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Hot Locations & Chill Vibes | Gorgeous Desert Locations for Your Arizona Graduation Pictures

I’m on the lookout for the few tiny flowers that thrive in our dry climate, the bits of green, the wildlife, the places to play—and I pair them with individual client styles and personalities to create cherished senior photos.

Stress-LESS Senior Portraits in Mesa, Arizona

As a senior portrait photographer, I’m constantly tuned in to the location station! Whether I’m out running errands or hanging out with friends, you can bet I’m scouting for everything from dry creek beds to trees with character to unsuspecting ditches with enough pizazz to pull off an incredible photo background.

You’d be surprised at the number of brick walls and sandy washes full of desert scrub brush I’ve encountered and morphed into fave picture spots with just a little flick of my magic wand. While most people see dust and dead plants, I look for nuggets of beauty in our landscape that I can incorporate into senior photos. I’m on the lookout for the few tiny flowers that thrive in our dry climate, the bits of green, the wildlife, the places to play—and I find a way to pair them with individual client styles and personalities to create cherished photo keepsakes.

No Stress, Just Smiles

Bri and her family didn’t have a ton of time to dedicate to an hours-long photo shoot. (Understandable! You guys are busy during your senior year, right?) So I immediately knew we needed to find a really great place where we could capture a wide range of photos without having to add a lot of travel time to our schedule. We needed diversity, natural settings, and fantastic backdrops—preferably all within walking distance of each other. In fact, this worked so well, it became the location for the 1-hour GOLD senior portrait session!

Sound like a tall order? Wait until you see Bri’s amazing senior portraits! You’ll think we spent an entire day and traveled everywhere under the sun to get them!

Arizona Senior Photos Desert Locations

Natural Photos, Natural Look

I love the fact that Bri had an instinctive knack for styling. Her fashion sense and style immediately told her to go for a lovely natural look since we were going to be shooting several of her photos in settings with natural desert backgrounds. Her loose, wavy hair accentuates her face, which is brightened and highlighted with light makeup—a winning look that highlights her beauty!

A quick outfit change took Bri from casual denim to a chic daytime black jegging paired with stylish black booties and a crop top tied at the waist. A true pro at pulling off breathtaking looks, she knows how to pull together an outfit that is perfect for her!

Arizona Senior Photos Desert Ridge High School

Of course, we always get a little playful on photo shoots, and those who know me well shouldn’t be surprised to see things like grads who are upside-down on park benches! Why? Because having FUN always brings out the true and most relaxed personalities of my clients—and that’s exactly what I want them to be able to show off in their senior pictures.

Enchanting by the Water

Remember that whole thing about needing an amazing photo spot that had EVERYTHING? We found it! In a blink, we were waterside and ready to start shooting again.

Bri was prepared for photos beside the water with a couple of lovely strappy and flowy dresses that added that perfect casual-dressy touch to the moment. With her strappy polka-dot dress, her black booties take on a completely different personality and stand out as a bold accessory choice. Notice that for these natural waterside photos, Bri opted for minimal jewelry and accessories, letting the focus fall solely on her and her choice of location.

AZ Senior Photos Desert Ridge High School

Is She a Mermaid?

Looking ethereal and magical sitting on a rock in the water, Bri is right at home. For this portrait, she opted for a strappy-back white mini dress with bare feet. The placement of the sun as it begins to go down adds an enchanting element, and it’s pretty easy to believe this girl belongs right there beside the water.

Eastmark Senior Pictures in East Mesa

Adding Pretty to the Desert

Want to know how to jazz up the desert? How to add glam to the sand, how to dress up the scorpions? JUST KIDDING! No scorpions were harmed in—or invited to—this photo shoot!

But I will give you some top-secret information. If you want to add some gorgeous scenery to your desert photos, simply add a lovely graduate who’s dressed to the nines and glowing with excitement at her accomplishments! I absolutely adore the way Bri stands apart from the scenery in her pretty dress and graduation gear in these photos. You can see how she’s simply beaming as she shows off her 2021 tassel! If you need more ideas, I have a gallery filled with ideas for awesome grad photos too!

Arizona Senior Graduation Photos Desert Locations

You Glow, Girl

As the sun dropped in the sky, Bri pulled out one more outfit. As soon as I saw her rust-colored skirt, I knew the perfect spot to highlight her entire look and make her look like a superstar. Sunglasses and a floppy hat topped off her look, and a couple casual leans against this vibrant wall pulled in the end-of-day sun to create stunning images. Not only is her outfit flattering and stylish, but the artistic play of light and shadow truly gives this client something special to share with her family.

Arizona Senior Photos Desert Ridge High School Eastmark

Ambitious & On Her Way

A 2021 graduate from Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, Arizona, Bri is looking forward to continuing her education to become a dental hygienist. She’s a fun, hardworking girl and loves to hang out with friends and family. She even has a trip to England on her bucket list so she can visit family there!

She’s proud of her biggest accomplishments—graduating from high school and getting into East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) to study for her future career.

Her goals are to simply enjoy life and not rush things. Asked to leave behind a piece of advice for future freshmen, Bri says to have fun and avoid drama, because it’s toxic. (I knew this girl was smart!)

Arizona Senior Photos Cap Gown Graduation

Senior Pictures in East Mesa

Ready to make your senior year unforgettable? Let’s create a one-of-a-kind senior portrait experience together! Hire Arizona’s top senior portrait photographer so you can treasure this special chapter forever. A great first step is to check out this FREE download of the Senior Client Welcome Guide to learn more about the process, pricing, and heirloom artwork.

Remember to follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for all the latest updates and over 100 creative photo ideas. Be sure to check the blog weekly for free resources and tons of inspiration for your senior pictures!

  • Wow! All the variety you can get within walking distance for this awesome Arizona senior photo shoot is amazing! I love the way you used light and shadows on that wall! I bet they absolutely loved every image!

    • Hey Brandi! I love that colored wall, it works so well especially when you can use it along with images that are green or by the water. Totally different look! Yes, the shadow on that image is awesome…definitely one of her favorite pictures!

  • Great Senior Session. I love the variety!

  • I am always amazed at the way that you make each senior session special yet unique. Bri’s Arizona Graduation Pictures are beautiful. I love every one!

  • What a fantastic location for Bri’s senior portraits! Great variety in one area. Perfect collection for this beautiful senior!