Tucson is the county seat of Pima County in South-central Arizona 100 miles Southeast of Phoenix and 60 miles North of the Mexican border. The 2020 census marked the population at 542,600, and there are over 1 million people residing in the Tucson Metro area.
Tucson served as the capital in the early days of the Arizona Territory. The history of the city can be defined as tumultuous. As with most frontier cities in the Southwest, there are stories of Indians, Spaniards, and characters of the Old West. Prior to 1912, there had been four different flags of conquering countries that flew over Tucson: Spain, Mexico, the Confederate States, and the United States. When Arizona was admitted into the Union, the 5th flag became that of the State of Arizona.
When looking for a photo shoot venue in Tucson, you will have no trouble finding some to your liking. The tough part will be choosing from so many.
Photo Shoot Venues in Tucson
The photo shoot venues in Tucson are predominantly commercial settings. The building features are of Spanish-Colonial and Moorish architecture typical of the area. The interior spaces are of a wider variety from cozy, to artsy, to open. The remote scenery offers a variety of sights from the high desert floor to the tall timbers and lakes at the higher elevations. There are dry riverbeds that come to life from the flow washes of the rainy season and the amazing sunsets.
Hire a car service while you are in Tucson, so you do not have to worry about traffic or finding your way around. Even if you are stuck in traffic, at least you will be in the back seat where you can relax, do some work, or catch up on your emails.
It may not be required but it sure is recommended to provide food and beverages for your crew. Working on an empty stomach can cause a lack of attention and the dreaded “hangry” attitude. There are a variety of catering companies in Tucson from taco trucks to seated and plated meals served by a professional crew.
Both Tucson and Pima County offer no-fee permits for commercial photo shoots. The Film Tucson staff can assist with the scouting of venues. There will need to be coordination with police, fire, and transportation depending on the scope and the location of the shoot. There may be fees associated with the services of additional municipal departments, although not defined as a permit fee.
Photo Shoot Venue Companies in Tucson
It is beneficial for any commercial photo shoot to outsource services to local companies. The end product will be enhanced by the local knowledge brought to the shoot. The creation of jobs and the wage investment brought into the local economy will strengthen the merits of the application for any incentives or grants that may be available. Take advantage of the local professionals to assist you with your many tasks so you can go exploring.
- Gold Star Town Car Service
If you are looking for exclusive chauffeured service with a variety of luxury town cars, check out Gold Star Car Service. They have been in business in Tucson for many years and have a plethora of five-star guest testimonies to show for it. Whether you want a personal chauffeur to drive you around all day or on-call service as needed, you can get all that and more. They even have wine tasting and sightseeing tours.
- Tracy’s Tucson Catering
This local catering company melds catering services with event planning. There is flexibility within the staff to customize catering solutions for any sized group and for the complexity of scope. Tracy’s Tucson Catering will partner with other local vendors to provide any needed furniture, tents, and utensils.
- Michael Chansley Photography
This Tucson-based photographer is known for head, action, and event shots with minimal travel charges. The photographs in his gallery speak to the experience with indoor shoots and remote landscapes. A local photographer will know the best location and the optimal time of day for the shoot.
Pros and Cons of Photo Shoot Venues in Tucson
There are pros and cons to every task and project. The management that these issues have on a project takes insight and patience. The list below is a suggestion of important facts to consider for a photo shoot in Tucson.
The Tucson International Airport is only six miles from downtown. The connectivity of the Interstate highways, commuter rail, and bus stations to downtown, the University of Arizona campus, and other destinations is functional and progressive.
Tucson has been ranked as one of the metropolitan areas in the US with the cleanest air. It is also cooler and wetter than other cities in Arizona despite its southern location, meaning summers are not as unbearably hot as in other cities.
In addition to the interior spaces offered by the host owners, the variety of character in the scenery can support the messaging or branding of the photo subject. Tucson has distinct neighborhood areas and festivals to show allegiance to the diverse population and flavor.
- Local support of industry
The production, photography, and digital media industries have virtually dried up in Tucson due to the pandemic and the discontinuance of tax incentives. Both Tucson and the state of Arizona have been at a competitive disadvantage when compared to New Mexico and California.
It will be a matter of time before the film and production industries once again consider Tucson and Arizona as viable locations. There will be many other photographers vying for the same shoot locations, and this demand will bring higher prices.
- Location specific
Tucson and the surrounding areas are not generic enough to be considered location neutral. The messaging of the photography and the branding of the product will need to be conducive to the southwest scene.
Famous Locations in Tucson
- Saguaro National Park
This national park speaks to the hiker and the seeker of wildlife. This area is of two sections including the eastern area for the day hiker and the west for the aggressive hiker wanting the challenge of rugged terrain. Some of the tallest species of the saguaro cactus in North America are in the park and you will see a variety of flora and fauna here.
- Mission San Xavier de Bac
Established by Father Francisco Kino in 1692, the building now was built by the Spanish Jesuits in 1770. The Mission is known as the White Dove of the Desert and is the oldest European structure in the state. The museum’s artifacts tell its story, and the mission is still used by the native Tohono O’odham Indians as their spiritual center. The elegant white Moorish stucco façade makes this a popular photo shoot venue in Tucson. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
- Pima Air and Space Museum
This museum has a collection of over 400 air and spacecraft encompassing 80 acres. It is known as the largest privately funded museum in the world. Visitors will see both historic and modern models, like JFK’s presidential plane and a replica of the Wright Brother’s 1903 flyer. There is a bus tour into the Boneyard, the 309th Aerospace and Regeneration Center. Reservations for this tour are a must and need to be made at least 10 days in advance.