Well known throughout Tucson, for its beautiful mountain views, and lush natural desert foliage Sabino Canyon offers beauty not found elsewhere in the city. This popular location does require either a day use or annual fee to visit. There is some walking involved when visiting this location, but sandals are okay as we will stay on or near well-groomed trails.
A hidden gem tucked into the rolling hills of Oro Valley! It features an old stone dam & beautiful rock canyon. This is an excellent location for those on the NW side of town, who are up for a short (but sandy) hike through the desert. If you want some mountain views in your backdrop, this is a great spot to get them!
If your outfit calls for strappy heels, I suggest bringing some sturdy slip-on and change into your cute shoes once we reach our destination.
Okay...I'm going to let you in on a secret...my "secret location" that is! Everything unique to our Tucson desert is found here: towering Saguaro, mesquite, cholla, prickly pear, plus beautiful views of the Catalina foothills & mountain range! As a bonus, it isn't a location that many people are familiar with, so there are rarely other people there as we shoot. I would not recommend this location for the elderly who have trouble with uneven ground, or those who wish to wear heels.
This is private property at an exclusive, members-only location (don't worry, I am a member!). This location features a duck pond, trees, grasses, and beautiful mountain views - perfect for sunset. It is only about 200ft from the parking lot, and contains no cacti or prickly bushes - it's a great spot for little kids.
Similar to La Mariposa, but boasting beautiful palm trees and much larger ponds, this is a favorite spot for family picnics & other photographers, so it is often bustling with activity. However, it is a large park - large enough to accommodate everyone!
There are two spots that I like to use on lower Mt. Lemmon. Molino Basin Vista contains ocotillo and prickly pear, as well as many thorny bushes. But the rock canyon walls & well-groomed trails are well worth the visit.
Gordon Hirabayashi Rec Area is by far my favorite location on lower Mt. Lemmon. There aren't many cacti found here, but the tall grasses & trees are beautiful, and the old stone ruins and bridges over the seasonal creek allow for a great variety of backdrops for your images. I consider this my favorite location to bring toddlers and young children for my outdoor sessions. It is safe & not too busy, so they can run & play to their little heart's content.
There are four locations I like to use on upper Mt. Lemmon. Ranging from about mid-way up the mountain, all of the way to the top. I consider anything with tall pine trees and some lush undergrowth to be characteristic of upper Mt. Lemmon. If you are looking for green or cooler temperatures, this is the place you want to go!
All four of my favorite upper Mt. Lemmon locations are great for kids if they are up for the drive. Just remember to bring a jacket, as temperatures on the mountain can fluctuate wildly from day to day, and the environment is much different than in the valley.
If you are looking for something different from the wild outdoors, you may want to consider a downtown location. I have two favorite spots! One features a more traditional downtown look, with chain link fences, brick walls, and colorful murals. The other location is a bit more "Tucson" or desert southwest, with its bold & eclectic colored doorways and brightly painted houses. Both of these locations require walking short distances on paved surfaces - so any footwear will work!