March 25, 2019
How to Snap the Perfect Photo in Sedona
Posted by: Lori Reinhold
People from all across the world travel to Sedona to marvel at its gorgeous landscapes and iconic red rocks. Sedona is regularly voted one of the most beautiful places in America. With its awe-inspiring panoramas, jaw-dropping landmarks, and stunning color palate, it is no surprise that Sedona is a popular destination for landscape photographers and selfie-seekers. Whether you are an experienced photographer or just an avid Instagram user, here is everything you need to know to snap the perfect photo in Sedona.
Where to Go
Everywhere in Sedona is gorgeous, but there are certain places in the area where you are practically guaranteed to get incredible photographs.
Schnebly Hill Road
Driving up Schnebly Hill Road, you have many chances to pull over along the way and take a picture. At 6,000 feet, Schnebly Hill Vista overlooks the Verde Valley, Steamboat Rock, Oak Creek, and the mineral-rich Mingus Mountains.
Cathedral Rock is one of Sedona’s most iconic landmarks. This natural sandstone butte is probably one of the most photographed spots in the area, for good reason. You can hike the Cathedral Rock Trail to various saddle points or gaps in Cathedral Rock that give you an incredible view of the surrounding area.
From Airport Mesa, you will be able to capture stunning views of Coffee Pot Rock, Chimney Rock, Bell Rock, Courthouse Rock, and Cathedral Rock as well as the city of Sedona itself. This is a very popular place to go to watch the breathtaking colors of a Sedona sunset. For that reason, however, it is very important to get to the mesa early to ensure you get a parking spot and an unobstructed view.
Oak Creek Canyon
If you want to mix up your portfolio a bit and take pictures of something other than the red rocks, Oak Creek Canyon is the place for you. It is a lush gorge located between Sedona and Flagstaff. If you take State Route 89 through the canyon, you will have ample photo opportunities along the way.
- Chimney Rock Loop Hike
- Courthouse Butte Loop Trail
- Devils Bridge
- Red Rock State Park
- Bell Rock
- Chapel of the Holy Cross
Tips & Tricks
- Use a Four-Wheel Drive Vehicle: Many of the best views in Sedona are reachable only by unpaved forest roads that require a four-wheel drive vehicle. You don’t want to miss out on a once-and-a-lifetime photo opp just because your car can’t get you there. Either bring your own, rent one, or go with a tour operator.
- Tours are a Great Option: Though Pink Jeep Tours isn’t specifically a photo tour, they will take you deep into Sedona’s gorgeous red rock country, with many stops along the way to admire the vistas and take photographs. If you want a tour that focuses on photography, we recommend the Sedona Photography Tour with Sedona Red Rock Tours. Their guides are experts on the area and will help select the perfect sites for your photography goals.
- Get There Early: This is an important one. Many of the most popular spots in Sedona can get incredibly crowded, so be sure to get there early. If you are trying to snap a photo at sunset, get to your destination at least an hour and a half ahead of time for a guaranteed spot.
- Pack Light and Bring Plenty of Water: Many of the best photo spots require a bit of a hike, so always be sure to pack light and bring plenty of water to avoid exhaustion and dehydration.
- Take Some Time to Step Away from the Lens: In this day and age, we are always stuck behind our cameras or screens, capturing moments without truly experiencing them. Standing amongst Sedona’s red rocks or forests can be a truly inspiring, transformational experience, so don’t forget to take the time to soak it in and admire the natural beauty before or after you snap the perfect photo. Reserve a few moments of silence to just breathe, marvel at the beauty around you, and live entirely in the present moment. Then you can get back to posting on social media.
Planning a photography tour of Sedona, Arizona? Book a stay at the Alma de Sedona Inn for warm service and unbeatable red rock views.