When my family and I moved to Arizona from St. Louis, MO, we drove into the state on Route 66. We entered Northeastern Arizona and found ourselves in the mountains surrounded by pine trees and cabins. We thought, “Wait–this is Arizona?” Then we kept driving south where we were greeted by rolling hills covered in saguaro cacti. We thought, “Wait-this is Arizona?” Then we entered the Mesa/Gilbert area with its palm trees and citrus groves and thought, “WHAT IS ARIZONA?” It turns out, Arizona is all the things. Drive two hours in any direction and you’ll find a completely different landscape. It’s intriguing and wonderful and one of the many reasons I heart AZ.
The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert is one of my favorite locations for portraits because you will find many different Arizona landscapes in just one spot. The cactus garden is a particularly popular spot. (I even had my own family photos taken there last year.) I had the pleasure of photographing one of my favorite families in the cactus garden recently. This family was amazing! They followed directions and looked great doing it. That’s really all it takes for me to like you.