That gorgeous day couldn’t have been more perfect. Family from Dallas and San Antonio were all in town under the cozies of home. Squeals were still going full-force and cousin-overload seemed impossible. Mom cooked a delicious meal that we feasted on for *hours*, we all had the sabbath nap, kids were happy, and then the inevitable…everyone started itching to get out of the house. I had just bought a new camera, had a 6-month old baby boy and really wanted to go get pictures of him (and everyone else) in the bluebonnets before they went home the next day. We have access to a private family property out in Clyde that had bluebonnets everywhere, so we threw on our best casual spring wear, a bit of makeup, and off we went.
Here’s the deal, I’m a city girl…I don’t think about wearing boots out in the country. I’m clueless. Bluebonnet fields are FULL of little holes, craters, and bugs everywhere. The chance of springtime rains are rare, but when they do arrive, the evening mosquitos are RELENTLESS, and springtime allergies in West Texas might as well be a precursor to the “Walking Dead.” The fire ants, the possibility of rattlesnakes, the threat of on-coming traffic while getting pictures? Oh, no…I don’t think so. I learned that evening that it is *not* worth it.
To make a long story short, that evening was quite miserable. My precious niece, Hope, absolutely loves the outdoors, so this particular evening had every marker of being the best day ever for her….until, around 8 pm, her throat seized up, she started wheezing, and each breath became more shallower than the last. My sister, who is a pediatric surgical nurse, knew her daughter was in trouble. If she didn’t get access to medical help immediately, there could be serious consequences. They arrived at the ER late that evening, and after she received the treatment she needed, I really started to think about the safety of my paying clients. Is it worth it? I just don’t think so….while I’m not one to say “never, ever again…” it’s not likely that I’ll offer bluebonnet sessions. I can already see the eyes rolling and the muted gasps of those reading this, “But…but it’s iconic!” “You live in Texas! You have to!” Oh, friends…I don’t. I don’t have to. Your safety is far more important to me and getting beautiful pictures with your loved ones does not depend on a blue flower.
There are plenty of other photographers who will offer bluebonnet sessions…go ask them — but make sure you come prepared, chances are they probably won’t be…..I wasn’t.