5 Insider Tips to Bluebonnet Photos {& Other Resources}

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AKA Photography is a photography partner with Dallas Moms Blog. We were not compensated for this post.

This past Fall and Winter, the state of Texas saw more precipitation than we’d seen in a while with almost 200-400% above the norm. But this Spring, we’re discovering all that rain wasn’t for nothin’! 2019 is supposed to be THE year for our beloved bluebonnets. They’re already in full bloom in Big Bend down through the Hill Country and it’s only a matter of weeks before the peek of the season will be right here in DFW. 

If you haven’t taken bluebonnet photos with your family before, the end of March – early May 2019 is the time to do it (not to mention, your only chance for the year)

Since bluebonnet season is so short, we teamed up with local photographer, Amy K. Abney of AKA Photography to get the inside scoop on how to make the most of your bluebonnet sessions plus provided a few helpful resources for those who may be new to the season. 

5 Insider Tips to Texas Bluebonnet Photos

1) When is bluebonnet season? When should families think about starting to book with a photographer?

Typically bluebonnets appear Mid-March and last until the end of April in Dallas County. Because it is a little different every year, and because the locations where they bloom may vary, it is best to contact a photographer late February to early March to set up a tentative date/time. 

With my business, I keep my clients informed the week prior to their shoot to let them know whether or not the session is a “go” or if we need to postpone. Spring sessions can often be tricky with the weather as well, there can be lots of rain or it can be actually even cold here in Dallas in March still so being flexible with your photographer is very important, as we can not control the CRAZY Texas weather!

Photo by AKA Photography.

2) When booking a bluebonnet session, what should families keep in mind?

Doing a session in a field of wildflowers, one needs to be aware there is a possibility for bees, ants and sometimes snakes in the tall flowers. Before EVERY.SINGLE.SHOOT I scavenge the area with my tall walking stick to make sure there are no critters in my location of interest.  So far, in the past ten years doing this, I’ve never come across anything more than a few ant piles.  I usually set up bright colored cones in the field marking where I find an ant pile to warn parents and children not to go in that area!

In local DFW fields, chiggers are normally not a problem either. I’ve never come across any in the bluebonnets, but I do suggest that families wear shoes and if you are sensitive to mosquitoes; spraying OFF on you before you walk into the grass might not be a bad idea either!  I typically bring blankets, rustic chairs, wagons, and other props for your children to sit on once they get out to the field if they do not want to sit directly in the flowers, but again, wearing closed toed shoes is a “must” up until you can get to a point where you can take them off for the photos.

That being said, many of the local DFW fields are in suburban areas that are often maintained during the year and therefore are less susceptible to these types of bugs or critters. If you’re down south in the country it’s even more important to do a quick check of the ground prior to setting your little one down in the flowers! 

Photo by AKA Photography.
 
3) What colors or outfit choices look the best with the bold blue wildflowers?
 
Bold colors are beautiful choices for bluebonnet sessions, as well as the more subdued vintage style of clothing, denim, simple sundresses, straw hats, etc. I always tell my clients to avoid all white as the blue flowers can throw a blue cast onto your outfits and make you look like a bluebonnet yourself if you are not careful. Shades of blue actually are great choices though and photograph very well.
 
The most important thing to remember is these are TEXAS wildflowers, and you DON’T want to OVER DRESS for this type of session. I would never recommend a lot of jewelry, high heels, corporate apparel or church types of clothing in the field. The more casual and comfortable your children are, the better!
 
4) For families new to the area, what advice do you have for someone who’s researching a photographer for any outdoor family pictures?
 
When researching a photographer for any outdoor family pictures, I recommend doing a little homework on your part.  Look at the photographer’s website, their Facebook page, look at their past sessions outdoors.  What do you like or dislike about their style of photography?  We are all different.  
 
Some photographers shoot in any type of lighting, and that might not be the ideal photographer to choose.  If you see photos or styles you like, mention that to your photographer when you meet.  I love it when a client comes to a session with some ideas of what they “want” in mind already. Pinterest has a multitude of ideas on outdoor photography suggestions.  Just because one photographer offers super inexpensive sessions over another photographer, be careful not to sell yourself short.
 
Finding a good photographer doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, but it is your job as a client to know what their style is like so you can know what to expect!
 
Photo by AKA Photography.
 
5) We know there are some great fields that photographers like to keep secret for crowd control, do you have any casual favorite spots families could see bluebonnets?
 
The funny thing about bluebonnets in the DFW area is they typically appear most on the sides of the highways and in random places you would never imagine! (Be sure to follow the laws and safety guidelines on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s website if you do decide to pull over.)

Because there are not a ton of great locations in Dallas itself to do these types of sessions, I normally do not give out the address to my locations, except for to my clients prior to the shoot.  I am not doing this because I am trying to hog the spot, but more so to keep the area for your family from being bombarded by other people/photographers during your shoot!  

I will say if you want to experience the BEST bluebonnets in the area, take a short 45 minute trip south to ENNIS, TX and visit their fantastic bluebonnet trails!  There is nothing else that can compare to Ennis. They even have a bluebonnet festival each year.  

Photo by AKA Photography.
 
Any other advice you have for families?
 
Despite what you might have heard about wildflower laws, it is NOT illegal to pick bluebonnets or any other Texas wildflowers… so don’t freak out if your little ones grab a few flowers and want to take them home!  It is okay!
 
Try to leave the area as much like it was before you got there; be mindful not to trample over the flowers or drag strollers as you walk through them. They are pretty resilient little guys though and you can brush them back into place if your child happens to dive head first into a spot and squash an area down flat!  It happens and it’s okay.
 
The most important thing to remember during a bluebonnet session is to have fun and let the photographer capture your children having fun!  Don’t try to get the perfect smiles or poses. This is not a studio shoot. I promise, looking back the photos you will love the most are the ones that show your children’s true personalities.
 

Interested in booking a Dallas bluebonnet session with AKA Photography? Times & Dates are going quickly, but you can learn more here OR email her at [email protected].

 

Here’s a Few More Ways to Enjoy the Bluebonnets!

Ennis Bluebonnet Trails :: Ennis, Texas is located just 35 miles south of Dallas and has been named the Official Bluebonnet City of Texas by the 1997 State Legislature. During the month of April, Ennis has over 40 miles of mapped Bluebonnet Trails. You can visit their website to get “up-to-date” reports on how visible the wildflowers are and which trails are the fullest and most in bloom. 

Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival :: Each year the City of Ennis hosts their annual Bluebonnet Trails festival. This year it takes place April 12-14, 2019. This is a HUGE arts & crafts festival with loads of family entertainment, activities, music, food, and more. And it’s all FREE admission!

Books for Your Family 

If you’re new to the state or area and want a fun way to get into the spirit of the Texas wildflower season, here are a few books we can highly recommend!

**Affiliate links below**
  • The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie dePaola – This beautifully illustrated Native American Legend explains why the bluebonnets appear as if out of no where each year and the sacrifice one little girl made for her community. 
  • Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets by Ellen Leventhal – On its 10th addition, this humorous book follows the story of a cow who’s a little too tempted by the beautiful (and tasty) flowers.

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