“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.
— Ryan + Styhiln