There is nothing like seeing acres and acres of beautiful tulips and daffodils in full bloom. I got a chance to visit the place just once, last spring and was amazed at the colors & variations. If you are around in the pacific north west, this is the place to be, to enjoy Spring in it’s full glory.
P.S: No, I am not affiliated to Wooden Shoe, Just enjoyed my trip there last season and wanted to share the details about this gem of a place.
It is a time of quiet joy, the sunny morning. When the glittery dew is on the mallow weeds, each leaf holds a jewel which is beautiful if not valuable. This is no time for hurry or for bustle. Thoughts are slow and deep and golden in the morning
Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is located near Woodburn, OR, yeah the one the hosts the better known Woodburn Factory Outlets. It is just over an hour drive from Portland. If you are not an early riser (like me), and would like to shoot during twilight, you can find accommodation at Woodburn. Places like Budget Inn are good enough to crash in and head out early in the morning. Closer to the highway, you can get slightly better options like Best Western etc.
The Tulip Festival is during the Apr – May of each year. The Wooden shoe website is quiet handy with up to date information.
Things to do
Take a stroll, smell the tulips, run around, sit and enjoy a sunset or a sun rise … And if you wanted to shoot, you are in a heaven :)
When ur spending time shooting the lovely tulips, there are other things to have your family / kids engaged like bouncy house, rock climbing wall, a swing ride, a zip line for adults, vendor’s booths to shop at, and a small taste of Fair food. You can read more about the festival activities at the Wooden Shoe site.
- Cool breeze, Rows and rows of colorful tulips, Lovely clouds, The setting sun dotting the horizon, what else can a photographer ask for. It definitely is photographer’s heaven. The best time of the year – April to May. The best time of the day around sun rise and sun set.
- Scout and Plan : Scouting the location is critical. Each year the directions of the farms are different, hence plan accordingly if you are heading there specifically to shoot. This becomes even more significant if you were planning to include a sun star or the distant Mt hood in your composition !
- Head out early : Be friendly, make sure to nurture nature and use common sense ! Yes the farm opens only at 9 AM. But if you are friendly and talk to the owners, you would see they do not mind folks stopping by in the wee hours. And don’t be surprised, you sure would not be alone :)
- Be prepared to get dirty : Visiting immediately after a shower is probably a best time to shoot as the colors are saturated and the the reflections are beautiful. But be open to get down on the ground and get dirty. That definitely is part of the fun :)
- Hot Air Balloons : Make a good addition to the colorful tulips. Do get early in the morning to get them in the composition. U could also plan to get a ride out in it.
- Tractors : In addition to the hot air balloons, the rustic tractors also play well with the colorful Tulips. Unlike the hot air balloons, the tractors are always there. This year I heard they even added a pink one [This shot is from my friend +Gary] :D
- Each year there is also “Catch the color contest” hosted by Wooden shoe in collaboration with Pro Photo Supply. Do check this out if your are interested.
Here are some my favorite shots from my visit. Click here for the Full Gallery.
Have fun, do share your photos from your visit in the comments below !!! Happy Spring !!!