A Visit to Hacienda Del Sol
with Mandy Holmes, the Real Housewife of Scottsdale
As a woman over the age of 35, and a photographer, I adore photographing other women. It’s a joy seeing my clients gain confidence, feel empowered and view themselves as a strong, beautiful woman during and after their session. So when Mandy contacted me to photograph her for her blog, I was thrilled. Especially when she mentioned we were shooting at the drop-dead-gorgeous Hacienda Del Sol resort.
Our shoot day was rainy and chilly, albeit summer in Tucson. As a Seattle transplant I love rain, however this morning I prayed it would break for us. As I made my way from Vail to Hacienda Del Sol on Tucson’s north side, I feared cancellation. It DID rain, but thankfully the resort had endless doorways, arches and architectural insets to protect my camera from saturation.
When I arrived at Hacienda Del Sol my first sight was a breathtaking view of the Catalina Mountains. They were draped in rain clouds and shrouded by gray mist, just behind the resort entrance. Mandy, a blogger from Phoenix, was in Tucson writing about her stay at Hacienda Del Sol. Our session was to highlight her as well as the resort, so I knew that spectacular entrance had to be included. After friendly introductions we made our way back to the entrance for her first set of photos.
The unassuming entrance to the resort was a perfect backdrop for her white and blue Grecian-style dress. It’s bright white and blue variations a lovely opposition to the muted desert tones and gray skies. Mandy had scoped out some colorfully painted archways and grand, tiled stairs during her stay. After a few shots at the resort entrance we made our way there. We were giddy with excitement to find the colors were a perfect match to her dress.
Our next location was poolside. This afforded me the opportunity to get more amazing misty-mountain shots. Mandy wore an electric blue beaded swim coverup, which provided a dazzling contrast to the grays and browns of the wet-desert backdrop. She was also thankfully brave enough to risk falling in by standing on the slippery wet barrier between the pool and hot tub. The resulting shot was gorgeous, however, with her blue outfit and golden red hair. On our way out I noticed a colorful mural and brightly painted flower pots by the pool’s entrance. I asked Mandy to pose for a few clicks here for a pop of color in her shots. The results were some of my favorite from her session.
After Mandy changed, we made our way to a spectacular courtyard following a few photos in front of the resort’s haciendas and garden patio restaurant. This courtyard was the most beautifully, quaint spot I have seen in Tucson. It was almost enchanting. With a fountain, string lights and abundant flowers and vegetation, it was a dream to photograph. Mandy looked stunning with her floral yellow top and ruffled skirt, the location beautifully accenting her outfit and fun personality. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long and the rain chased us inside once more.
Thankfully the inside corridor made for a beautiful photographic reprieve from the wet. It was also the perfect spot for Mandy’s husband to join her for a bit of romancing. Although being romantic while someone is snapping photos can be a little, or a lot, awkward, but he did fabulously and the photos turned out ridiculously sweet. We eventually made our way back to the front courtyard of the resort, outside of the famous Grill at Hacienda Del Sol. After a bit more rain and a loving kiss under an umbrella, we finished the session with Mandy flanked by brilliant bougainvillea and garden flowers beside another fountain. Albeit wet, Mandy looked gorgeous, happy and glowing.
There were so many photos I fell in love with from this session. I edited way more than I needed to, and there are still more I would love to edit just for fun. The Hacienda Del Sol Resort is a dream to photograph, and Mandy was a joy to work with. Fun, fabulous, full of life and a fantastic model, it was an absolute pleasure to meet and work with the darling Real Housewife of Scottsdale.