Best Places Around Carlsbad, New Mexico for a Photo Session -

Best Places Around Carlsbad, New Mexico for a Photo Session

After moving to Carlsbad, New Mexico only a few short months ago, I feel like there’s still so much to explore around the area. New Mexico is still such a brand new world to me and I feel like almost every bit of it is so photogenic. The amount of variety is unreal, the light hits in a way I have never seen before, The land formations and the rivers, the National Parks, the wide open sky…all of it is just such an inspiration and I can’t wait to uncover more of it! For now, I have a few close-by favorites all within an hour of my home base of Carlsbad. For all my Carlsbad clients, or even travelers looking to book a session while here to see the Caverns, this one is for you!

The Hackberry Lake Sand Dunes


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Hackberry Lake is located about 20 miles Northeast of Carlsbad. If you love an otherworldly feel, this place feels like it takes you right to Mars. This place is a giant, fun sandbox with rolling hills and so much vast expanse to play around in. If you get tired of the sand getting in all your clothes, there’s some footpaths leading into the desert for another kind of look!

Ocotillo Trail


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The Ocotillo Trail is so accessible it almost feels like cheating. I’m there almost every day just to hike it! It is accessible from two different locations so you can get two different looks! There is a parking lot up top past Living Desert State Park, and one at the bottom located at New Mexico State University. I’m blown away every time I’m there just because of how perfectly the light hits. This place is a photographers dream. If you love that golden sunset light mixed with the desert-y, cactus-y vibe (can you tell I’m not from around here yet?), this place is for you.

Washington Ranch


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WOWWWW the variety at this place!! I can’t believe how many options there are here and how many different looks you can get! This is the place with the most trees that I’ve seen, for all those longing for some color and shade. It totally doesn’t look like New Mexico in some parts! A lively, bubbling stream flows through as well as a giant pond. It’s so green in the summer months, and in the fall its comparable to the Northeast with those colors! I love those wide open landscapes and skies, and if you’re like me, take a venture out to the huge back area. The fields go for miles and in the distance, you can see the mountain range lining the horizon.

McKittrick Canyon


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McKittrick Canyon is a new find for me and has quickly skyrocketed to one of my favorites! This is the best view of mountains I’ve seen and now I just want to take every client out here! The sunsets are amazing and cast firey, vibrant colors on the mountains. This place leads to the most incredible backgrounds. And has so many trails to choose from!

Sitting Bull Falls


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Sitting Bull falls takes the cake for me. I just love this place. A literal oasis surrounded by desert, it’s literally impossible to get sick of. With multiple waterfalls, hikes, and crazy rock formations, this place is perfect for the adventurous type. The rich blue waters feel like something out of a dream. Lush greens surround the paths. If you’re feeling especially daring, I’m always down to jump into the cool waters with you for some unforgettable shots!

Which one is your favorite? Let’s explore it!



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