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May 12, 2023

A Floral Portrait

Flower Photography Workshops

Hello everyone. May is one of the most beautiful months in the floral calendar and the tulips very much take centre stage. They’ve been available all year, but there’s nothing like the big, bold homegrown divas. There’s a tulip for everyone from the delicious sorbet tones to the exotic parrots. I grow varieties that I want to photograph and have been loving Rococo with its waxy, flouncy petals. If a tulip could do the Tango then this would be it.

Rococo tulips
Dutch Masters flower arrangement

Tulips always lend themselves to still life Dutch Masters style imagery. Painting in flowers. The mood is dark and rich and the lighting subdued. What you can’t see, the negative space is just as important as what you can. I have written about creating this kind of look in a previous blogpost here

Bulb to bouquet

Last month Claire Sutton of Fig and Fern and I ran a flower and photography workshop. We had a wonderful day with six lovely attendees who all created the prettiest bouquets. Claire had created such a stunning display in her studio of all the flowers we could use. Of course we couldn’t wait to get started. A workshop where someone else has chosen the flowers is always a good way to experiment with a different colour palette.

Claire lives in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds so her home in the country was the perfect place to host this Spring Workshop. We’ll be planning another for October. Everyone created such a pretty bouquet and after lunch we explored various lighting situations from dappled light to dark and moody to capture some floral portraits. The garage floor and a chippy old bench make a perfect foil for all the prettiness.

It was a sunny day and harsh lighting on flowers can create unflattering colour contrast and shadow. It’s all about finding flat even light to capture the flowers. A neutral, unfussy backdrop works best for a floral portrait.

Dappled lighting or shooting against a window can produce a light and airy look which is perfect for wedding bouquets and posies. It’s all a matter of preference. I like to shoot both, but ideally would wait till the light is softer for back lighting against a window.

If you shoot flowers in a variety of natural lighting situations you will soon find out where the best places are to photograph your work. On this workshop we used a chair as a prop, the garage floor, dappled light under trees and against the gates. Claire has so many amazing places to try out. Of course moving from light to dark and back again means you always have to change your ISO and keep an eye on your shutter speed.

And don’t forget the human touch. So important when shooting a bouquet for scale, context and movement.

A floral portrait workshop

Strawberry Hill House, Twickenham, 21 June 10.30am-4pm

Join myself and floral designer Leigh Chappell to celebrate the summer equinox on June 21st 2023. We’ll be running a floral design and photography workshop at Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham, the home of the sustainable flower festival. Leigh will show you how she creates one of her stunning bowl arrangements using a kenzan pin frog and chicken wire. You’ll each create a bowl using seasonal British flowers. After lunch there will be a tour of this incredible gothic mansion and then we’ll explore how to photograph our arrangements in and around the house.

The cost of the day is £180 and includes all flowers, bowl, kenzan and house tour. Refreshments will be included, but lunch can be purchased in the cafe. You can bring a DSLR or Iphone to practice photography. To book or if you have any other questions please email or DM me or Leigh.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the month and if you’re like me you’ll be hoping for slightly less rain.

Janne x

Floral Styling and photography

  1. […] My next workshop is with Claire of Fig and Fern Floral on October 3rd 2023. Join Claire and I to celebrate the Queens of the Autumn garden at her home near Louth in Lincolnshire. Claire is an experienced florist with a whimsical and natural style and her garden studio and home are surrounded by farmland, an inspiring venue to host a workshop. You will each create a bowl design with dahlias and complimentary fillers and accent flowers. After one of Claire’s delicious lunches we’ll explore how to take beautiful images of of the arrangements both in and outside discussing composition, natural light and backdrops. You can read about our Spring workshop here […]

  2. […] On my flower and photography workshops I always cover the importance of composition to create imagery. It’s key to creating an image that works and brings out the beauty of a floral design. I have a workshop on Saturday May 4 with Claire Sutton of Fig and Fern Floral Design. Claire is a renowned floral designer with a naturalistic, garden style and her home and studio make the perfect backdrop for creating imagery. We have a few places available so do get in touch if you would like more details. You can read about last years Bulb to Bouquet workshop here […]

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