Have you ever dreamed of frolicking in a vast field of multi-colored flowers? Strolling through the vibrant colors, picking a few beautiful stems to take home for your kitchen table, maybe stopping to pet a friendly farm animal? If this sounds like a dream come true, you have to check out Holland Ridge Farms in Cream Ridge, NJ.
According to their website, Holland Ridge Farms is THE biggest U-Pick flower farm in the USA. I can attest to the fact that this farm is enormous and beautiful! Very soon they will be opening for their Tulip Festival, and there are some things you'll need to know if you want to attend, and a few more things to know if you would like to schedule a photo session during the Tulip Fest. Keep reading for all of the tips!!
First of all, you will need tickets to the farm. The tickets go on sale at the beginning of April and they are sold online. You need to buy your ticket in advance because they do sell out! Tickets give you access to ALL of the flowers, plus a free hay ride that takes you around the whole farm. Once inside you can purchase the tulips ($1 per stem) and check out their bakery barn and food trucks! There's a petting zoo area for the kids, lots of fun photo props and plenty of room to run and play. This is a great family activity!
What should you wear to the farm? What should you bring? Dress for the weather! Rain boots are often recommended since the fields can be muddy in the spring. Bring a jacket or sweater on cold days and on sunny days remember a hat! You can bring a little wagon for your small children, or you can just take advantage of the free hay ride that is provided. You don't need to bring clippers, the farm provides them for those who want to pick flowers. (Trust me, you will want to pick flowers!) NO pets allowed.
What about photography? Well, you are always able to take your own photos at the farm, but I highly recommend hiring a professional photographer for a session there. Why? These are images you are going to want to print out so big for your home! iPhone photos just don't cut it when it is time to print. A professional photographer will know how to pose your children, give advice for wardrobe and tell you where on the farm to get the best shot that you will cherish forever. And the light! I'll be honest and say that the light at the farm is pretty tricky sometimes. Some times of day the light is very harsh and having a professional who knows when and where to take the best photos (and then sometimes edit out a few shadows) makes all the difference. Be sure to scroll to the end for some of my favorite images from last year's Tulip Fest.
So when will we be there? *UPDATE* We will be there starting April 26th! The farm is less crowded on weekdays and the light will be best closer to first thing in the morning and last opening in the evening but we do try to work with your schedule. The farm tickets are sold "rain or shine" so be prepared for anything! We have been there when it has been cold and drizzly, we have been there when it has been hot and sunny and we have been there a few times when it has been gloriously, perfectly in between.
Your photo results will absolutely depend on the weather and the sun, so it is important to be flexible with your expectations. We will go over all the options before your session, including suggestions for wardrobe, what to wear it if rains, what to wear if it is extra bright out and what type of images you might expect based on that day's weather. The photos below were taken on a variety of weather days, one day was cold and windy, one day was drizzly and overcast and one day was so bright, the sun was making us all squint!
Finally, how long will your session last? We do try to keep these short so that you can also spend time enjoying the farm. About 15 minutes is all the time we need. Then you can be free to grab some food, visit the animals or pick some flowers to take home.
If you'd like to be notified when our tulip sessions go live, drop me a line HERE and you'll be the first to know when we are booking! Please scroll down and enjoy some of our beautiful client photos from last year's festival. I can't wait to see you all at Holland Ridge Farms this year!