and pretty rocky so that is my only downside (it’s really not that bad). I definitely cannot guarantee that you won’t get a cactus poke, but it is for sure worth it for the most beautiful glowy sunset. Gates Pass is on the west side of town and it’s really cool because you can stay right by the parking lot or hike further down the paths and get closer to the mountain.
Those are my top four favorite spots around Tucson! I love shooting at all of these spots and always look forward to and get excited to shoot in these locations. Now, just because these are my favorites does not mean that they have to be the right spots for you. There are tons and tons of amazing options out there to explore and I am always up for anything!! Here are a couple other awesome options:
- Sweetwater Trail
- Saguaro National Park
- Catalina State Park
- Agua Caliente Park
- Dove Mountain
- Barrio Viejo
- In home/AirBnb
- & so so so many more!
Hopefully this was even slightly helpful! I love trying new places and getting creative with locations, but there is something really comforting about going to a location that is always beautiful and familiar.