by Sarah O’Connor | Contributing Editor
Need a photoshoot project that your kids will have fun with this fall? I’m always looking for something new and interesting to incorporate into pictures. I had been wanting to do butterflies for a while now but was wondering how to get them to hold still. So I did some research and found out it’s not too difficult. If you get butterflies cold they go into a dormant state and will hold still long enough to take a few pictures.
Here’s what you need to do.
1. Catch butterflies and put them in a well ventilated container
2. Put the container in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before you plan to leave.
3. Pack a small cooler with ice and put the container holding the butterflies in the cooler right when you are leaving for your photoshoot.
4. Pack some sugar water and a dropper or a cotton ball with you
5. When you get to your location put your subject where you want them and do your test shots to get everything ready to go.
6. Have the subject hold out her hand and drop some sugar water into it.
7. Carefully remove the butterfly from the container. It will probably look dead, but it shouldn’t be as long as you didn’t leave it in the fridge for too long.
8. Set the butterfly in the subjects hand by the sugar water drop.
9. Get your camera in the ready position
10. Watch as the butterfly slowly starts waking up. He will start to wiggle his legs and flap his wings to warm them up in the sun. You should have about 5 minutes of picture time with him before he flies away. He may drink some of the sugar water and stay longer too if he’s hungry.
Sarah O’Connor is a creative portrait photographer in the Kansas City area and works mainly with families, newborns & children on location and in her home studio. She lives in Lenexa with her husband, two little boys Rowan & Quinn and daughter Eloise.