Forget about that furry variety of friend, on a photo shoot, flowers are a Stylist and Art Director’s best friends. So many times when setting up a shot, everything can look amazing but it is that last punctuation of including something living in the shot that unlocks the key and confirms as human’s how we subconsciously respond to organics and more than often not, it makes the shot come alive literally in front of you like magic.
I also can’t count the number of times when transiting back from the flower markets on the subway, how a usually checked out of life, fellow commuter’s eyes light can up with sudden joy, at the peek of a beautiful spring blossom pushing it’s way through the brown paper. In my job I am constantly carrying around bundles of living joy, for me, it’s my cute baby or sweet puppy; they can’t help but get a reaction! Flowers have an immediate pull of emotion that encourages random opportunities for communication and thus they represent so much more than we give them acknowledgement for.
People can get very, very personal about flowers also, I will never forget on a certain shoot some years back with a particular Photographer whose bent and passion was with flowers to a fanatical extent, having to watch from the sidelines them throwing down on the floor in a heap my artfully arranged flower compositions with disgust and rearranging them themselves. Needless to say being just as spirited about organics myself, I have never really gotten over that moment but it made me realize how riled up and what a personal reaction flowers can have. The comment Madonna made years ago about hating Hydrangeas given to her by a fan that got her into a lot of trouble surprised me, how can someone hate a flower?
When someone on set turns up his or her nose at a certain variety I always think it’s telling. The truth is often flowers will remind us of certain events in our life. Sometimes to be honest a certain flower can seemed dated, like for me, a poor gerbera daisy will always remind me of the 1990’s and VW bugs with test tube vases and I just can’t use them but then sometimes I will surprise myself and when a flower can be presented in an unexpected way, with the right setting you can begin see it’s beauty in a whole different light. Sometimes I make it my personal mission to try and bring back an unfairly deemed unfashionable variety of flower, for instance when you take baby’s breath out of a 1980’s inspired corsage and by itself, it’s actually quite a beautiful thing, It’s by association with being combined with another variety, it got in trouble in the first place.
When someone on set twitches and almost dry heaves at the sight of a certain variety, , you really wonder what the story is? One thing is for certain there is always a certain trepidation involved as a Stylist when bringing flowers onto a set, that it is possible that one of the key players on set may have some back story that you could have never had guessed and the day could be doomed from the early unwrapping of the flowers because you did not know for instance that you unlocked a hidden fear brought on by the scent of lilies. The reality is you could never know what could have made them run out of the room in a flushed and sweaty state, but flowers will bring out all sorts of emotions and that’s why there is power in that flower! …Boom it can knock you out!
Pinterest is also a Stylist’s and Art Director’s new best friend, these images are from my folders you can check out. These layouts were created for the sole purpose of this blog only, all images are credited where possible, Let us know if it’s not the case and we can amend. We aim to highlight all the amazing work done by so many fellow people using flowers as their medium and inspiration. Thank you for bringing beauty into our lives!