Flagstaff in Winter

Downtown Flagstaff in Winter, Arizona

Downtown Flagstaff in Winter, Arizona

People who move to Los Angeles usually cite the warm weather as their primary motivating factor for moving there. From native Southern Californians however, I hear a lot of sentiments about wanting to live in a place that has four seasons at least once in their life. I’m one of them.

With snow in the forecast for Sunday night through Monday, I went to bed on Sunday night with plans to photograph downtown Flagstaff with fresh powder on the ground. The motel room was located a block away so it made it really easy to wake up and head straight out the door at dawn. I really couldn’t have asked for any better conditions and pretty much had downtown to myself.

Downtown Diner Sign, Flagstaff, Arizona

Downtown Diner Sign, Flagstaff, Arizona

I’m not sure why the difference is so pronounced but the people of Northern Arizona are so hospitable compared to people in the big cities in California. Everyone we encountered seemed genuinely nice and more than willing to strike up conversation. After the sunrise photo shoot, I walked back to the room to meet Samantha and we walked over to have a hearty breakfast at a family-owned diner. As soon as we walked into Downtown Diner, a regular at the counter and the staff recognized me from the sunrise photo shoot so we engaged in conversation throughout the meal.

Samantha Building Her First Snowman, Flagstaff, Arizona

Samantha Building Her First Snowman, Flagstaff, Arizona

I bought the Fuji X10 last month so I could more conveniently capture the spontaneous slices of life I was skipping with my heavier professional camera gear. Monday morning in downtown Flagstaff was a perfect place for this little camera. Samantha had mentioned that she had never been somewhere when the snow was falling so I took this opportunity to capture some of the fun we had on this snowy morning. Photography in my opinion is most special when it captures a real moment. The “Decisive Moment”.

Snowman in Downtown Flagstaff, Arizona

Snowman in Downtown Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff has always been one of my favorite places in the southwest. I like that the town has maintained it’s Route 66 character and isn’t as touristy as places like Sedona and the Grand Canyon South Rim. This is my kind of town.

11 thoughts

  1. Richard – that’s more snow than we have here in Southern NH! Kids thrive when they get the chance to play in the snow. That’s great you’ve given Samantha the opportunity to experience a fresh snowfall!

  2. Thanks Jerry. I’m surprised that NH is so low on the snowfall. The one time I went to New England in winter, there was 4 feet that had just dumped over a weekend. It was pretty cool in Flagstaff since there was powder but not so much where you couldn’t easily get around.

  3. Flag is one of my all-time favorite mountain towns. You’re right, the people ARE friendly there. It makes me smile to see the pic of Samantha making a snowball and the finished product. She’s got quite a snowman making career ahead of her! :-)

  4. You hit the conditions there just right Richard. Flagstaff is such a cool town and beautiful in winter. It’s great that you’re travelling light with the gear and capturing those special moments.

  5. Thanks guys.

    Russ – I made the first image with the 5D MKII on a tripod, but the others were with the X10. It’s nice to have the freedom to roam with lighter gear.

    Ron – yes, we did go to the Grand Canyon. There was a little snow in the shaded parts of the canyon but I’m sure there is more now than what I got because we got there right when the storm clouds were rolling in the Flagstaff area.

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