I have always loved flowers. I have such lovely memories of visiting my Grandmother’s prize-winning garden as a little girl. She would tell me the names of her various flowers and we would talk about the beautiful colours. My prize at the end of the day was a fistful of pansies, lilacs or peonies wrapped in dripping paper towel and waxed paper. For the entire across-town drive home, I would happily sit in the backseat pressing my nose into their soft coolness, inhaling their scent.
Much later in life, I discovered my love of photography. One of the reasons I love photography is that it brings beauty into focus — literally and figuratively. When I lift a camera to my eye the world actually becomes more beautiful to me. It’s as though the simple act of looking for beauty, causes it to leap forward into my viewfinder (Flowers: the original photobombers). You might think that holding a little black box to one’s face would create a barrier (and it can), but more often than not it helps me see beauty by focussing my attention and framing what’s longing to be seen.
I enjoy photography in many forms, but flowers take hold of me like nothing else. When I first thought about photographing flowers, I would innocently spy a garden in a park and decide to take a few photographs. An hour later, I would ‘wake up’ realizing that I’d been lost in a single flower, mesmerized, photographing it from every possible angle, trying to catch the light every which way.
A macro lens took it to a whole new level. Getting in close to a flower was revelatory. It was a whole Horton-Hears-A-Who world of beauty that existed, almost invisible, right in front of me if only I took the time to see. I was hooked. Now I know I’m in the exact right place when I bend down, look through my viewfinder, and my heart begins to pound with excitement.
What is my vision?
I believe that nature can heal us and that flowers are nature’s invitation. Their beauty calls to us, bringing the brilliance of nature into our lives and into our homes in simple and elegant ways. Flowers can connect us to nature which can inspire us to change the way we look at our homes, treat our own backyards, or even the earth and its resources.
It’s so easy to place beauty far down in our list of priorities, but it’s so important in our lives. Sometimes, when things feel impossible, a handful of flowers really helps us remember what’s important, whether it’s someone we love or our desire to make the world a better place.
What are my future goals?
My goal is to get my flower photography out into the world and then to expand to floral art pieces. As well, I’d like to include nature and urban landscapes .
What photographers (living or dead) have influenced me?
Some of my favourite photographers are:
• Irving Penn
• Imogen Cunningham
• Henri Cartier Bresson
• Walker Evans
• Robert Frank
What are my techniques and styles?
With flowers, I am particularly fascinated with macro photography. I often try to keep some distance from the flowers and to create sharp and holistic photographs. But as soon as I snap on my macro lens, that’s when my heart starts to pound and I lose time. So, that’s what I gravitate towards. I love the romantic, unfocussed style because, for me, it captures the feel of the flower — It captures the softness and the beauty.
How do my techniques relate to my vision?
I have done my job if you see photographs of my flowers and you are mesmerized by the colours. Or if you are taken in by the beauty. Or if it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust to realize what it is. While I love a nice crisp photo, I also like there to be some mystery and a story.
What message am I hoping to convey?
I am hoping to convey that the world is full of beauty. It’s all around us. Exotic, beautiful, mind-bending colours don’t require a vacation to a far-away destination. You can simply take a closer look at flower you walk by or see in weekly trip to the grocery store. The key is to have the intention to find something beautiful.
The flower photography on my web site includes photos taken over the last ten years. I’ve taken photos of flowers on my walks around town, in the flower boxes on my Mom’s deck, in formal gardens, and in my own garden. No flower is safe!
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