- What to Photograph in Sedona - Cathedral Rock
- What to Photograph in Sedona - Red Rock Sunsets
- What to Photograph in Sedona - Devil's Bridge
- How to Make the Most of Photographing Sedona
- Planning Your Sedona Photography Trip
- Where to Stay: Sedona Summit Resort by Diamond Resorts offers clean, centrally-located, pueblo-style accommodations for less than $100/night.
- Where to Eat: Red Rock Cafe is one of the top-rated restaurants in Sedona and offers American, Mexican, and Southwestern cuisine.
- Must-See Attractions: The Chapel of the Holy Cross is an architectural wonder built into the buttes of Sedona. Sedona Heritage Museum is located on a preserved family farm and offers a look at the area's rich history. There are also many hiking trails and other outdoor activities in and around Sedona.
- Best luggage: You'll need several days to explore Sedona, and for that, the Nomatic Check-In roller bag is the ideal choice. It offers polycarbonate construction that stands up to the rigors of travel, silent wheels, low-profile handles, and a three-stage aluminum handle to fit your height. With space for 78 liters of gear, this bag has plenty of room for a 5-day trip or longer.
- Check the weather in Sedona right now.
Photo by jose1983 via iStock
If you're planning a photography trip to Sedona, Arizona, the most difficult thing you'll have to do is decide how to spend your time.
After all, Sedona is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the United States, and if you're on a tight schedule, determining the must-see locations can be quite the chore.
Sedona is known for its gorgeous, towering red rock formations that evoke a sense of classic southwestern Americana, and fortunately, there are many different areas around Sedona where you can take advantage of the gorgeous landscape.
Below, I've outlined three of the top photography spots in Sedona and provide some insider tips on how to make the most of your time there, including recommended photography tours, places to stay, where to eat, and more.
Table of Contents
What to Photograph in Sedona - Cathedral Rock
Photo by Susie Reed.
Perhaps the most well-known and most photographed landmark in Sedona, Cathedral rock rises above the valley like a beacon.
Though you can hike the saddles between its spires, most photographers prefer a view like the one above, of the formation itself standing watch over the surrounding landscape.
Just travel a few miles from Sedona to the Crescent Moon Picnic Area.
Photo by mdesigner125 via iStock
Take some time to explore this area. It is fairly large, and many different vantage points of Cathedral Rock can be found at locations away from the picnic area.
There are numerous hot-spots for photos of Cathedral Rock right along the river, but it's certainly worth time exploring trails in the area to find more unique views of this gorgeous landscape.
Just a word to the wise - you cannot enter the park after dusk, though, if you're already there, you typically won't be asked to leave. You cannot stay overnight in the park, though.
What to Photograph in Sedona - Red Rock Sunsets
Photo by bboserup via iStock
The scenery in Sedona is spectacular any time of day, but when the sun sets and the orange, red, pink, and purple tones of the sunset illuminate the red rocks, it's truly something to behold.
Red Rock State Park offers many vantage points (like the one above) from which you can capture sunset images of the breathtaking landscape.
Unlike many areas in Sedona, the park is easy to get to, just 18 minutes southwest of town. Just be aware that there is a plethora of amazing vantage points in the area that are accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicle or by hiking. The work is worth it, though!
Photo by Wildroze via iStock
Of course, there are plenty of other areas where you can enjoy the sunset and capture beautiful images of the interesting Sedona landscapes.
Airport Mesa gets crowded at sunset because the views truly are incredible, but fighting the crowds is certainly worth it.
Just plan to get there early - at least an hour before sunset - so you have time to carve out a space for your camera and tripod.
Also take some time to explore the many trails that emanate from Airport Mesa. Even just a few yards from the main parking lot, you'll find gorgeous views that aren't quite as crowded.
What to Photograph in Sedona - Devil's Bridge
Photo by Nikolas_jkd via iStock
Devil's Bridge is by far the most difficult of the locations to get to that I've listed here.
Not only is there a 1.8-mile roundtrip hike to get to it, but to get to the trailhead, you need a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
However, the work to get there is certainly worth it!
Photo by hbrizard via iStock
Devil's Bridge itself is a fantastic subject for your photographs. But you can also walk across it and take in stunning views of the surrounding landscape from the other side of the arch.
Furthermore, photos that include people on the arch make for an interesting shot, as it provides scale to the scene so viewers get a better sense of just how large this natural bridge really is.
Visiting this spot in the winter offers a totally different experience, and is highly recommended. If you time it right, you might even see the landscape covered with snow.
How to Make the Most of Photographing Sedona
Photo by Susie Reed.
As I mentioned above, many photography hot-spots in and around Sedona are either extremely popular, and thus quite busy, or difficult to get to (or both).
That being the case, I recommend taking a Sedona photography tour.
Think about it...rather than spending all your time fighting the crowds or simply trying to figure out where to go, you can rely on a local expert to get you to those iconic spots to capture gorgeous photos.
What's more, taking a photography tour means you can rely on the guide's expertise of the area to take you to off-the-beaten-path locations that few tourists ever see.
Photo by Susie Reed.
There are plenty of photography workshops in Sedona, but my recommendation is to book a tour with Susie Reed.
Though Susie isn't a native of Sedona, she's been roaming the area with her camera, leading workshops and tours, and finding the best locations for photos since the 1990s.
Her tours are private, so you can experience the beauty of Sedona in a small group setting - or even on your own with Susie!
Where other photography tours in this area cram as many people as they can into transport and hurry them along from one place to the next, Susie takes a much slower and purposeful approach.
As a result, you get to actually experience the places you're photographing and immerse yourself in the unparalleled beauty of Sedona.
As if all that isn't enough, Susie will take you to little-known spots all over Sedona so you can see picturesque locations you'd likely never find on your own.
Photo by Susie Reed.
It's in these little enclaves away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds that Susie will guide and instruct you so you can develop a more skilled approach to landscape photography.
But don't take my word for it...Susie's tours have five-star ratings on Google and TripAdvisor, and for good reason if you ask me!