I love the light in the desert. Besides the beach it is probably the most requested location for fashion and model portfolios that I get. While the results of the shoots are always stunning the process, logistics, and prep for the the shoot needs to be kept in mind.
First and foremost, unless you want to pay for permits and location you have to go out to the boonies to shoot. This can be up to a four hour drive. If you are wanting to do something risque' that is probably what you want anyway. No creepers and no getting arrested is always nice. However you have to have a creative team willing to make that drive. It is easily a full day plus of work.
Besides the drive you also have the elements to deal with. Where I shoot is somewhere between Joshua Tree and Indio. Depending on the time of year the temps can be well over 100 or absolutely freezing. Contrary to what many think the winter in the desert gets cold. That area is also prone to some crazy winds. So you have to plan to keep yourself and team warm during the winter between looks and bring plenty of water during the summer so they aren't passing out on you.
With the winds, sun, and sand you have to also find a way to keep your gear clean. Just like the beach you can come home and dump (what seems like) pounds of sand out of your gear bags.
All of that being said. I love shooting the desert. Early morning, full sun, sunset, it doesn't matter. The light is beautiful and you have plenty of opportunity to be creative with your lighting. This portfolio shoot with Natalie started out a tad chilly and warmed up throughout the day. It never got "hot" but comfortable. When I'm contacted about shooting in the desert this is probably the most referenced shoot.