My Top 5 Photo Shoot Locations Near Albuquerque

Whether you like to be in the middle of nowhere with your babe, or in an urban area for you shoot, it will be epic! My Top 5 Photo Shoot Locations Near Albuquerque are listed below.

After living in Albuquerque for a year and a half now, I have found some awesome locations for photo shoots. There are so many options in this beautiful state, and city alone; but I have narrowed it down to 5 of my favorites (for now)! So here we go!

engaged couple in red rock canyon

1 – The Red Rocks

The red rocks were the first place I found and fell in love with after moving here. My husband and I explored the area before my first New Mexico shoot which was at the red rocks. It was such a dream and I was just so grateful to be living in an area with so many beautiful places practically in out back yard.

We eloped in Sedona, so you can understand why this is one of my favorite spots here in NM; our own little slice of Sedona if you will! The red rocks are just so vibrant and unreal. In photos they pop in a way that does not take away from the subject.

For one of my first few shoots here, I was in the car with the couple and the original location did not work out, so we ended up driving around to find something nearby. We saw a patch of red rocks in the distance, so we drove towards that. We ended up having to park on the side of the interstate for these beauties and it was awesome! I believe there are a few other red rock locations nearby, but these two I have gone back time and time again. 

engaged couple leaning against red rocks

2 – The Foothills

When you think of Albuquerque you think of green chili, balloons, and of course the Sandia Mountains! There are so many different places to go at the foothills, whether you want to go for a hike or just stay at the base for some epic shots at sunset. 

The mountain is one of my favorite things about living in Albuquerque, so obviously I love shooting with it. Every trail I have been on so far, long or short, is so unique and offers different scenic opportunities from the last.

The “watermelon” mountain is honestly the most surreal thing at sunset when it glows pink for those quick few minutes. But that is not guaranteed to be a part of every photoshoot. It only happens if there are no clouds covering the sun at that time, but even on a cloudy day, it is beautiful! Overcast is my friend, and I love how moody the images can get on non-sunny days here in the desert.

No matter what the weather is like, shooting at the foothills will not disappoint!

couple holding hands in the desert

3 – Downtown

Most of my work is in nature because this place is so naturally beautiful! But I LOVE shooting in a more urban setting. Downtown is such a cool place and every street gives you something different to use as a backdrop. 

I love tall buildings, brick walls, neon signs, walls covered in art, you name it, I love it! Many of my clients opt for the nature setting, but when I get to shoot downtown, I do a little happy dance.

I love exploring the area and getting ideas from my couples on new side streets to scout out or new art to look for on a building. Whether it is an alley, a rooftop, or even a busy area on Central, downtown has so much to offer and we will get some rad shots!

husband and wife holding hand about to kiss

Our engagement photos were done in a cute little area near downtown Tampa when we lived there. Phil Porto of The Portos was our AMAZING photographer. All we told him was that we wanted brick and he knew of the perfect spot for us. I loved where we shot for our own engagement, so clearly downtown Albuquerque is a top 5 for me! (See pics below from OUR engagement session with Phil!)

engaged couple looking in opposite directions in front of a brick wall

4 – The Peak

Back to the mountains! I love going to the top of the mountain. Whenever we have guests here for the first time, we must take them on the tram. Even the spot where you get on the tram has amazing views of the city. Taking the tram up is such an amazing experience and you can see so incredibly far!

One thing I love about shooting at the peak is for a good part of the year you are guaranteed to have snow. Being from Florida, I love snow because I grew up never seeing it. When my couples are ready to get cold I am all for it! Plus, it is already cold, so why not just take it to the next level?

When I have a couple reach out to me and want to shoot in the snow, I always suggest going to the peak. We cannot control the weather, and let’s be honest, when it snows in Albuquerque it does not stay for long.

On one side of the mountain you can see the entire city and beyond. On the other side it is a totally different mountain view, you cannot go wrong no matter what direction you look!

boyfriend and girlfriend about to kiss in the snow on top of a mountain

5 – IN the River

The river is beautiful, but do you know what makes it even better? Walking through it in your clothes! I have shot at the river a few times, and I have two favorite sessions that come to mind.

One was when the leaves were changing in autumn and they were the most beautiful red/orange/yellow colors. To do this, you have to be lucky because they only stay that bright color for a short time. Ok, that was not so much about the river, I just loved those leaves so I had to mention it!

couple looking at each other in front of fall leaves

The other time was when my couple got IN THE RIVER with me! YESS!! We intended to mainly shoot at a field of sunflowers next to the river, but we ended up walking through the river for the second half of our session.

couple hugging in a sunflower field

I had never been in the river before, so I was excited that they were up for it. This experience made me love the Rio Grande even more! When we were in the middle of the river, it dawned on me just how many electronics I actually had on me! I was holding their phones, my phone, and had both my cameras on my harness. Yikes! Everything (including us) survived though!

That’s it, My Top 5 Photo Shoot Locations Near Albuquerque! I love finding new spots (near or far) so if you have anywhere you think I should check out feel free to let me know! If you want more information about getting ready for your photo shoot, check out my blog post My Top 5 Photo Shoot Locations Near Albuquerque.

girl and boy holing each other in a canyon in new mexico

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  1. Abriana says:

    If you don’t mind me asking what rooftops?

  2. Kayla B Stevens says:

    Please tell me how I can get to the Red Rocks for my wedding. Anything else you can tell me about that location will be helpful. Getting married in June.

    • Crystal Cousin says:

      Hello! The red rocks are in the Jemez Pueblo. There is a $5 fee per person which includes a hiking permit and photography permit. You can get info about that at the Jemez Pueblo Welcome/Visitor center. How many people do you plan to have at your weddings? I do not think they would allow seating, props and large groups to be brought in but again, they can give you info at the visitor center where you pay for your fee.

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