Since around summer last year I’ve been embarking on a seasonal photography journey, attempting to document the seasons through beautiful floral photography and self portraits. What started on a bit of a whim, has become a truly unexpected joy of mine and now probably my main pursuit both in the form of my own personal art, my work and just as a hobby outside of my everyday life as a busy parent.
It began as a little personal Instagram project. I’d become slightly bored of the content I was producing on the app and was stuck somewhere between wanting to have a curated feed with professional photography and take effortless snapshots of my everyday with my phone. I was frustrated at the lack of direction within my photos, the fact I didn’t have a recognisable theme or brand and my general sort of aimless approach to taking and sharing pictures. I’d already begun working towards rebranding as a stylist and felt my instagram needed to reflect this move more. I decided to focus on photography and ditch the candid snaps (that I was never very good at anyway) and in a bid to find the glue to bring all my creative ideas together and somehow make them fit into a cohesive bank of images, I turned to my love of flowers. I’d always loved photographing flowers and they featured heavily within most of my snaps, but they was no real consideration as to what I was photographing when, the colours or how they fit with the subject of the photo. I’d pick up whatever flowers looked pretty in the supermarket and go from there. One pic might feature white roses, the next blue hydrangea.
So in June of last year I came up with the idea of #mymonthofflorals and decided I’d focus on one flower or foliage per month and really get to know it. Get to know when it blooms, for how long, where the best places are to see it, how to capture it on camera and so on.
It started off clumsy and a little all over the place – my usual fashion and lifestyle snaps mixed in with close up shots of roses – but a year in and I feel like I’ve really found my groove. I’ve found a true passion in learning to photograph flowers as a subject, and make them the common theme running through all of my fashion and portrait photography too, changing up my style and editing to suit the narrative of the flower in focus that month. I’ve loved learning more about nature and its ever changing cycles, learning to capture the beauty of each bloom at its peak time and appreciating that beauty all the more because it’s fleeting. I now know the best times to capture each different foliage, and can tell you the best places to find them in abundance and the best part is that I’m only just getting started. Every month I have a clean slate, a chance to refresh things just as I’m getting a little bored and change up my theme once again. And every month I feel like my photography skills improve that little bit more. Each time I learn a little more about complimenting colours, about editing, about choosing which clothes and recipes to shoot that will fit the theme. It’s given me a much needed direction for my creative endeavours that I was lacking before and a real chance to improve my photography. Now when I have an idea/ an outfit I want to shoot/ a photo I want to try, I have a clear vision of how to do it. I feel as if I’ve honed in on what my creative brand is in terms of styling and photography – romantic, floral, feminine, nostalgic, a touch whimsical, rooted in nature – and that pleases me greatly.
I probably won’t always be as rigid as one flower every month, as I realise that by focusing solely on one, I’m missing out on many others that bloom at the same time, and some flowers have an incredibly short season while others a long one. But I do think I’ll continue to always capture things seasonally, whether that be nature, food, clothing etc. The emotion of the rolling seasons is something I feel very at one with now, and I’d like to think I’ll always use it as an anchor as I progress with this new photography hobby of mine.
One thing I had realised recently however, was that despite working on this little project for over a year and working hard on bettering my photography throughout that time, very few of the images I’ve produced have ever made it onto this blog. They have solely been for the sake of Instagram (and perhaps my own enjoyment) and that needs to change! I always said I wanted this website to be a true reflection of me and my creative work, whatever form that may take – from baking clubs, to styling work, to my family home – and yet I was keeping so much of the work that I was spending hours on behind the scenes away from this space.
So, I’m going to start sharing my seasonal photography more on here, and aim to put together a collection of my best images from each month within a blog post, before I move onto a new theme. Sometimes there might be a lot of accompanying words, sometimes I might just let the images do the talking. I’ll feature my favourite shots plus a few of the ones from the cutting room floor that never made it onto Instagram for one reason or another. I’m also aiming to be a lot more up to date on Pinterest, so do come follow me over there, and of course you can see all of my floral pics on Instagram too. I’m considering creating some as downloadable wallpapers too but I’ll need to work on that a little more.
May is the month of the Peony, and what a beautiful month it was. Forever one of my favourite flowers, I couldn’t resist showcasing its delicate beauty for a whole month, regardless of its cliche status on Instagram. It’s season starts in May, usually with the coral and dark pink varieties blooming first, and continues into mid june with the pink styles coming through. From tiny sticky buds, to unfolding petals to full fluffy blooms, there is beauty to be found in every stage. Peonies aren’t a flower that you typically find growing in the wild, so this month featured less snapshots amongst nature and more styled shots at home with beautifully styled bouquets.
It was hard to get a hold of the true candy pink variety this year, so my focus became mainly on the coral charm style (and the most beautiful bouquet from Bloom and Wild) before I moved into the pale pink fluffy beauties towards the end of the month. The coral charms are punchy and vibrant and I found myself embracing that orange pink hue and keeping everything else pared back. May’s photos were pink hued, dreamy, romantic and with a soft delicate edit.
I hope you enjoy them!