Weddings sure have changed this year. From big weddings with 100 or more people to small intimate weddings with 10 people. Micro weddings are now the way many people are planning and having weddings. From backyards to parks to city hall, small weddings are happening a lot more than they used to.
Here are some tips to help you with your small wedding:
1. Be selective about your guest list. Due to things like Covid, some states are limiting gatherings to a maximum of 10 people. Consider the 10 people who should be there. Best friends, siblings, parents and grandparents (if they are able). Remember your Officiant and photographer will count in that number.
2. Set up a Zoom for guests who cannot attend. We have seen this work really well for several of the small weddings we have photographed. This will allow you to share you day with many people.
3. Skip the wedding party. It is hard to choose just one or two people to be your attendants during the wedding so why choose at all. It may be a long standing tradition but there isn't much traditional happening at the moment.
4. Have a small one now, have a big one later. We have worked with several couples that have had the smaller weddings and then a big one at a later date. This may relieve the pressure of deposits already made. Lots of venues are allowing people to reschedule, talk to yours first before giving up on that dream wedding.
5. Services are less expensive. Yup, I said it. Services will be more cost effective including your photographers. We have 3 micro wedding packages that are perfect for a small wedding. Venues will also be more cost effective and sometimes free.
Small weddings will never feel small on love, laughter, and making special memories.
When booking their sessions, many of our clients ask us where they should have their photo sessions. Just like in real estate, location matters. Not because we focus on the location and not the subject but because we always feel better in locations where we feel comfortable.
Being located in the Phoenix Area, we have found some incredible locations. We have compiled a short list of some our favorite places. Below you will find our list of locations and details about each one. We like to include the general “feeling” of each location. Some of the locations are free and some do require an additional cost.
This is just a small list of the amazing places in and around Phoenix. We are happy to research and visit other locations to give you the best possible photos. For locations outside the Phoenix Metro Area (Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Tucson) there is an additional $100 travel fee.
Superstition Mountain Museum
4087 N Apache Trail, Apache Junction, AZ 85119
This wonderful little museum has a small exhibit building but what makes this place special is the grounds. The Superstitions are visible from the entire location and make for a wonderful backdrop. Included on the grounds are old barns, the Elvis Chapel (it was featured in an Elvis movie), a boot hill, old mining and farm equipment, and wonderful desert landscapes. There is plenty of parking and the grounds are free. We do recommend a small donation to the museum for the use. Hours of operation are from 9 am to 4 pm.
Goldfield Ghost Town
4650 N Mammoth Mine Rd, Apache Junction, AZ 85119
Located not far from the Superstition Mountain Museum, the GoldField Ghost town offers more buildings and views of the mountains but no ghosts. The location features old buildings, a church, lots of walkways, stunning mountain views, lots of old mining stuff, and railroad tracks as well. Early morning sessions are best due to the tourist nature of the location. There is a $100 per hour photo fee with a one hour minimum. .
E Boston and S Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ
Downtown Chandler is loaded with old buildings, green spaces, and art work. City Hall has a beautiful courtyard with trees and lots of places to sit. This location is one to take stroll and find the perfect niche to take a photo. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
151 E. Boston Street, Chandler, AZ
This hidden gem in downtown Chandler is a great location for photos. It has a wonderful green space, paved paths, benches, and a fun red grating. It is located next to the Fire Department Administration building and resembles a fire station. It is an open public park and parking is available directly across the street.
Veteran’s Oasis Park
4050 E Chandler Heights Rd Chandler, AZ 85249
We didn’t know marshlands and dry habitat existed together in Arizona but Veteran’s Oasis proved us wrong. There is a large lake and a beautiful walking trail. There is running creek and lots of off path photo locations. The park spreads over 113 acres. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Gilbert Rd and Page Ave, Gilbert, AZ
Downtown Gilbert is the place to eat these days which means that the architecture is amazing. The water tower is above a wonderful park and great place to start a session. Old buildings, public spaces, benches, old train tracks – downtown Gilbert has it all. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Layton Lakes Clubhouse and Park
E. Queen Creek Road and Layton Lakes Blvd
Layton Lakes is a masterplanned community in Gilbert that features a octagon gazebo near its main clubhouse. The area also features water, iron railings, benches, green spaces, trees and brick buildings. The area is currently open and parking is plentiful.
Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
2757 E Guadalupe Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234
This beautiful preserve covers over 110 acres of wetland and desert. The park includes 7 ponds, benches, green spaces, observatory, and ethnobotanical garden. There is a beautiful short walk that we have used on several sessions and each one is different. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Manistee Ranch Park
52nd Avenue and Northern Avenue Glendale, Arizona 85301
This neighborhood park is just over 4 acres. It includes a beautiful ranch house and unique outbuildings. Also on the property is a small orange grove and a huge green area. Benches are scattered throughout the property. There is an additional permit for photography of $25.
Saguaro Ranch Park
9802 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302
Sahuaro Ranch was founded in 1886, by William Henry Bartlett, a native of Illinois. The ranch, located north of what eventually became the city of Glendale, Arizona, was rich in figs and other fruit orchards, vineyards, and fields of alfalfa. This park is unique with its historic ranch buildings and its recreational park areas. There is an additional permit for photography of $25.
Coon Bluff Campground
Coon Bluff Rd, Mesa, AZ 85215
Another outdoor wilderness location. Coon Bluff is on the Salt River and wild horses are in the area. Some areas do require some walking but worth it. It is relaxed and shady with mature mesquite trees. This location also has clover covering the ground in the early spring. There is a fee for day use passes.
Mesa Arts Center and Downtown
1 E Main Street, Mesa AZ 85201
Mesa Arts Center has a great combination of industrial and modern with small green spaces. The site also includes large art murals, stairways, and colorful backdrops. There is even a fun spot with large yellow dots on the ground that kids love. A quick walk out of the Arts Center property and Main Street in Mesa is a great urban location as well. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Desert Botanical Garden
1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Located in Papago Park the Desert Botanical Garden is a stunning location for photos. The garden's prime season is in the spring. The desert blooms and plants create a beautiful and earthy photos. Cactus gardens, benches, walkways, and trails are all available. There is a $29.95 per person entry fee. Parking is plentiful and there is no additional photography fees
Heritage Square at Heritage and Science Park
113 N. Sixth Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Heritage Square contains the Rosson House which is an 1800’s Victorian home. Additional vintage homes, alleyways, benches, rose gardens, and brick encompass the park. Early morning on the weekends is the best time for photos at the Square. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Papago is a municipal park adjacent to the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical garden. It is known for its view of red buttes. There are trails and a large lake with palm trees, desert, cactus and more. At the right time of day the shadows and light created by the trees is amazing.
Roosevelt Row Arts District
Roosevelt Row begins at 7th Avenue and extends east to 16th Street. On the north side it begins at Interstate 10 and extends south to Fillmore Street.
We like starting at First Street and Roosevelt. The area is dotted with buildings with the most incredible murals. The colors are vibrant and interesting. Images take on an urban and artistic feel. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Scorpion Gulch at South Mountain
South Mountain Park 10000 S Central Avenue, Phoenix
Scorpion Gulch is located at the base of South Mountain. It has amazing desert and mountain backdrops. Scorpion Gulch includes two stone buildings with doorways, windows, stairs, and fireplaces. Behind the buildings you will find the best views of South Mountain. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
120 S Cortez St, Prescott, AZ 86303
Located right in the center of Prescott, the courthouse square is one of our favorite locations. In addition to the courthouse there are many historic buildings, green lawns, stunning trees, and plenty of places to sit. The Whiskey Row is across the street as well for more photo opportunities. Best times are before the night life starts. Parking can be an issue directly on the square. No additional fees.
San Tan Regional Park
6533 W Phillips Rd, Queen Creek, AZ 85142
San Tan Mountains Regional Park is a large suburban park located in Maricopa County. It encompasses over 10,000 acres and preserves a portion of the San Tan Mountains, south of Queen Creek. The entrance area of the park is perfect for photos. The area includes fences, benches. weathered wood, washes, and a windmill. Parking is easy and the entrance fee is $7 per car.
Old Town Scottsdale
Scottsdale Road & E 1st Street
Old Town Scottsdale features hundreds of little shops. The streets have many little alcoves, public art, and benches to provide a great location for your session. If you crave large green spaces, the Scottsdale Arts Center is located by a large public park. Early morning sessions allow for those fun street photos we love so much. With very little traffic, walking down the middle of street is no problem. There may be a parking meter charge.
There are so many trails and locations there are too many to list here. Sedona is all about the red rocks and the views. If you are interested in a session in Sedona we will work with you to find a great location. We know several trails that don't require big hikes that will give you amazing photos with those incredible views. There is an additional travel fee for session in Sedona.
Downtown Tempe/Mill Avenue
Mill Avenue & Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe
Downtown Tempe and Mill Avenue has brick lined streets, light rail, train tracks, and vintage buildings. Modern touches are thrown in to the thriving area. Walking along Mill Avenue or turning the corner and finding a lovely bench to grab a quick photo. The location is a wonderful mix of vintage and urban. There is no additional cost or permit needed.
Tempe River Run/Tempe Arts Center
700 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281
Located on Tempe Town Lake this location features a pedestrian bridge, fountains, the lake and a modern building. The site also offers lots of desert plants and stunning view of the lake, train bridge and other Tempe Lake landmarks. There is plenty of parking and is free. The site can get busy in the cooler months. Recommend early morning or late afternoon sessions.
436 Convent Avenue, Tucson
This is one of Tucson's most colorful neighborhoods. Located just south of Tucson, it is a fun and vibrant location. Lots of buildings in bright colors, rustic features, and walkways. We typically meet people at the corner of Convent & Kennedy at the house with the bright red door! Street parking is open in almost all parts of the neighborhood.
318 E Congress St, Tucson, AZ 85701
Lively and fun, downtown Tucson is a great location for photos. Urban setting with textured brick walls, new and old architecture, neon signs, and a parking garage for those city scape views all make for some striking photos. We will take a short walk from the Rialto theatre and walk down Congress towards the Pennington Garage and then back down Toole. It can be crowded on the weekends but mornings should be great. There is a nearby parking garage if street parking is an issue - $5.
There are so many lists on the internet about what to do in preparation for a photo session. There are not many that give you the do not do. Over the years we have compiled our own list of the DO NOT DO items. These tips should make the photo session you schedule with us, or any photographer, a huge success.