My Dream Desert Photo Shoot

Did you guys know I have a Photo Bucket List, and if you help me cross off one of the items on my list, you get a discount? Well, I got to cross one off this month, and it made me super happy! I think what I am going to like most about (hopefully) continuing to cross these things off is that it can be easy to get into a rut when you mainly shoot at the same handful of places. It’s the same reason I haven’t really ‘niched down’ like social media managers suggest doing – I like that variety of one day doing a newborn session, the next a wedding, then family photos, and then a senior session. So adding these bucket list items is one more way to keep the creative juices flowing, if you will.

So this particular bucket list item was to do a session of any kind in Phoenix. Arizona is a special place to my family, and we have been going there for years, so when I first started my photography business, I remember thinking how fun it would be to shoot in such a drastically different landscape. But at the time, I had not idea how I could even begin going about connecting with a client halfway across the country.

Fast forward to Fall 2020 when I heard about a local photographer going viral on TikTok and getting a ton of business from it. I had been putting off getting a TikTok because 1) I’m too old for that app 2) I’m already keeping plenty busy with the social media I have for my business 3) I didn’t know if having it would have any sort of benefit to my business. But I downloaded it, scrolled here and there for a little while to get the gist of everything, and then started posting. I mostly post photography tips, humor relatable to photographers, editing tips, that kind of thing.

So when we decided that the road trip to Arizona was going to actually happen (after countless canceled vacations last year), I decided to ask TikTok to “do its thing” and try to find someone in Arizona who might want a photo session at a discount with me. Within a couple days, I had several inquiries, and a really sweet woman ended up booking a session for semi-engagement photos. I say ‘semi’ because her fiancé is in the military and is based in Arizona, but they are both from another part of the country. They had previously had proper engagement photos back in their home state, but she wanted to do another session in Arizona to document their time living there together.

I already had a general idea for where I wanted to take the photos, but when we first arrived in Phoenix, I drove out to check out my location and make sure it was going to work. I definitely wanted to have a desert feel to the whole thing, since the main point of the session being on my bucket list was to do a session in this new landscape. The morning of the photos, they both arrived looking amazing. They were both incredibly sweet and up for anything I asked them to do. It was a session that challenged me with being out of my comfort zone, and it also inspired me to keep trying new things and pushing past what becomes routine.

Here are a few photos!

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