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January 26, 2024

New Beginnings

Relocating to North Yorkshire

As the end of January approaches the cosy, gentle cocoon of the winter will soon be at an end. For me, this month has been one of reflection and settling in to a new home and a new way of life. Last November, me, my husband Rupert and our two cats moved to North Yorkshire. Making the permanent move back to our roots from suburban Surrey has not been difficult. We’re living in the village where Rupert grew up and our local town, Thirsk is where we both went to school. We know the area and are rapidly rediscovering the best places for a Sunday lunch (complete with sticky toffee pudding)!

The Abbey Inn

As winter inches closer to Spring and hibernation comes to an end, we’ll explore further afield to the Moors or the Dales, both easily accessible. Moving away from our grown up children, friends and suburban way of life has been an adjustment for sure, but London is only two and a half hours away by train after all..

Photographing the Winter Garden

Photographing flowers in winter is a challenge. There arent any! The light levels are low and the days so short. Yes, I could just pop to the local supermarket and buy a bunch of Dutch Tulips ,but I try and design and photograph sustainably using only what is available to me. My photography shared on instagram is a document of the seasons and being in tune with nature is what inspires my work. After the bright lights and drama of Christmas it’s a relief to have a few weeks of reflection and perhaps try shooting outside our comfort zones. I always have a bank of seasonal imagery to draw on and you may have seen me sharing my misty, frosty pictures from a day at RHS Wisley last January.

The delight of those first green spears pushing through the frozen earth is pure delight though and I will be the first in line to buy a bunch of English grown narcissi or tulips. I have written previously about shooting in winter light and you can read my tips here

The winter garden offers so many beautiful opportunities so if you do get a frosty day and a chance to go out with your camera don’t hesitate. The light on these kind of the days is the best.

A winter composition

During these mid winter months when the flowers are scarce it’s more important than ever to think about the composition of an image. The negative space, (areas of the picture with nothing in) are so important to creating a balanced image. Below, a beautiful earthenware pot and a draped styling cloth are the only accessories needed to emphasise the beauty of a handful of precious snowdrops.

Bulb to Bouquet Workshop

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

Here’s to new beginnings and opportunities. Next time I will be telling you all about a wonderful retreat in France that I have been invited to take part in. I can hardly wait to be there!

Janne x

Photography and styling tips

  1. Kiki says:

    Those frosty “leftovers” look really beautiful! I wish I could find something like that around where I live, but there’s either not enough frost or not enough vegetation…

    • Janne Ford says:

      Thanks Kiki. Frosty days as magical as this are few and far between in the UK. I was just so lucky to visit Wisley Gardens on such a beautiful winters day.

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