People that have followed my little flower journey closely will know that I am prone to snapping my flowers as much as time allows. My husband/ mum/dad/dog are all used to going into hiding as soon as they hear me shouting ‘can someone just come and hold this bouquet for a minute’. A minute invariably turns into several hours and they are likely to be draped in material, asked to stand in the rain, change hairstyle, take off their watch, put their watch back on, take it off again, wear a veil and generally become exasperated at how on earth taking a photo of one thing can POSSIBLY take this long.
Matilda of course has the worst of it. As my constant companion she is often the only one around for these impromptu shoots. Don’t be fooled when you see her in photos gazing lovingly at me – it is the tennis ball I am frantically waving above my head that she has her eye on.
Photography is, of course, pretty crucial for florists these days. The flowers I do are made to look best for the wedding day alone and I use special, delicate things that don’t last for weeks (unlike things you might buy in the supermarket). Therefore there is only a short window within which to capture all the things that take me hours to make, and the future of my business (to an extent) relies on me taking advantage of this short window. I am hugely in debt to instagram (and the lovely people that follow me - thank you SO much) because it is how most of my clients find me. I need to get better at making my instagram better so this trend continues… And the competition out there seems to get more intense each day (I try to ignore it and just concentrate on what I'm doing but it can be hard!)
When I was fun and young and about 17 I learned to develop film but when I purchased an SLR last year it quickly became apparent that I had forgotten every single thing and so it was with huge enthusiasm that I signed up to Clare West’s photography day at the field of dreams (Green and Gorgeous). There is NO better setting in the entire world to photograph flowers than Rachel and Ash’s patch of flower heaven and Rachel made up a bouquet especially for us to shoot. I have attended a growing course and a floristry day at G&G and both have been excellent and so I had no doubt this day would be super beneficial too. Rachel and Ash are lucky that the M25 separates us as otherwise I would probably move in (I am due back on 2nd October in place of my mum, who has confused her diary and booked to be in Italy – I’ve tried to tell her that a few hours in the flower field of dreams is much better than four weeks in Tuscany, but she will have to be convinced another time).
It goes without saying that Clare is an excellent photographer, but she is also incredibly patient and warm. Exactly what the attendees needed as (and I hope no one will be offended) it quickly became apparent that we all belonged in the ‘got all the gear but no idea’ category of learners. Clare went through all the basics in a way that meant we didn’t really need to understand f stop numbering and ISO speeds (I may have just made up these terms) if we didn’t want to (I didn’t want to) but gave us the grounding so that we could go into that level of detail if we wanted.
Our group was a mixture of florists, gardeners, flower growers and enthusiasts and she covered everything we might need – flowers outside, flowers inside, people working in a garden setting, flowers growing, flowers arranged in a marquee, huge urns, tiny buttonholes, etc.
Another fantastic thing about days like these is that you get to make new flower friends. It was lovely to meet Jane, Pippa, Alicia and Jo amongst others and to see my dear Claire again (spot her amongst the dahlias below if you can draw your eyes away from them).
It was a great day of intense and useful learning. I am determined to take myself off the automatic settings and get to the next level. Don’t expect miracles, but slowly and surely I’m going to do my best. Thank you Clare and Rachel.
Oh and sorry Matilda your tennis ball will continue to be used against you for modeling purposes. Until you finally learn to pick up flowers with your paws and bring them to me it is the least you can do to make yourself useful.
(All flowers in pictures grown/arranged by Green and Gorgeous).