(Or How I Learned To Really See Flowers)
Yesterday I was taking some photos of wholesale flowers for our flower bundles specials and I suddenly fell under the spell of three very beautiful but very different flowers: Cymbidium Orchids, White Ranunculi & Red Coccinea.
The thing is 3 years ago I would not have known what these flowers were, much less cared. I did not actually tend to think about flowers at all. In fact my mother is a keen flower gardener and I think it was always a bit disappointing for her that I never showed much interest in her wonderful garden. But last Christmas, to her delight, I was out the back examining the blooms and asking “what’s this flower, Mum?” and even surprising her by dropping the names of those flower names I remembered.
Meanwhile some of my friends on Facebook, those who have long known me as a rock n’ roller and general hell-raiser have started jokingly calling me “the flower guy” because I keep snapping photos of flowers from our garden on Instagram and posting them to my wall amongst my usual rambunctious and far less delicate opinions and jokes.
So I guess it’s true that we are influenced by what we spend time around. Of course, being the marketing guy for Tesselaars means I often don’t see a real flower all day, but over time I have started to stop as I walk through the warehouse to and from my office. I used to bee-line with my head full of churning details, but now I like to, as the cliche goes, stop and smell the roses. Or more rather, see the roses, for my appreciation of flowers has sprung not so much from sniffing them (I actually get hayfever) but rather, learning to see them, really see them, in all their wonderful detail.
Although I was a keen artist as a youngster, somewhere along the way I ended up focussed more on words, music and marketing/business concepts rather than the visual realm. Accordingly, over time my powers of visual observation became weak. So when I started being asked to take and ponder photos of flowers in my work here for Tesselaars, it took me a while to wake that side of me up.
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I would say I still have a long way to go in that department, (clearly I’m not Tesselaar’s star photographer!) but I have begun a reawakening of that ability that visual people like florists and other designers keep powered up.
Actually it must be odd to have a super keen sense of the visual, as the world is a busy place. I don’t know, but maybe sometimes it could be overpowering for a person who is strongly visual. I know that, as a musician, I sometimes find this noisy world heavy going. To me it’s insane that people use power tools, loud motorbikes or to listen to horrid commercial radio. Maybe visual people feel the same way about visual ugliness?
But anyway, I am rambling; the boss will surely raise an eyebrow.
My point is, working with flowers made it a pleasant necessity to learn to observe things closely again, and now it has become more of a good habit. Now I notice leaf shapes, crushed petals, or the spattering of dots like freckles across an orchid (like the one pictured here). I notice the texture of a Banksia; the toughness of its flowers compared to the delicate layered prettiness of the Ranunculus.
So yesterday, as I took what amount to “group shots” of three flower selections as part of our flower bundles, I could not resist taking a few minutes to shoot these three flowers up close and personal, so that you could also enjoy their personalities.
I think the shots worked out well, despite my many technical limitations as a photographer. The setting of the complementary flowers and foliage in the bundles made a great set and all three of these very different “models” – the Cymbidium Orchids, White Ranunculi & Red Coccinea – make for a glamourous cast starring in their own little floral drama. Enjoy!
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