I'm a wedding, elopement, and engagement photographer specializing in storytelling and true to life photography!
Nick and Sonya are one of my couples getting married in spring 2024. To tell you I’m so excited about their wedding would be an understatement! These two live in Washington but are getting married in Phoenix. They knew they wanted to have their engagement session in Arizona. But, they didn’t know where to take photos in Downtown Phoenix. They planned a trip to Phoenix in June to tour wedding venues, and that was when we planned for their session. Talk about a week of wedding planning fun!
Sonya sent me photos of her vision, it was exciting to see a mix of romantic, timeless, and unique ideas. We knew we wanted to shoot in Downtown Phoenix, but we weren’t sure exactly where. So here’s what I’ve found while location scouting in Downtown!
These two wanted to shoot inside a hotel with an elevator and cocktail bar. We found that Hotel San Carlos allows you to take photos inside, but there are a few stipulations! Of course, the hotel guests take priority when it comes to using the elevator. We were told we couldn’t use the luggage carts and had to stay in the lobby area. If you want to use their hotel bar, they charge $150 for the hour. Make sure to call and make a reservation in advance.
When you are wondering where to take photos in downtown phoenix, or more generally a downtown setting; there are so many spots that are perfect for photos when you’re just walking around. We took these photos right outside of Hotel San Carlos! The best part about urban settings is you can usually shoot any time of the day and find shaded spots due to tall buildings.
Although we didn’t shoot on a rooftop for this session, I have shot in Downtown Phoenix on the top level of a parking garage! This is a popular idea, and it’s always so much fun. There are tons of parking garages in Phoenix! I like to shoot on top of public parking garages so that if a security guard is around, I know we won’t be kicked out. I have heard of some photographers getting kicked out of places like the Chase Tower Parking Garage or the Convention Center Parking Garage, not always but it has happened before. Check out this engagement session I shot on top of a parking garage!
This was the spot we almost shot at; however, since we were shooting mid-morning, it was too bright, and there was no shade from the summer heat! If you shoot here in the evening before sunset, it would be perfect! There’s some neat architecture and stairs that would make great backdrops for an engagement session!
As usual, I recommend neutral colors. They’re flattering on everyone and always look good regardless of the season! But that doesn’t mean you can’t wear color… wear whatever you want! I love when white dresses are incorporated in engagement sessions, there are so many options, and you can play into your “bridal era”! Here is my Pinterest board with downtown engagement session ideas. You can use this to find outfit inspiration as well!