A month ago I had the pleasure of being invited to shoot an assignment by for Marriott Hotels. Invitation accepted I headed to deepest Provence to spend the day frolicking in the sun, surrounded by lavender fields and millions of bees! I was absolutely terrified, bees where flying everywhere including up into my dress, but they are so lavender drunk that they are gentle enough to hold in your hands! Their delightful hum was the soundtrack to my day and I waited patiently for the hordes of tourists to take their selfies and at 5pm they all hopped on coaches and left for terraces and wine!
It was not as easy as one might think to shoot, in the lavender fields, I did HOURS of research before and thought you might find it helpful if I shared some of my findings. So…
Where to see the Lavender Fields of Provence (and get great photos!)
Hire a car. You will need your own wheels to get to the best fields at the best time, a coach trip will mean you will be bunched together with lots of people all of whom want to get those shots and unfortunately there are no manners involved when a tourist or Instagrammer want’s their shot (isn’t it such a shame).
Shoot at dawn or at sunset, not only to beat the crowds but it is much cooler and the light is the best!
Take sunscreen, water and a hat, this is serious!
Take a packed lunch, there are few places to eat, these are fields, there are no restaurants.
Do not pick the lavender! This is someones crop, if you pick it you are stealing! Head to the market the day before in any town in Valensole and you will be able to buy some.The farmers will call the Gendarme if they see you picking it, they are serious about this stuff.
Take a few changes of clothes in the car with you, for all those different looks!
Do not expect it to look as perfect and manicured as you see on the internet, most fields are not as beautiful as this one I shot at If you would like to know where this particular field is and how you can shoot there please feel free to drop me an email as the owner doesn’t want it mass promoted online!
BEES! If you are afraid of or allergic to bees, then please stay away. As gentle as they can be, they are still bees and they do sting!
Hire a professional to take your pictures. I mean, IPhones are great, but why settle for less when there are some many amazing photographers in the region (myself included) who can capture some amazing memories for you!
Don’t rush. You will need at least 3 -4 hours to enjoy the experience and take some great shots. You’ll also probably spend a few hours driving about looking for the perfect field!
WHEN TO BE THERE! The lavender will only be in bloom from mid to end of June until it is harvested at the end July to middle of August. It is at its best in the middle of July!
The best places (in my opinion) to see the lavender fields are around Valensole and Sault. La Ferme aux Lavandes with it’s delightful little road side shack selling essential lavender oils and honeys is worth a trip!
I hope that has been helpful! Please feel free to drop me a comment or email if you would like to know any more! I’m super friendly and love talking about anything Provence!
Claire M xoxo
Please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to book me for a lavender field portrait, engagement or elopement photography session!