In the past, I’ve been very grateful to other photographers who have shared locations they have used for their photoshoots. Location shoots are a lot of fun, but they do require some planning. For me, I’ve always looked for places that offer a variety of different looks. I also wanted to find locations in different parts of the greater Phoenix area, so that I could more easily accommodate the models or clients. So without further ado, here are my favorite places to photograph.
I have say that Downtown Phoenix is my favorite place to photograph people. There are so many cool graffiti and other textured walls that make for some awesome backgrounds. Since there have been a lot of construction and changes to the area, I do scout the location before a shoot. For example, there was a really cool graffiti wall and, shortly after I did a fashion shoot there, the art had been painted over. The area that these photos were taken were around Roosevelt and 5th street. This is one area where I haven’t really worried about it being too crowded because there’s a few blocks of nice photographic spaces. If you’re creative you can get a lot of different looks from this area. I tend to be drawn to the bright, bold colors and artwork, so much of my work shows graffiti.
The Riparian Preserve is in Gilbert, and I hadn’t heard of this place until I started photography. Even if you’re not a photographer, I highly recommend checking out the park for it’s beautiful greenery and wildlife. The preserve is pretty big, but I usually try to book shoots during the week to avoid the weekend rush. If you’re looking for a more natural bucolic scene with a lake, then the Riparian Preserve is certainly a good option. I’ve used this location for senior portraits and interviews photos. I’ve been impressed that I’ve been able to use this location multiple times and get different looks for each shoot.
ASU Grant Street Studios
Someone actually recommended this spot to me because we were looking for a location that had a cool industrial vibe. The outside of this building has so many incredible brick walls, windows, and stairs that it’s a perfect place for head shots, engagement photos, or senior portraits. During the weekends and when the weather is nice you might find other photographers using the location, so it’s good to plan accordingly. If you have a little patience and work with each other, everyone can get the shots that they need. I used this space for one of my interviews for my upcoming book, Tattle Tales: Tattoo Stories and Portraits. I had a lot of fun using the stairs to photograph Julie, who is a yoga instructor and collector of beautiful tattoo work.
These photos were taken just outside Tempe Center of the Arts. The architecture and the Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge are beautiful. This location is very popular during the weekend for families and bicyclers, so I usually try to schedule my shoots during the week. However, if you have a photoshoot on a weekend, just have a little patience and you’ll be fine. Besides Tempe Center of the Arts, I have also found that Mill Avenue and Downtown Tempe have some cool places to photograph. For example, the Hayden Flour Mill is a beautiful historical structure that is worth checking out even if you’re not planning a photoshoot. There are also side streets with interesting walls and graffiti art. I’ve also enjoyed using the railroad tracks for some of my photography. Since Tempe is spread out, I would recommend getting familiar with the area so you make the most of your time with your model or client.
Papago Park is centrally located in Phoenix, and it offers scenic views and walking paths. I have mainly used this location for shooting backgrounds for my artistic photography. When I first researched places to shoot, I saw that many photographers used Papago Park for senior portraits. The landscape is definitely perfect for that purpose. The reason I haven’t used this location more often is that my style lends itself more to the urban city vibe. Also, if I’m working with models wearing heels, I prefer to use places where they won’t easily twist an ankle.