Unique Locations for Senior Pictures | Mesa Portrait Photography

The last thing you want for your senior pictures is to have images that look like everyone else's, right? You also want a variety of different images. This unique location is definitely a winner when you're looking for a beautiful "non-desert" location. Each of these images below were taken in the East Valley...

Unique Locations for Senior Pictures

What’s the most asked question when it comes to senior portraits? The answer: What locations are best? Well, it turns out that often the best locations for senior pictures might not be in places you’d consider picture worthy. For years, I saw things just like you. It wasn’t until I became a professional photographer that I started to learn how equipment, lighting, and creativity can really change the way an area looks! I’ll often call them “un-locations” because they aren’t the spots people normally choose. If I left it up to my clients, nearly ever session would be shot at the Desert Botanical Gardens, Freestone Park, or the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert. The problem? EVERYONE goes there! So think outside the box with me for a moment and see what we can do in spots that might be within a mile of your home. 

A Ditch in the Desert

If you’ve checked out my website or had a consultation, chances are you’ve seen some incredible images and heard me talk about “the ditch.” It’s really nothing special, but for people who live in the East Valley, it’s just convenient. During one of my recent photo shoots at this unique location, I took a quick snap off the side of the road. Yes, there are homes, poles, and wires everywhere, but don’t let this fool you! 

Unique Locations High School Senior Pictures

Unique Locations Senior Pictures Az Desert

Same spot, with a variety of looks

The last thing you want for your senior pictures is to have images that look like everyone else’s, right? You also want a variety of different images. The ditch is definitely a winner when you’re looking for a beautiful “non-desert” location. Each of these images below were taken in the ditch with all the houses on one side and a major road on the other, but can you tell? 

Unique Locations Professional Pictures Mesa Az

You can shoot a good closeup in just about any location with good light. In this image, I had mom hold a small piece of a plant in front of my lens to get this picture.

Unique Locations Senior Pictures Phoenix Arizona 

Another great way to make these types of locations portrait worthy is to use the proper equipment. I’ll often choose my Canon 70-200 2.8L in order to bring the focus more on my subject and less on the background. Getting that beautiful “blurry background” is a favorite for my clients!

Unique Locations Senior Pictures Perry High School

Unique Locations Senior Pictures Eastmark Desert

Unique Locations Senior Pictures Chandler Arizona

Finding shade in the ditch can be a problem on sunny days. You know, nearly every day in Arizona. But no worries, the ditch works in nearly any kind of light! Here is what behind scenes looked like, and then two beautiful resulting portraits.

Unique Locations Senior Pictures Arizona Desert

Unique Locations Senior Pictures East Mesa

Unique Locations Senior Pictures Mesa Az

So when I tell you not to stress about locations…please don’t stress about locations! I’ve been a professional photographer for over 10 years and it’s my job to find beautiful locations that you’ll love!

8 Comments
  • Such good information. With the right light, lens and photographer you can make great photos anywhere.

    • Agreed! It’s took me a long time to realize that I didn’t need a gorgeous spot, just a spot with great lighting.

  • Michelle, you can see you put your heart into your senior portrait sessions! I love how you find beauty in spots that others would walk right by. Excellent work!

  • I love finding ditches! It’s so funny when you pull up with the client and they are like “really, this is the magical spot I liked in your other pics?” LOL! Great work and blog!

  • Love this! You definitely have a great eye for finding a location!

    • Thanks Amy! I feel like everyone goes to the same locations so I always try to find these hidden gems. And they really aren’t hidden, but people just don’t think about how well these areas photograph!

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