Unique Locations for Senior Pictures | Think Outside the Box

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 location for senior pictures in Mesa. Each of these images below were taken off the side of a main road...but you'd never know it!

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. My mindset was going to parks and lakes because that’s what everyone else was doing. 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? 

Best Places to Take Senior Pictures in 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.

Great Spots for Senior Pictures in Mesa

 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 East Mesa
Unique Locations Senior Pictures Mesa Az

Finding shade in the ditch can be a problem on sunny days. You know, since it’s sunny almost every day in Arizona. But no worries, the ditch works in nearly any kind of light! If you want that edgy light, take a tip from Janaye and grab your shades!

Desert Locations for Senior Pictures in Mesa

Great Location for Cap & Gown Photos

Cap & gown photos for graduation? Of course!! And this is the perfect out-of-the-way location! Three different high school senior girls with completely different styles, yet all timeless and gorgeous. Any mom would LOVE to have graduation pictures like these!

So when I tell you not to stress about locations…please don’t stress about locations! I’ve been a professional photographer for over 13 years and it’s my job to find beautiful locations that you’ll love! If the desert isn’t your style, check out some of these amazing locations for senior pictures!

Take Senior Pictures at Your High School
50’s Diner for Senior Photo Shoot
Senior Pictures by the Water
Senior Pictures in Downtown Phoenix
Graduation Photos in Gilbert
Senior Portrait Session in Scottsdale

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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Senior pictures are a BIG DEAL...even if you're not a fan of having your picture taken. Why? Your loved ones will love getting a memento to remind them of your major accomplishment!

Whether you're a gamer, a photographer, a comic book lover...or all of the above...when you share your interests and passions in your senior pictures, your personality will SHINE!

Creativity is the only limit when it comes to planning the perfect senior portrait photo shoot, so day or night, sunrise or sunset, indoors or out, it’s all about your personality and preference. Today I'm showing off some of my favorite locations for senior pictures in the East Valley.

Welcome! I’m your bestie behind the camera! Lots of great info, so hang out for awhile!

Michelle

Chandler Senior Portrait Photographer