Arizona Cactus Garden Styled Shoot at Stanford

I have been dreaming about doing a shoot at the Arizona Cactus Garden at Stanford University ever since I learned it existed! Also I would just like to put out a disclaimer: I’ve loved cactuses and yuccas and agaves since before they were cool and I can’t decide if I love the fact that everyone loves them now too or not! Anyway, apparently this garden is a popular place…I saw at least three other photographers doing sessions there at the same time.

Since I wanted so badly to visit and take some photos in the garden, I recruited some friends to help make it happen. Kirstin Danielle at Orion’s Grace is my longest-standing friend so far in life. We were kindergarten besties, and now she’s my hairdresser (and much more than that, obviously…we’re still friends!). She does beautiful hair styling, and she’s the one person I trust enough to sit down in her salon and tell her, “It’s ok, just cut it how you think will look nice!” Make sure you check out her top tips for bridal hair styles!

Faith is another one of my close friends, from a bit later in life. We didn’t hit it off until high school. You can read more about Faith and I in this Baker Beach anniversary session back from when I first started doing photography. She and Eric were my first ever clients!

Kirstin agreed to help out with Faith’s “bridal” hair during this styled shoot. I grabbed some flowers from the Pleasanton Farmer’s Market on my way over to Faith and Eric’s house. And then we had some fun!

The Getting Ready Part

Hair styling supplies and hair stylist head shot
Cat and hair stylist at styled shoot in San Jose.
Bride getting hair done for styled shoot at the Arizona Cactus Garden.
Head shot of Kirstin at the Orion's Grace Blog.
Hair stylist doing hair.
Hair stylist drying hair.
Cat and engagement ring.
Hair stylist spraying hair spray.
Photo of the back of bridal hair at Arizona Cactus Garden.

The Cats and The Details

Bride looking at groom holding a cat.
Bridal portraits after getting ready.
Bride and groom with their cat.
Engagement ring and floral bouquet detail photos.
Cats walk around as the bride gets portraits taken.
Engagement ring in floral bouquet of hydrangeas.
Engagement ring and hydrangea bouquet.

Arizona Cactus Garden Wedding Shoot

Bride and groom hold hand and look at each other in the middle of the Arizona Cactus Garden in Stanford, CA.
Bride and groom kiss in between the cactus and yucca plans in the Arizona Cactus Garden.
Bride and groom in golden hour sunset lighting.
Bride and groom kiss during a styled shoot at the Arizona Cactus Garden.
Bride and groom stand on a path leading up to the Arizona Cactus Garden at Stanford University.
Bride and groom in Arizona Cactus Garden at sunset. Bride is dipped during a kiss and hold her hydrangea bouquet.
Bride and groom kiss in front of a saguaro cactus at the Arizona Cactus Garden.
Arizona Cactus Garden styled shoot - bride and groom look into each others' eyes and smile.
Arizona Cactus Garden styled shoot - bride and groom portraits
Bride and groom kiss at the Arizona Cactus Garden in Stanford, CA
Arizona Cactus Garden wedding portraits at Stanford University
Groom portrait at Arizona Cactus Garden
Bride and groom classic portrait
Bride and groom walk down a path looking at each other in the Arizona Cactus Garden

Do you love cactuses as much as I do? Let’s go do a session at the Arizona Cactus Garden in Stanford! Or Ruth Bancroft in Walnut Creek, or…let me know your fun ideas! Contact me 🙂

  1. Kristin says:

    So pretty! How fun that they took pictures with their cats!

  2. Claire Spampinato says:

    Beautiful photos! The lighting is gorgeous!

  3. Alyssa says:

    Oh my goodness Amber! Wow! First of all the cats had me cracking up. So glad you shared those. Secondly, everything haha the glow, the dress, the smiles the poses the framing… I can’t stop. The first detail shot right after the last one of the cats is AMAZING! I love the way you framed the ring box! <3 Alyssa

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