It seems like a simple task to plop your kids, family or pets into a patch of bluebonnets and snap away. The first time I was asked to shoot photos of children in bluebonnets, that is exactly what I thought. What I didn’t expect was fire ants, other bugs and cranky kids.
So from a seasoned professional, below are some tips for great wildflower pictures:
- Go early morning or late afternoon. Mid-day offers harsh light and too many shadows.
- Dress for the occasion. That cute little sundress looks adorable on your daughter, but her legs will get itchy and be targets for bugs. I recommend long pants or tights and closed-toe shoes.
- Think about getting faces closer in the frame. If you have your subject closer, you can use the flowers as a backdrop and surround the face of your loved one in beauty.
- If you want to show off the vastness of the flowers, do not worry if your subject is looking at you. Let him look at the flowers, smell them and just be himself.
- For little ones, bring a diversion. Bubbles, a ball, a favorite toy — anything to get their mind off the fact that you are asking them to sit in the middle of itchy flowers.
- Bring help. I tried to photograph my son when he was 6 months old in the bluebonnets, all by myself. It was not working because my son was upset that he could not see my face behind the camera. A neighbor came by to help distract my son.
- Stay away from shooting on the side of highways; it is dangerous. Look for other locations. Neighborhoods, parks, some churches have lovely fields, and of course, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. They have a special place for taking pictures.
- Shoot more than one photo. Digital is cheap, so keep taking pictures until your subjects walk away and threaten to leave without you.