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Bluebonnet Season is Upon Us

Tips for Picture Taking Among the Blooms

Spring is in the air. Every year after a hard February freeze Texans start to question whether will the wildflowers and bluebonnets will bloom. Each year, the answer is yes. We love our state flower; its uniqueness gives us a sense of pride and its resilience gives us inspiration. 

Highway roadsides typically hold the most robust patches of bluebonnets. Many make it a tradition to take photographs among the blooms. It is tempting, but not safe to pull over when you see a thick patch of bluebonnets on the side of I-35. There are plenty of safe and visually appealing locations to consider; Muleshoe Park in Spicewood, St. Edward’s University and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, as well as Willow City Loop and Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg.

Once you’ve chosen a destination, here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way to get the best shots while keeping your family safe and respecting the flower.

·  If you’re photographing children, talk to them beforehand about bluebonnets and what they mean. Let them know this is going to be fun, and also an honor to take pictures with the Texas state flower.

·  Make sure your children (and spouse) have recently eaten. No one likes a grumpy, hungry subject! Don’t be afraid of bribery. Pack fruit snacks to give between shots and a lollipop as a reward at the end of the shoot.

·  For outfits, stick with solid neutral colors. A field of flowers tends to be busy enough. Adding a light print like gingham can tie it all together.

·  Bluebonnets are often located in full sun; this means mid-day pictures can turn out harsh and you’re likely to have squinted eyes. Aim to do your pictures about an hour after sunrise or an hour before sundown. Overcast days help to capture the truest color of the blooms. They also provide the best light for subjects.

·  After you find a safe spot away from whizzing cars, check the area to make sure it’s free of bees. The best area to shoot may be patchy, which is actually a benefit. You want a place to sit without compromising and smashing the beautiful flowers.

·  Now that you’ve found the perfect location, dressed the family, packed the snacks, and timed the sun, the only thing left to do is get the shot. Place your subject on a small blanket in a bare area within the patch. You will want a full patch in front to create an illusion of abundance. To make the field look full, get low. Set the camera level with the blooms, making sure to capture the front full of flowers and many tops of the blooms behind. Of course, focus on your subject nestled in between.

We love our state flower, and while it isn’t illegal to pick bluebonnets on public land, it is discouraged. The more bluebonnets that live through the season and go to seed, the more we will have to enjoy next year. Enjoy your bluebonnet photography, and make sure to tag us with your amazing shots @drippingspringscitylifestyle.