For my non-Central Texas friends, you may not know the awesomeness of the Texas state flower: the bluebonnet. Let me assure you, it is ALL that and a bag of chips. Come March, you are bound to see roadways, backroads, sideroads, backyards and everywhere in between full of the most beautiful flower God created. Of course he gave it to Texas! After living in Central Texas for almost a decade, we’ve learned a few things about capturing spectacular photos, mostly by capturing some not so good ones! Here’s the best I have to offer:
HDYDI: CAPTURING FAB BLUEBONNET PICTURES
1. Pray for rain in the winter. No really, the flowers will not be gorgeous if we don’t get winter rain. Case in point? Last spring. Zip on the rain. Second case in point, two springs ago. We got the motherlode of rain and it was the most fabulous I’ve ever seen them, bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes – they were spectacular.
2. Don’t pull off on MoPac and take them. Hi dangerous! If you’re going to pull of on a major road, try doing it an non-peak traffic times or find a safe spot that has ample shoulder room. Loop 360 has some fairly safe areas and the flowers are usually lovely.
3. Shoot before 9am or after 4pm. The sun is usually quite lovely in the late afternoon/early evening and that’s the time I prefer the most.
4. Let your kids be kids. We’ve done the smiling photos, real and cheese, laying in them, jumping in them and just hanging out in them. My favorite photos are always when we let the kids be themselves.
5. Bring a tripod if you want the whole family. I’m infamous for taking photos of the kids or Scott with the kids, but then I forget to get in the picture. That tripod at least allows you to snap a few (using your camera’s timer) of the whole gang. Here’s a great one by Joby, the GorillaPod.
6. Consider asking a friend to tag along, or hire a photographer. Make it your annual family photo time! Don’t worry, I’ll have a whole post on how to take great family photos coming soon. I might even have my most favorite photographer chime in (that’s me looking at you, Shannon).
7. Think about what’s in the background. Do you really want an 18-wheeler zooming by in your sweet photo? How about some that “Don’t Mess with Texas” trash? Just take a quick look through the lens to make sure your kids and the flowers are the feature attraction.
8. In the spring, carry your camera with you on car trips, you never know when you’ll spot the “perfect” bunch. One day a few years ago, we were on our way home from Marble Falls on 1431 and spotted a great little patch.
9. If you’ve never done it before, swing through the Willow City Loop, near Fredericksburg. It’s private property, but they allow folks to drive it. You can’t stay stopped for long, but it is definitely worth the look. I say you’re not fully a Texan until you’ve driven that loop.
10. It does no good to take those gorgeous photos if you don’t share them. We have our “Texas” guest bathroom where we usually hang ours. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the most gorgeous time of year in Central Texas.
A fellow Chi Omega is new in town and just starting her photography business. She was looking to build her portfolio and we offered to be her guinea pigs. Karissa did a beautiful job and I’m so thankful we took the time to coordinate our schedules. These just might be some of my most favorite bluebonnet pictures ever.