Photography Tips and Hot Spots in Gilbert, Arizona

Photography Tips and Hot Spots in Gilbert, Arizona

Photography Tips and Hot Spots in Gilbert, Arizona 


Elaine Kessler 

I have been creating images in Gilbert since 2006. There are several beautiful locations in our fair town. I will share a few of the easier ones to access and offer some tips to keep in mind when having your own photo sessions. 

First, to create great naturally lit portraits without the aid of extra lighting (non-sun sources) try to go at first or last light when the sun is low in the sky there is less risk of harsh shadows and overexposure. Also consider looking for open shade where you can create evenly lit portraits. Some locations are better than others for this. A good resource for determining the time of first and last light on specific days is this website: 

Second, consider what color the trees and grass might be when you have your session. Some places in the winter do not plant winter grass so the ground is brown which, unless you are a whiz in photoshop, can be less than attractive. 

Third, consider how busy the location might be where you are planning to shoot. Each of the spots mentioned in this article are popular with photographers and it might be wise to plan your session at times that locations are likely to be less busy (first light, weekdays, etc.) 

Fourth, if you are planning a session in Downtown Gilbert, do know that shooting on live railroad tracks is illegal and there are some things to consider. For more on this, see this article: 

Place to shoot 

Freestone Park: 1045 E Juniper Ave, Gilbert, AZ 85234 

Freestone is a large park at Juniper and Lindsay. There are several neat elements at Freestone for photographers including a wooden bridge, water features, established pine trees, hills, bougainvillea, and lakes. It is a busy park where people fish, play sports, attend the amusement rides for kids, and go to the playgrounds. I like Freestone because it is easy to get to and usually easy to get good backgrounds, especially if you have patience.  

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch: 2757 E Guadalupe Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85234 

The Riparian is a wonderful place to create portraits although sometimes the wildlife here can be extreme. I have been caught under a swarm of bees and chased by angry ducks. There is no shortage of nature at the Riparian. You will see bunnies and birds and maybe turtles too. The Riparian is a large area where, if you aren’t too attached to which backgrounds you want, you can create a lot of beautiful images here. The elements here include a colorful concrete wall, a cactus garden, some waterfalls, water sources, lots of trees, some of which flower, and various trails with trees arching over them. 

Downtown Gilbert: Gilbert Road (between Elliot and Guadalupe) 

Downtown Gilbert has a variety of awesome elements for photography: murals, diverse architecture, different textures, a variety of colors, and an exciting vibe. You can find brick, corrugated metal, white arches, stairwells, fountains, and even a few grassy areas. I recommend exploring a bit before having your session because there are a lot of great spots and if you don’t mind the time you might run out of good light. Veteran’s Park: 70 W Park Ave, Gilbert, AZ 85233, just south of the railroad tracks is a great spot for a few shots as well – you can capture the water tower in the background for some fun truly Gilbert themed shots. 

These are just a few of the hot spots to create great captures in and around Gilbert. No matter where you shoot: look for great light, avoid high traffic times, and consider new vantage points. Most important, stay safe and have fun! 


 Elaine Kessler Photography. Various dates. 


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