Bloggers-Searching for the perfect photo at what cost?

The blogging world has become a bit seasonal in the last couple of years. I suppose it always was in terms of written content but recently, with the growth of Instagram, we are all about the seasonal photo.

Our children in cute reindeer and penguin outfits at Christmas-carefully posed in front of alpine fir trees and snowy back drops.

Likewise the cliche pumpkin patch at Halloween which even I have jumped on the bandwagon with.

Last week I saw a couple of bluebell wood photos popping up here and there but it was as I drove down a country lane near the farm this week that I actually rolled my eyes.

Acres upon acres of beautiful oil seed rape stretching canary yellow as far as the eye could see. No doubt it is beautiful but I knew that there would be #yellowfields #rapeseed and #fieldsofgold hashtags appearing on my Instagram feed.

As a farmer’s wife and a blogger though, I feel like I am torn. On the one hand, I too want that perfect insta-ready photo.

On the other, I know how outraged I would be, let alone my husband if we caught a fashion blogger flitting around our fields or a parenting blogger allowing their children to free range on our land.

So. I asked on a farming group how they would feel if they experienced the above.

Surprisingly, to me, they didn’t get all ‘get off my land’ on me and were keen that not only did people learn where their food comes from-ie that the yellow fields will eventually become rapeseed oil but that farmers were seen as approachable folk who would like to educate the general public on their crops and animals.

They did however say that people must ensure they stick to the edges of fields (whatever the crop), if they have to venture in, to use the tram lines and, if there is a public footpath through a field, that they stick to the footpath at all times.

I then asked a similar question in a parenting bloggers group and the answers were very different.

Some were genuinely unsure about protocol. One asking if you had to ask permission. Another not realising that if there is a public footpath through a field, she thought you could walk over the whole field and not just the footpath.

Then there was the one who laughed saying she just climbed the gate and took the shot because she had no idea whose the field was to ask.


It seems many people, not just bloggers, see fields as public propjty-especially if there is no farmhouse in sight. This is wrong.

All farm land is owned by someone whether you can see them or not.

Crops aside-which to me should automatically prove that a field is tended to and owned, grass fields are no less owned by someone.

We have meadow fields and grass which we turn into hay and silage to feed livestock over winter.

We have had situations where people have allowed their dogs to run around these fields and defecate. If you think-that dog muck could then be baled into silage, fed to cows. No one wants that in the food chain and don’t even get me started on dogs worrying sheep and killing lambs.

The instances where we have had trespassers on our land (usually dog walkers who we have asked to leave because of the sheep), we have had back chat from the perpetrators. Swearing, aggressive behaviour. It isn’t nice at all. Especially when my children are around.

I think the right thing to do in these situations is find out who owns the field and ask permission.

If you cannot find the owner and you can literally not live without a photo of yourself amongst the oilseed rape or other crop, then stay on the outskirts and do not trample any plants.

Keep dogs on a lead and ensure children know what the can and cannot do in the field.

Personally, if I couldn’t gain permission, I would not enter the field at all.

You have to remember, crops can be sprayed with fertiliser. Would you want yourself or your children to get that on you skin?

There is also the possibility of livestock being in a farmer’s field-whether you can see them or not.

I saw this sign on social media and it applies to most farm animals-especially cows, bulls and rams but any animal has the potential of hurting you if they feel threatened or are protecting their young.

Ask yourself this-how would you feel if you looked out of your kitchen window and saw a group of people being photographed on your lawn or in your flower beds? I imagine you would run out there and demand to know why they were trespassing on your property.

Why should it be any different for farmers?


  1. Excellent post Emma. I have my own issues about the ‘perfect’ images of Instagram and the seasonal trend drives me particularly crazy. Yes, they make for great photos but these get lost in the sea of repetition, especially when everyone is doing pumpkins, bluebells etc.
    No-one should be trespassing or damaging farmers’ livelihoods solely for IG purposes.

  2. I think if we all would use our common sense, nobody would have any issues. I’m a blogger and I will stop and take pictures of the fields. I’ve been in a Brussels sprouts field because I do love them. It didn’t occur to me that anybody could be bothered by this, even if I was trespassing. I didn’t touch the plants, I was on the outskirts all the time and we stopped for less than 5 min. Rapeseed fields are so beautiful, it’s obvious people are attracted to them.
    As a dog owner I’ve been in fields, but I always cleaned up after him, he is always on a lead and not near to livestock or other animals. He is a rottweiler, so I imagine sheep would be scared of him. I kept on the public footpath if there was one.
    I’m sure nobody would mind me being in the fields. The problem is that there are dog owners that don’t pick up in the parks, that allow their dogs to pester other dogs, there are parents that can’t control their children and let them scream and disturb others. Some of them can go on trips and stop by fields, they are the ones that would let the dogs to disturb livestock and wildlife, they are the ones that will let their children going into the fields and trample the plants. It’s a shame for everybody, farmers and other people that only appreciate and respect the beauty of the fields.

    1. I’m afraid if you are trespassing, you are trespassing and any farm would be bothered. As for dogs, it is imperative that you keep them on leads around livestock. It is common sense that you would not go into someone else’s garden then why would you go into a field?

  3. I often scroll through Instagram looking at other bloggers “perfect images”. I’ve seen bloggers in the fields around us, walking around for perhaps half an hour, taking hundreds of images trying to get the perfect one. They are so engrossed in taking the images that they completely forget that they might be on someone else’s land.
    I always try to take pictures in parks or other public spaces as I don’t think its fair to take pictures of someone else’s livelihood and display it to the World on social media.

  4. Having worked in agriculture and knowing the work that goes into farming I can totally understand this. There are parts where the crops lay against public footpaths so as long as the crops aren’t interfered with I think that is fine. I wouldnt dream of climbing over a fence to get in a field like that though, the fence is there for a reason and like you say its not really any different to someones garden.

  5. Thanks for raising this issue Emma. I think you’ve hit on a much wider point about access generally. We have lots of issues on our farm with people walking willy nilly around and through fields that are nowhere near the perfectlt good public footpath system. As a farm we really want to encourage people to access the countryside around them and in recent years have put in a couple of permissive footpath systems to vary the walking routes for people. However, we still have issues with people walking elsewhere. Accessing fields for photography is an interesting one. Some farmers (a chap from Gloucestershire who as well as a farmer is a keen wildlife photographer springs to mind) are cashing in and even doing photography days or charging for access to certain sites. I remember when I did some work for the National Trust and we were making a film, the third party company had to get a special license from the Trust before they could film. I think that it should always be up to the photographer to get permission from the landowner. If you don’t now who it us, ask someone local – there’s every likelihood they will know who to ask. 99/100 I reckon the landowner will say yes, no problem, unless there’s a safety or some other issue.

  6. I’m with you on this. I’ve done fields in the past, but only on public footpaths on the side of the field. We don’t have any rapeseed, but we have a historical footpath through our land and it’s a nightmare. Locals with dogs are usually ok, but when they have friends walking dogs through they trample all over the seeded / grass fields, or disturb the cows. We’ve not come across anyone taking photos – we’re abit out of the way, but I wouldn’t think any of the guys would be impressed.

  7. A brilliant post Emma, definitely food for thought. Sadly I am the sort of blogger who wishes I’d taken that photo – I’d never be sharp enough to drag the children into an oilseed rape field for the perfect shot! And I totally agree that everyone should respect other people’s property including crops, footpaths are there for a reason – not so that people can traipse across the whole field.

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