Just lately, I have found myself drawn to floral photography. I have always loved flowers (well, who doesn’t?) and always look forward to planting my flower beds and containers each spring. I have a few perennials, some berry-producing shrubs, pretty grasses and leafy things, and ground cover that creeps along and trails over the sides of the beds. But my annuals bring me the most joy every year. I love bright, colorful, hardy flowers that can take the heat of an Ozarks summer with just a daily watering to keep them blooming until late October’s first hard freeze. I love to sit my grandchildren in the flowers and take their pictures. I love to go to the parks we have here in Springfield with clients and find what is blooming today. I love my tulip sessions at Evangel University every spring. I love visiting the Xeriscape garden and my neighbor’s summer perennial garden, full of my favorite Black-Eyed Susans. My parents have truly one of the largest pink dogwood trees in town, and as I get close to their house, I can see its blossoms rising over the roof to welcome me. And my mother has tulips, hyacinths, irises, daffodils, peonies, bluebells, lilies of the valley, bleeding hearts, roses…I can’t name them all. And at the farm, the summer lilies and honeysuckle follow the lilacs, redbuds, pears, and crabapples of spring.
So, with all of these wonderful blossoms as a part of my world, and always a big part of my warm weather photography as a beautiful background, it’s funny that I find myself with a new interest in floral photography. I look at blogs and websites which feature gorgeous florals, and I can’t get enough! I’ve dabbled occasionally in taking a few florals, but I’ve never felt it was my strong suit. I specialize in faces. I will always love faces the best..I love babies and children and families and relationships! But just for fun, just for me, I think I may try to capture a flower now and then.
One of the things that draws me to flowers is simply knowing that as far back as anyone can find written records, the love of beauty is something that defines us as human beings. The age-old aspect of having flowers in the garden appeals to me. Even if one’s garden is a small clay pot with one little plant sitting on the window sill or porch, the difference it makes in one’s life is amazing. I think perhaps the idea of flowers bringing beauty and brightness to people through the ages makes me love a bit of vintage look to floral photography. Soft and romantic, delicate processing that causes me to reflect on seasons and generations gone by.
This is a picture I took of rosebuds in my parents’ yard last spring. I see it in a new, yet timeless, way now, a way I didn’t see it when I first took the shot. I have always naturally been drawn to bright, warm images. I find if a flower is my subject, I may edit differently:
Pretty? Just what you like? Or too soft, too hazy, too muted for your taste? Do you like a romantic, vintage feeling, or do bright colors and contrast sing to you? Does realism reflect your idea of beauty (after all, flowers are perfect already), or do you enjoy a little flight of fancy in the interpretation? Or do you enjoy both? With these delicate rosebuds, I might feel differently than I would with a field of beautifully bold sunflowers. Let’s imagine a bright summer day, with bees busily buzzing with their work, and children’s voices ringing in the background. How would I edit an image? What if I caught the day’s last fleeting light touching the same petals as quiet twilight approaches?
Isn’t it interesting that what you like and what I like in a photo of a flower may be quite different? And best of all, we’re both right! That’s one reason it’s just so much fun to take pictures! No matter if you have a fancy camera, a point-and-shoot, or your phone, you can enjoy this year’s blossoms next winter, and the next, and the next. I would love to know what you like in floral photos, and I would love to see your images, too. I’ll be sharing some of mine from time to time, just for fun. Let me know where I can see yours. Visit my Facebook page or leave me a comment here, I’d love to hear from you and see your pictures!
For now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come,
and the cooing of the turtledove is heard in our land.
~ Song of Solomon 2:11-12 ~