I first met Cayla in Grant in December of 2019, during my first trip out to Arizona. We had been trying to plan fun couple photos for them, but the timing just didn’t work out. In February of this year, I was traveling back to Arizona to visit my boyfriend Alex (you can read more about our long distance relationship here!), and we made it happen! Cayla and Grant got dressed up and met me for the ultimate desert couple photos on Saguaro Lake Ranch!
Keep scrolling to see cliffs, cacti, and a cute couple frolicking in the desert!
I fell in love with the ranch the first time I ever saw photos of it. The cliffs (nicknamed the Bulldogs) that jut into the surrounding sky are breathtaking and easily recognizable. It’s the perfect natural backdrop for your outdoor wedding or elopement.
If you’re planning your own desert couple photos, here are a few tips:
- it gets HOT in the desert, so schedule your photo shoot for about an hour and a half before sunset, or an hour before sunrise (that way you’ll also get amazing light!)
- wear light layers – a thin floaty dress, and a light shirt that breathes are great to stay cool – and bring an outfit change in case you get hot or want variety
- bring props (not the cheesy ones you’re thinking of!) – cool cowboy hats and vintage bolo ties look amazing
- you can also check out this post about how to plan a full desert couple or engagement shoot!
Saguaro Lake Ranch offers cozy cabins in a remote location in the Sonoran Desert. It’s a gorgeous part of the Tonto National Forest.
The guest ranch (where you can stay for your destination wedding) is near the bank of the Salt River, which runs into Saguaro Lake. There are so many amazing locations that it’s almost mind blowing! We found rocky riverbeds with glass-like water, cliffs and cacti, and the most clear starry sky after the sun went down.
I spent my last evening on the ranch exploring with Cayla + Grant. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my trip! We had a blast roaming around the ranch, finding (extremely large) cacti to pose in front of, and getting alllll the romantic shots. They’re both awesome dancers and even did a little swing dance for me!
An outfit change and his-and-hers cowboy hats bring this shoot to the next level!
Cayla’s white, low-back lacy dress looked amazing in front of the sun-soaked cliffs. This low-back lace maxi dress is perfect for desert couple photos and under $50!
Cayla + Grant have been together for three years, and it was their first time having professional photos taken together. They were a little nervous, but once we started moving and exploring they relaxed and killed it in front of the camera. If you have a spot that means something to you, I always recommend taking the time to plan a special photo shoot there.
Because the Ranch is a big part of Cayla’s life, I thought having desert couple photos would be a great memento for them.
If you’re thinking of planning your own desert couple photos, Arizona is a great place to explore!
I’m in the process of fixing up my new trailer, and will be booking more Arizona + California sessions and elopements as I road trip across the country!
If you want to go exploring and get some epic photos in the process, then contact me so we can make some magic together!