Being a Phoenix Maternity Photographer, I’ve had plenty of experience exploring gorgeous locations around the valley. Behind the scenes, when I’m not photographing expecting mamas, I love to spend my time hiking and exploring to scout out perfect locations for outdoor maternity photos. I’m constantly on the lookout for new, beautiful, and accessible locations. I like to keep in mind that young children may be a part of the photoshoot and ease of restrooms and nearby parking. Maternity photos often involve outfit changes as well and I want you to be as comfortable as possible while doing so. Because some of the trails require a bit of walking on loose terrain, I recommend scheduling your desert maternity photoshoot when you’re between 28-34 weeks pregnant. Between the end of your second trimester and the beginning of your third trimester you typically still have enough energy and mobility.
If you’ve had a chance to glance at my work, you probably quickly realized that I have a lot of love for Saguaro Cactus! Saguaros are an iconic symbol of the Arizona Sonoran Desert. Saguaros are a tree-like alternative in the vast brown desert. They add a bit of greenery and interest to an otherwise seemingly dull landscape. Saguaros are a protected species plant, so what better way to memorialize them than to feature them throughout my work.
The Superstitions are such an iconic mountainscape. They offer a variety of angles and trails showing off the Arizona desert. The Superstitions are home to the infamous Lost Dutchman State Park. To photograph within the park there is a required photography permit. Otherwise, locations outside of the park only require a Tonto parking pass. The Superstition Mountains are perfect for both Sunrise and Sunset desert maternity photos.
South Mountain is centrally located, providing access with ease from around the valley. On the north side of the mountain is Scorpion Gulch which makes for a vintage Phoenix scene. Scorpion Gulch is easily accessible with parking just across from it. However, this location is very popular and often busy, especially during the weekends and peak times of the year such as Fall. My favorite spots that allow for less foot traffic and give a bit more privacy are on the southern end of South Mountain in Ahwatukee.
This location is the ultimate mountain range in West Valley Phoenix. White Tank Mountain Regional Park offers a variety of trails with close parking. Some trails are paved being perfect for those with disabilities or young children. Other pathways that I like to use require a tad bit of walking, but the ground is pretty even. There is an entry fee to get into the park. But, the fee is incomparable to the golden sunset views!
Jewel of the Creek is a hidden gem located in Cave Creek. Getting to the gorgeous Saguaro walkway, the best part of this location, does require a bit of hiking/trail-walking. However, the trail is easy. There is a steep decline so I always suggest for mamas to wear walking/hiking shoes and then change when we get to our preferred location. Not only are there gorgeous saguaros, but also stone slabs and luscious trees. Depending on the time of year and how much rain we have had, the creek may even have running water! In the case that you or a family member can not hike down, the top entrance of the trail offers beautiful mountain views for sunset maternity photos.
Usery Mountain is located in Northeast Mesa, just nearby the Salt River. I love this location for both sunrise and sunset family photos. Usery Mountain is completely covered with Saguaros and there are plenty of trails to use no matter what time of day is chosen. There are trail options that are easily accessible with parking nearby for young children and expecting mamas. This is one of my main go-to locations in the East Valley as there is usually low foot traffic so we get to take our time and enjoy getting the perfect shot!
Thank you for checking out my favorite locations for a desert maternity photoshoot! If you’re interested in maternity photos, please contact me directly by visiting my website. I suggest reaching out within your second trimester and booking for when you are between 28-34 weeks pregnant.
If you enjoyed this blog, please check out a few other resources I have written in the journal: