Bluebonnets Are Back: tips and tricks for taking pictures with the beloved Texas flower

Scottsdale, Ariz., sophomore Lily Sandblom poses in a field of bluebonnets at Whitehall Park in Woodway. Photo Courtesy of Lily Sandblom

By Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

It’s springtime in Texas, which means one thing: Bluebonnets are blooming! The popular flower can be found in waves along Texas highways, and, as always, families are flocking to bluebonnet fields to take their annual portraits among the flowers’ natural beauty. It’s almost like a Texas rite of passage to have your photo taken with bluebonnets, whether you’re a native Texan or an out-of-stater.

Jack Maguire, historian and former writer for the Daily Texan, once said, “The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.”

The bluebonnet has been the Texas state flower for 117 years. Lady Bird Johnson encouraged highway beautification across the United States by handing out Texas highway beautification awards in 1969. Thanks to Lady Bird’s love of wildflowers, residents across Texas started planting bluebonnets along highways and in pastures. This tradition created the beloved Texas field blanketed in blue that many love and enjoy today.

In spirit of the return of bluebonnets throughout Texas, here are a few tips and tricks for finding and taking photos among the flowers.

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Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

Where to find bluebonnets in Waco

  • Along Loop 340 near the Central Texas Marketplace
  • In front of the Hyundai dealership located at 1501 TX-340 Loop, Waco, TX 76712
  • White Hall park in Woodway located at 7600 Fresno Rd, Woodway, TX 76712
  • Along I35 North going into Bellmead
  • Along Highway 31 towards Corsicana
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Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

Tips for taking photographs with Bluebonnets

  • Bluebonnets are not just a fan favorite of people, but also of wild animals such as snakes and bugs. Look before you decide to sit in a patch, and beware of other critters lurking through the fields!
  • Avoid taking photos in the middle of the day. The harsh midday sun can be extremely unflattering through the lens. The best times to take photos are at sunset and sunrise, also known as “golden hours.”
  • Try to take photos of your subject at eye level, and direct your subject to sit in the flowers rather than stand.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid including buildings or poles in the background of your photos.
  • Be safe. There are many stretches of highway with bluebonnets that are oh-so-tempting to enter and photograph, but a photo isn’t worth risking your life. Pull all the way off the highway and be aware of passing traffic.
  • Position your subject with the sun coming in from the side or slightly from behind your subject.
  • Take some candid shots. Have people smelling the flowers and playing in them. Posed shots are nice, but candid photos are always well-liked.
  • It is a myth that picking bluebonnets in the state of Texas is illegal. Nonetheless, it just isn’t good karma or etiquette to pick them. Leave them be so they can bloom again next year and be enjoyed by all.