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Wildflowers – Photography How-to

I absolutely adore the Texas wildflower season. Sometimes it’s really, really short. Sometimes it’s non-existant. But thanks to a lot of early rain, I think we’re in for an incredible season. For the past 8 years, I’ve taken my kids out into the bluebonnets to get pictures and I plan to carry that tradition on again this year. They’re not in full bloom yet, so I thought I’d capture this once-in-a-lifetime season of yellow flowers with my daughter.

No matter where you live, however, you can take advantage of the wonderful color and romantic look of wildflowers (even if you have to fake it…I’ll explain later) and I’ve got a few tips for you to help you capture the best images possible:

1) SAFETY!!! I have to admit that I cringe when I see little ones sitting in the flowers just a few feet off the highway and mom is out there by herself trying to snap away. If possible, take someone with you to focus on the children’s safety while you focus your camera. Most importantly, you’ve got to find a safe place to take pictures. Even if there’s a stunning patch of flowers in the median, that’s not really a safe place to be. I know it’s tempting, but the best way to get your pictures is to be sure you’re well off major highways and roads. And sometimes that means driving around for hours looking for the safest possible place to go.

2) Comfort – Mosquitoes are no fun and don’t make for very good pictures. Here in Texas we also have to worry about fire ants and lately, mud. Be prepared for critters and I advise everyone to wear boots and just find a clever way to make sure they’re not seen in the pics.

3) Go out on cloudy day or close to sunrise/sunset for the best lighting for your images.

4) Use your most telephoto lens and shoot wide open…if you just have a kit lens, zoom out as far as it will go. This makes the flowers look more plentiful, even if they are not. All of the images in this post were shot with a 70-200mm as close to 200mm as I could get and at f/2.8.

5) Embrace mistakes. I kind of like the painterly feel of this out of focus image below:

6) It doesn’t always have to be in color. Loved the mood of this image when I turned it into black and white:

7) Fake it if you want to. I see nothing wrong with investing in a few potted plants and setting some in the foreground and background of your image. Shoot through the petals to create a look like you’re in wildflowers:

About Michele

Michele is a former marketing guru turned child and family photographer in Austin, TX. She is surrounded by three energetic kids at home and a husband who works tirelessly to keep them all educated and fed. Much like her life, Michele's work is chameleon-like... always changing with her mood and inspiration. Her mind is constantly abuzz with new concepts, but thankfully, she is regularly reminded by her kids to slow down and enjoy life's simplest moments. Michele is the owner and photographer of Pinkle Toes Photography and she also provides resources and templates for photographers all over the world via Pinkle Toes 4 Photographers.

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  • Budget images

    So cute girl ! looks very nice .If you cannot wait for a cloudy day to shoot wildflowers close-up, build yourself a diffuser for the sunlight out of a semi-clear tablecloth or shower curtain. Make sure the semi-clear item you use has no color tinting. Mount the diffuser on tall, easy-to-move posts over the flower you want to shoot or have a helper hold the diffuser.

  • Heather :) :) :)

    Those are really great tips…and I feel like a kid in a candy store, because I”m finally starting to learn some good photography things. I knew about the lighting. That is so true, even when photographing plants :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)