Environment

Monarch striking a pose for the perfect butterfly picture, taken at a local butterfly aviaryMake a trip to a local butterfly aviary and practice taking pictures where butterflies are in abundance and exist at all stages of the lifecycle.

  • Photograph the caterpillars and pupa, too, as those photos will make an interesting addition to your portfolio.
  • Set up near feeding tables or in sunny areas highly populated with nectar-producing flowers.
  • Photograph butterflies that have just emerged from their cocoon as they are unable to fly immediately afterward; the butterfly needs to rest for a few hours after pumping body fluid through its wing veins to expand them, giving you more time to set up your picture.
  • Plan your shoot during the cooler hours of the early morning or late afternoon as butterflies need heat from the sun to use their wings, making them less likely to take flight in the middle of your shot.

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