Sarah Neill Photography
portland, oregon | @sarah_in_pdx

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Arizona | July 2016

Shoot Dates: July 5-10, 2016

I spent most of my life in Arizona. I grew up in a little town in northeastern Arizona called Pinetop-Lakeside; I later moved to Tucson and then to the Phoenix area, where I lived for about 14 years. I have been in Portland, Oregon now for almost 2 years and hadn’t been back to Arizona yet, so it was time. I took a week off of work and flew out to visit my home state. 

Al Fulton Point: Mogollon Rim, Arizona

I flew into Phoenix and spent a little time with my sister and her kids before driving the 3.5 hours to Pinetop, where my parents live. As is tradition, I stopped off at Al Fulton Point, my favorite little spot in the whole state. It's a gorgeous overlook, and is part of the Mogollon Rim.

Mom's Garden: Pinetop, Arizona

My mom's garden is simply spectacular. I've always loved spending time sipping coffee in the morning or wine in the evening out in her backyard. She is an excellent gardener and has, over the years, had many people stop when driving by and praising it for its beauty. They've now got a little spot set up under the Aspen trees, with a couple Adirondack chairs and a fire pit. I spent a lot of time there during this trip, just relaxing and thinking.

The Official Hughes Family Camping Spot: Blue River, Eastern Arizona

My sister Karla joined me for part of my trip. She drove up to Pinetop the day after I did, and the family spent a full day driving out to and picnicking at our old "Official" Hughes Family Camping Spot. We used to go to this exact spot when I was a kid, and they take the grandkids and pets out here from time to time, but it's been probably 15+ years since the 4 of us have been there together. It was quite a treat to have everyone there, retelling favorite memories and enjoying the quiet. It was also really fun to go hiking with my sister again (which of course just means "minus parents, plus beer"). 

The Milky Way, from Pinetop, Arizona

I've always been fascinated with the night sky and have done a bit of astrophotography in the past year or so. My dad had never been, but he's the one that gave me my love of photography, so we went out to "The Chimneys", a set of old ruins near their house. There was no moon, and very little light pollution, so we were able to capture some cool shots. The third picture you see is with my dad standing at the bottom of the frame with a headlamp on, so it looks like he's lighting the stars. What a great experience to share with him!

Abandoned Buildings: Seneca, Arizona

Anyone who has driven from Pinetop to Phoenix by way of Globe, Arizona, is familiar with these abandoned buildings near Seneca. I stopped by on my way back down to Phoenix to take a few shots.

South Mountain Sunset: Phoenix, Arizona

I had an evening left in Phoenix before flying home in the morning, so I made my way to South Mountain Park and perched my tripod at the top of the mountain to watch the sun go down on my old city.