The Desert Lens is Visit Tucson’s curated collection of photographers based in Southern Arizona, who find themselves continually inspired and captivated by our Sonoran Desert environment and the historic architecture of Tucson. We’ve featured the folks you’ll find here often on our Instagram channel, and below you can find extraordinary examples of their work, along with links for ordering prints directly from these artists.
Pete Gregoire - @picturesat11
Pete Gregoire was given a camera at the age of 7 by his father and taught the basics. Photography was instantly addictive for him, and it spawned a lifetime journey of capturing moments in time, striving to convey beauty, surprise, fury, and power, along with the emotional highs of his life. His passion is fast cars, air shows, monsoon storms, and wildlife. The Sonoran Desert landscape lends a magic to all subjects and as a Tucson resident, he finds a bottomless well of inspiration here.
Leila Shehab - @leilashehabphotography
Leila Shehab has enjoyed photography ever since she turned 9 years old, upon receiving her first camera for her birthday. After moving to Tucson in 1983, she has developed a deep appreciation for the ever-changing beauty of the Sonoran Desert, always inspired to take more pictures of landscapes, monsoon storms, flowers, and birds. Her favorite locations in Tucson are Sabino Canyon, Saguaro National Park, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
Amy Stephens - @wesahs_
A native of our state and proud Arizona Wildcat alumnus, Amy Stephens calls the Catalina Foothills home, forever drawn to Sabino Canyon and other scenic hotspots nearby and remains passionate about the conservation of the Sonoran Desert. She loves the daily challenge of capturing the endless palette on display in Tucson with her iPhone but has been pondering more technical photographic pursuits given the inspiring work of others in the community. Saguaros remain her single favorite subject, and if you’re interested in a print, connect with her directly on Instagram!
Tony Aragon - @neatpicsitake
Tony Aragon was born and raised in Tucson, a self-taught, storm-chasing photographer obsessed with the beauty of the desert southwest and Tucson itself. He began posting his early photos to an anonymous Instagram account until it became his driving passion, and now consistently posts his work to @neatpicsitake. You can find prints of his work at Hotel McCoy, Bookmans East, and at his webstore at the link.
Rycardo Bia - @rycardo_bia_photography
Rycardo Bia is a self-taught photographer, born in New Mexico but raised in the 520. His progress in the form is driven by his love for a variety of things in Tucson, be it a stunning Sonoran sunset, a familiar street scene awash in the monsoon rain, or the nostalgic allure of a glowing neon sign. He loves long walks, a Wagyu steak, and only the finest of memes. Connect with him directly via DM on Instagram to purchase a print!
Jessica Morgan - @jessicamorgan_photography
Jessica Morgan has spent over 20 years of her life in Tucson and devoted much of her adulthood curating photographic impressions of the Sonoran Desert. Being self-taught, Jessica has spent many years sharpening her landscape and wildlife photography in public lands such as Saguaro National Park and Mt. Lemmon.
Adrienne McLeod - @arizona_adrienne
Adrienne McLeod loves weekend hikes, camera in hand, to enjoy the outdoors and document the interesting plants, animals, and scenery she encounters. An Arizona native, Adrienne grew up in Tucson and then the wilds of northern British Columbia, Canada. She loves the outdoors, reading, and photography, especially of the southwest.
Ray Cleveland - @raycleveland
Ray Cleveland is a native Tucsonan that fell in love with photography at a young age. Southern Arizona offers Ray many unique photographic opportunities. Whether it’s capturing the beauty of our dark skies, chasing lightning during monsoon season, or observing our diverse wildlife, his lens is never bored.
Sean Parker - @seanparkerphotography
Sean Parker is a professional landscape, commercial, and aerial cinematographer based proudly in Tucson, Arizona. Focusing on capturing the beauty in the universe, Sean's work has been published and recognized in media outlets globally. Sean specializes in capturing all the beautiful elements of the southwest such as starry nights, colorful sunsets, and beautiful monsoon weather.
Joseph Cyr - @allophile_
Joseph Cyr is an award-winning photographer and language teacher in Tucson, Arizona. Born in Seoul, he’s also lived and worked in Seattle, Georgia, France, and Nicaragua. The light and landscapes in the mountainous Sonoran Desert have him keeping his iPhone charged on runs and hikes in the hills and canyons near home.