So today I am working on some floral shoots. I am using this time as practice for a more long term project, which I will be photographing interesting flowers in the studio for a photobook. Today however, I will not be in the studio, but I will be working with lots of flowers.
I have always wanted to create my own series of greeting cards, and today I will start that process! As always I began my day with research. (I also went to some greeting cards shops yesterday to get some ideas)
When looking through some photographic greeting cards, I noted down some of the companies that produced them so that I could take a look at a wider selection of their work. One in particular that stood out to me was by Icon Art, this image was of a collection of rose petals shaped like a heart. Very simplistic, but also very eye catching. This I will have to keep in mind when creating my photographs, as I want my work to stand out, but I also want people to use them.
I then came across some more work by the same company, this work was again very simplistic but this time was photographed in the studio. This will become important as a reference for my next project, however for now I want to think carefully about my compositions and what is popular for the audience.
My next form of research was to look through my photobooks and see if anything stood out to me.
The first image I came across was in my new book 'The photograph as contemporary art' by Charlotte Cotton. The image was called 'Dewy' (2000) and was taken by Tracey Baran. The book 'The photograph as contemporary art' describes the image as being 'a classic still life', which I think is an important thing for me to consider with my photographs, as I want the audience to be able to relate to the images I take. Baran photographs daily life, yet seems to make something so ordinary, seem absolutely beautiful.
The next photographer I came across created work of a completely different approach. I found the photographer David Sims work in the book 'Image makers image takers' by Anne-Celine Jaeger. The series I am focusing on was a personal project of his called 'Visionaire 40 roses'. This series, like much of his other works focus' on beauty imperfections and is a series of images of dying roses. Yes, this will not be a popular way to photograph for greeting cards, however I am not looking at the idea of dying, I am looking at how he composes each photograph and makes something so ugly look intriguing.
In the book 'Image makers image takers' Sims talks about roses being a connection to school life, and how roses get damaged daily by the wind which shape how they look today. Just as 'You take a knock every day at school and it shapes you.'
Looking at his work again I considered how he has chosen to photograph these 'imperfections'. He has used a dark studio space and controlled lighting to highlight specific areas of focus, drawing the viewers eye to the shape and body of the flower. He uses colour, but at a muted tone, reflecting the beaten and bruised form. Sims also uses tight crops to focus the images completely on the head of the flower, removing any distractions from the scene.
The final photographer I have chosen to look at is the work of Katie Spicer, she is a commercial and fine art flower photographer in London.
What I like most about her work is the elegance of each image and how although they are not all part of the same series, there is a clear flow from one image to the next.
Spicer photographs the flowers in their natural setting, but never gives too much of the scene away,leaving the image open to the imagination. She photographs almost all of the flowers within the bouquet, by still leaves a soft focus in the background, adding delicacy to the image.
So here are my final images of the day! I am going to build up a collection similar to this and then produce a series of floral greeting cards.
Thank you to my boyfriend Sam and his housemates Ed and Reece for letting me take over their kitchen to take these photos!