The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch: How To Create Your Best Photos

the flower fields

Hi beautiful friends!

If you follow any LA or SoCal based bloggers, you’ve probably seen the flower fields all over Instagram this season. 

As you know, I have a major obsession with flowers (see my floral style here and here), so this gorgeous wonderland had been on my radar for awhile. When my friend Jordan texted me asking if I wanted to join her for a day trip to visit, the answer was a hell yes! 

The flower fields are located in the Southern California city of Carlsbad and are filled with almost 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers. The flowers bloom only once a year from early March to early May (they just closed this past weekend), and visitors (and lots of bloggers) come to witness the beautiful rainbow colored fields. The ranch also has food vendors, a gardening center where you can buy flowers, and several garden areas to sit down and relax. 

The fields are truly breathtaking, and are the perfect backdrop to any photo! Since this was my first time going, I thought I’d share some helpful tips/things to know in order to take your best photos at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. Keep scrolling to see my 7 tidbits you need to know before heading out to the fields. 


The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch: How To Create Your Best Photos

the flower fields

the flower fields

the flower fields

the flower fields

the flower fields

Outfit details: Dress, JustFab | Earrings, similar here and here| Bamboo ark handbag | MantraBands here, here, here

1. Get there early!

If you’re going on a weekend, this is the #1 most important thing you need to do if you want to have a pleasant experience and capture some bomb pics. We got there around 10am, and it was already swarming with people. The parking lot is small, and the areas around the field to take photos have lines. The lighting was perfect between 10am and 11:30am for reference. 

2. Be aware that you’re not allowed IN the flower fields

Sadly, you’re not technically allowed to prance around in the fields. There are barricades of green caution tape along the edges of all of the fields, which are meant to keep out everyone trying to do it for the gram. While I definitely attempted to break this rule a few times, they strongly enforce it and it’s difficult to get around it. 

3. Keep in mind that the flowers are only about 1.5 – 2 feet high

While the flowers are absolutely gorgeous, they are pretty short. I’m not sure why I was so shocked at the height of the flowers, but this one threw me off a bit and I wish I knew before I went! 

The shortness of the flowers + the green caution tape makes it difficult to get good full body shots, so keep this in mind when planning your outfits, shots. 

4. Take photos straight on or from above

The green tape makes it challenging to get a good ground level or upshot, but we found that the strait-on and above shots came out the best. The ranch has small white benches in the photo areas, so I recommend bringing a towel (so you don’t dirty them) and standing on the benches to give you some height and capture the beautiful fields in the background from above. 

5. Don’t be afraid to move

Get your groove on and don’t be afraid to move and try new poses. My best photos came when I went from awkwardly standing and posing to moving, letting my dress blow in the wind and flowing with the flowers. Shout out to my model friend Jordan who gave me this tip and helped make my photos so fab! 

6. There are only Porta Potties on-site, but there is re-entry into the ranch

If you were planning to do an outfit change, make sure you keep in mind that there are no traditional restrooms! There are a few sets of porta potties, but since there is re-entry, you can change off-site or in your car as well. 

7. Check their photography policies before you get there

After we bought our tickets online (which is a #majorkey), I was looking at their website and noticed there was a $100 fee for some types of photoshoots. These shoot include portraits, wedding announcements, wedding engagement and wedding photographs. If you’re looking to take these fancy photos, make sure you submit an application before you plan your trip! 

flower fields

flower fields

Outfit details: Dress, similar | Round straw handbag |MantraBands here, here, here | Wedges, JustFab

I’m so happy I was able to experience the beauty of the flower fields, and I hope you’re able to at some point as well. It’s something everyone should see!

Have you ever been to the flower fields in Carlsbad? I’d love to know what you thought + your tips on how to take the best photos!

Thank you so much for reading and sharing.


aryann harrell blog fashion wine







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