A sunset shoot in the rugged arizona desert. Wild west and cactus lovers this desert adventure session in the superstitions is for you!

Desert Adventure Session in the Superstitions

“We want the desert,” is what Robyn and Frankie said. Like, the true desert. The kind of desert you envision on a postcard or as the backdrop of a wild west movie. It made sense; Robyn and Frankie were in Phoenix visiting from Calgary Canada so they wanted their desert adventure session to go full western vibes. I loved and respected that. Lot’s of folks, and I count myself among this group sometimes, look for the least Arizona looking part of Arizona. And diversity in landscape is huge, I’m a sucker for it (I’ve even blogged about it) but the thing that made me fall for this state is this exact landscape. So working with a rad couple that shared my love for the MOST Arizona looking place… was awesome ☺

Robyn and Frankie are travelers (like, super legit travelers). When I asked their favorite place to visit I think Frankie said Thailand. After they were done with Arizona they were off to see Hawaii. I adore bonding over travel talk so the three of us got along basically instantly. These two were super, super rad and I had a blast spending the evening with them.

The Arizona desert really showed off for Robyn and Frankie, with the valley being a great deal greener than usual due to some autumn rains. We also saw a tarantula which I personally enjoyed but was not Frankie’s favorite part of the shoot but I think it speaks to the ruggedness of Arizona (and also made me feel one tiny step closer to being Indiana Jones). Also, for any folks who are not super into spiders, that’s the only time I’ve ever seen one. 🙂 Do not let the fuzzy spiders deter you from visiting this state.

This shoot was Robyn’s idea and though it was an adventure couple’s session it was suuuper important to her that she get some photos of her by herself; she wanted to commemorate and honor her own self before her birthday. Can we talk about how rad this is? Not to get on a soapbox here but we as a culture spend a lot of times celebrating couples and how important couples and relationships are and they are (*they are*). But so are individual people. It was so incredibly cool for Robyn to recognize that and chase that for herself. It was her idea to incorporate the map and for someone who loves travel as much as she does, it made total sense.

We did this quintessential Arizona Desert Adventure shoot in the superstition mountains, a stone’s throw east of Phoenix. The Superstitions are fun because a) they are impressive and cool looking and b) have this fun legend that there is buried treasure there in the form of Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. I’m not making this up, it’s one of my favorite local bits of folk lore and folks still go out looking for it sometimes. Seeing as one of my lifetime goals is to be Indiana Jones, this legend is extremely tempting. 

We hiked around together, enjoying the cactus glowing in the late day sun, the warm breeze, and uncommonly green landscape. All of which were just the little introductions for when the sun just kissed the horizon line to the west and the Superstitions just lit up. The desert at sunset is ridiculously stunning, the harshness of the landscape somehow softened by the stellar light. It’s one of the first things that drew me to the desert and something that Robyn and Frankie loved, too. It is always a rad time hanging with folks who love the desert. 

We ended our desert adventure session by watching the stunning sight of the full moon rise over the still glowing Superstitions. I’ve seen a lot of sunrises and sunset out here in the desert, but watching that moon was really something special. These Arizona skies, ya’ll. They never cease to amaze.

  1. Jacey Harding says:

    Peep the tiny moon in some of those pics! So beautiful! The colors make me so happy🤗🤗

  2. Van Gachnang says:

    You REALLY nailed the lighting in every last photo! I love living near the mountains, but the openness of the desert is to die for. Such beautiful photos!

  3. Nora Logue says:

    Oh my gosh, gorgeous! What a fun, beautiful session and I am OBSESSED with the moon peaking into frame in some of these shots!

  4. alycia says:

    What a cool session! The colors are WONDERFUL in this. And of course, such authentic looking emotions. Such a great job.

  5. Sara says:

    These are amazing! I love that you can see the moon in several of them. I also really like the one where they’re silhouetted through the map. I might have to remember that during some of our travels 🙂

  6. I love all of these photos!! MY favorites are the one where they’re looking at the map and the photos with the moon in the background. This totally is a true desert adventure session.

  7. Katy Weaver says:

    Such incredible desert colors and desert vibes in this adventure session! They must be SO stoked about these! Totally the wild wild west! Love your work!

  8. Hans says:

    Love all the pics you get of them! they look so adorable! Love the pics with the moon! I want to have one!

  9. Mollie Adams says:

    Oh my gosh this is BEAUTIFUL! The tones the emotion, all of it! So incredible my friend!

  10. […] cost. It’s a thing, right? I’m based out of Phoenix, Arizona but I travel all over the southwest (so I basically consider places like Joshua Tree, […]

  11. […] cost. It’s a thing, right? I’m based out of Phoenix, Arizona but I travel all over the southwest (so I basically consider places like Joshua Tree, […]

  12. […] to the hard (looking at you Siphon Draw Trail), and all the cacti you could ever want. Check this blog post out if you want to see more of The […]

  13. […] tons of well known spots for desert elopements that are a mere, 1, 2, or 4 hours from Phoenix (Like the Superstitions, Sedona, and Page AZ) that get a lot of screen time. Understandably- they are inarguably gorgeous. […]

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