How Instagrammers Have Brought Chaos To A Small, Family-Run Sunflower Farm

The search for the perfect photo has brought an 'apocalypse-sized' headache to a family business in Canada.

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A photo going viral on social media is nothing new, it practically happens daily, but when one such post brings chaos to a family business and could, potentially, damage earnings, an innocent photo takes on a much less innocent role. 

"I can only describe it as like a zombie apocalypse," said Brad Bogle, son of Marlene Bogle (owner of a farm with a crowd-pulling sunflower field).

Brad is describing what 7,000 cars worth of people looked like when they pulled up at his family's farm and marched on in search of the perfect sunflower-filled selfie. 

Let's rewind slightly so we can get a bit of background on how the whole situation started, and eventually got out of control. 

The Bogle family own a farm and their main chunk of revenue comes from farming crops, including sunflowers, and selling various kinds of birdseed. A few years ago, to help boost the business, the family opened up their sunflower field to photographers, for a small fee, and a few hundred visitors turned up, gradually, taking photos and generally enjoying the outdoors. 

The problem this year was that some photos of people posing for selfies among the 1.4 million sunflowers had gone viral on Instagram and as a result, chaos installed. 

"Everyone was laughing and having fun," says Barry Bogle, Brad’s father. "Then all of Toronto showed up."

The family told the Globe and Mail that cars began arriving before 6 am one Saturday morning and they just didn't stop. In fact, the family had to call the police for help as people were parking up to 1KM, crossing four lanes of traffic sometimes, to reach the sunflower field. 

It took four days of the family turning people away for the traffic to die back down and the farm is now closed to those searching for the perfect shot to share on social media. 

The family won't know what level of damage the selfie-takers have done to their crops until they're harvested but it's safe to say, lessons have been learned. 

A similar situation has also recently occurred in hobby shops with photographers using plastic flower aisles as backdrops in pursuit of the perfect portrait with many smartphoneographers turning up, taking on the #HobbyLobbyChallenge and exiting without actually buying anything. 

So, if you see a particularly lovely looking crop field pop up on social media this weekend, or indeed a shopping aisle for that matter, our advice is not to go there! Mind you, with 58% of Brits avoiding some of the most beautiful locations when on holiday as they can't be bothered with queues and overcrowding, you're probably not going to go where the masses go anyway! 

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