hanhgry.com | posing among superbloom with mountain in backgroundPlanning these superbloom outfit photos has been a big learning experience. I photographed this outfit over two months ago but hesitated in posting it. Why?

Well, I wasn’t entirely happy with a lot of the photos. This was my first time shooting around sunrise, and I thought I had built in enough time in our schedule to get more of that “golden hour.” I’ve taken plenty of photos around sunset but for my first time taking photos around sunrise, I didn’t give myself enough time. The soft glow of golden hour quickly gave way to super bright overhead/direct sunlight.

I still liked a couple of the photos so I decided to post them anyway. Now I know to better schedule my time and gauge the quality of the available light.

My original idea was to take pictures among the flowers. This year, California’s unusually wet winter led to a once-in-a-decade massive superbloom all over Southern California. One of the more beautiful sites for this year’s superbloom was Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, about 3 hours southeast of Los Angeles.

We waited to see what the flower forecast would be. The blooms were forecasted to peak around mid-March. The town of Borrego Springs has very few hotels or accommodations, and the few hotels were solidly booked. To spare ourselves from waking up at 2 am to drive down to Anza-Borrego, Ross and I booked an AirBnB in Escondido (a suburb of San Diego) for the night before, so we wouldn’t have to wake up as early. It was still an hour and a half drive, but that’s better than 3 hours!

hanhgry.com | superbloom purple flowers, close up

We got to our AirBnB on Saturday night, went to bed early and woke up at 4 AM the next morning. The drive to Anza-Borrego was eerily quiet in the pre-dawn darkness. We got there a little before sunrise.

We arrived at the perfect time to take photos, and it wasn’t busy yet. I am happiest with the photos we took right around sunrise.

hanhgry.com | superbloom white and yellow flowers, close up

hanhgry.com | posing among flowers with mountain in background

hanhgry.com | Ross at Anza-Borrego, with mountain in the background

I love this lighting here!

hanhgry.com | closeup with hat

The photo above was when the light started getting way too bright. I like the composition and I’m not making a silly face!

Unfortunately it only got even brighter (and hotter) after this, and none of the outfit photos we took during the hike on the trail turned out. We did the easier hike on Palm Canyon Trail, which was about 4 miles roundtrip. We saw beautiful flowers and small waterfalls and streams that made getting up at 4 AM totally worth it. I really enjoyed the hike but man, I’m out of shape.

hanhgry.com | posing in the flower fields at Anza-Borrego

The above photo was taken around 11 AM, after we finished the trail and drove around the town of Borrego Springs because there were fields of flowers EVERYWHERE. The superbloom definitely lived up to its name. You can’t really tell in this photo but I’m sitting under a tree in a giant field filled with those tiny yellow flowers.

Overall, this was a great experience. We saw the beautiful superbloom and got some exercise! I did a lot of planning to scope out when to go take these pictures, but I didn’t really plan for the amount of time I would have good lighting. Next time when I go to a new site for an outfit shoot, I’ll definitely keep what I learned here in mind.

Outfit details:

Dress: Anthropologie, old
Shoes: Bait Footwear, old, similar ones here
Hat: Forever 21, old