A "Me" Day at Longwood Gardens | Water, Flowers, and a Whole Bunch of Frogs

A few days ago, I saw a post on Facebook from a photographer who had registered for a photography class at Longwood Gardens but then couldn't attend.  She was looking for someone to take her spot.  I read about the class and loved everything in the description!  (I later found out it is one of the most popular photography classes at Longwood - and has been sold out for months!)  I looked at my calendar, and besides my seemingly-never-ending PhD work that I was supposed to get around to working on that day, I only had a photoshoot scheduled for the late afternoon.  The calendar Gods were smiling upon me that day, and I decided it was a sign!  The PhD work could wait!  (And, my photoshoot clients decided to change their location to Longwood Gardens once they found out I was going to be there anyway!  It worked out perfectly!!)

I bought the ticket from the other photographer and woke up at 5am to be at Longwood Gardens by 7am.  I am not a morning person (putting it very mildly), but I can do it when I absolutely have to.  It ended up being more than worth the early wake up and drive!  I was able to watch the sunrise while I drove to Longwood, and wished I was a little bit more of a morning person.  Once I arrived at Longwood, I realized we had the entire property to ourselves for a few hours before it opened to the general public.  It was awesome, to say the least.

Our class started with a little bit of instruction and shooting tips, then we were broken into three groups.  Each group was going to be allowed access in the world famous waterlily ponds for an hour at a time - and we got to go in twice!  And, I'm not talking just any access - we were given waders and actually allowed to get INTO the ponds and take photos from a "frog's eye view".  It was so amazing being able to get that close to the flowers I have stared at in wonder for years.  I also got up close and personal with a few critters - including frogs, damsel flies, dragonflies, tiny fish, bees, and lots of other insects that were flying and hopping around.  When we were not in the ponds taking pictures, we spent time wandering around the gardens taking photos (and making some new friends).  If you look at my photos closely, you'll even see that we were visited by a stunning Blue Heron!

Here are a few of my favorites from the day!  I took HUNDREDS of pictures, so this is just a small sampling of them.  (I wouldn't have time to get anything else done this weekend if I didn't force myself to stop going through them!!)  I hope you enjoy my photos - and if you haven't ever been to Longwood Gardens, or if it's been a while since your last visit, you really should go. :)

Thank you for the opportunity, Krista!  Thank you for lending me your filter for a few shots, Andrea!  Thanks to Jon (the light ninja) for a great class and a lot of laughs!