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Pictures with this glorious Kansas state flower are in high demand each year. They bloom for a brief period in late August into early September. But, if you miss out on these massive blooms, you can still get beautiful pictures with the many pockets of wild sunflowers around the area.
Here are some of the challenges with photo sessions at those large sunflower fields.
During the late Summer, the sun rises early and sets late. There is harsh, direct sunlight from about 8am to around 6:30-7pm. I usually find myself crossing my fingers and toes, hoping for overcast skies. Direct sunlight means dark, unflattering shadows and squinty eyes for your pictures. The myth that sunflower blooms always face the sun is only accurate for young flowers. But, the mature flowers tend to face East, meaning they are smiling up into sun as it rises. Since it’s better to put the sun at your subject’s back, a photographer only has until the sun clears the horizon to enjoy soft morning light.
What are the best solutions to these lighting issues? Stick to those limited times of soft light, bring lighting equipment out to the fields, or choose locations with better shade. Everyone loves that amazing golden light mixed with happy sunflowers. But, I encourage you to pray for some clouds!
The next big challenge is competing with other sunflower lovers. If you are just out there to admire the insects and flowers, there’s no problem. But, if you are out there during that ideal lighting, it can get crowded.
The third challenge is heat and bugs. In August and September, the evenings in Kansas tend to be hot and muggy. You won’t want to forget your bug repellant.
The images in this blog post are from 2019, but I actually only took two families back to Britt’s Farm in 2020. Given the option, everyone else chose the location I found with wildflowers (which I also preferred over this wide open field).
Enjoy this selection of favorites sunflower pictures from 2019 and send me a quick email to book your session today!
If you’re wanting sunflower pictures this year, be sure to reach out in July!