This is a question I have been asked several times and I can confidentially say that flowers are what a lot of my inspiration for my shoots stems from (pun intended). No, I’m not a florist or floral expert, but as you can imagine florals are a big part of my photography business. Not only does incorporating florals into my portrait sessions help to create a soft or romantic vibe, but just being around them offers me so much inspiration when it comes to color.
As I drove head first into my photography business full-time last year and was checking out all of the latest trends with photography style, the one thing that stuck out to me was all the usage of pale tones and white backdrops. I quickly fell in lust with this color pale palette and I felt this need to jump on the "light, white, and airy" photography train to join in on the trend. -And so I did. And after a while, I realized it's a beautiful look, but at the end of the day, it just wasn't me. I have the utmost appreciation for my fellow photographer friends that execute this style with such class and taste, but for me, something was missing…and it was color. Bright and bold color. In fact, I had spent months of trying to execute this perfect "light, white and airy" that I was actually afraid to shoot and share any images on Instagram that had what I thought was too much color and were not white enough. I was on this mission to achieve one of those IG feeds that was super consistent with the usage of white...something that I feel like every 9 out of 10 people really want.
Well, it was in the photoshoots pictured below where I was reminded how amazing color can be in portraits - not only in just the overall image but to compliment my subjects skin tones amongst several other reasons. It was also in these very pics that I decided I should stop feeling this weird societal pressure of needing to create a white backdrop for all images just to feel like I was "in" or "on trend" with others. For some reason, I was trying to blend in with the trend rather than stand out. How high school of me to think like that! I don't know of any artist that wants to blend in…do you? So why was I trying to blend in with the others if I wanted to create captivating images that would help sell my services?
Once I realized that my color inspiration came from flowers I reached out to Tammy Myers, my longtime friend, and florist extraordinaire of First & Bloom to learn more about florals. There were and still are so many things I am learning through her. Anything from what's in bloom and when to the importance of the Slow Flowers Movement….have you heard of this? It's something I had never heard of until recently and now find super important.
I learned that the Slow Flowers Movement is all about florists designing with what is seasonally available to them and locally sourced here, in the U.S. It wasn't until Tammy educated me about the fact that many of the flowers we pick up at the grocery store or at some farmer's market stands aren't always grown or sourced locally - I learned that "80 percent of cut flowers sold are imported from other countries and continents." (-Amy Stewart, Flowers Confidential, The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful) This explains why sometimes my big beautiful bouquet of flowers from the grocery store don't usually last for more than a couple of days because by the time they make it to my home they have already been packaged and flown in from other countries, making them less fresh than they seem along with several other reasons.
So what is the practice and commitment to the Slow Flowers Movement?
- To recognize and respect the seasons by celebrating and designing with flowers when they naturally bloom
- To reduce the transportation footprint of the flowers and foliage consumed in the marketplace by sourcing as locally as possible
- To support flower farmers small and large by crediting them when possible through proper labeling at the wholesale and consumer level
- To encourage sustainable and organic farming practices that respect people and the environment
- To eliminate waste and the use of chemical products in the floral industry
Yesterday kicked off the start of American Flowers Week (June 28- July 4, 2017) - a celebration founded on the Slow Flowers Movement. I have to give props to all of the true farmers and florists that have committed to the above practices. And if florals inspire you like they do me or even just make you feel good when you receive them as a gift or buy them for yourself, then I highly recommend you treat yourself or someone you love to some this week. Let this serve as your way to thank all of our local flower growers and florists that are part of the Slower Flower Movement. And make sure you aren't just buying any flowers - they should be American grown flowers, of course! How do you know if your flowers are American grown? Look for the American Flowers Week sticker shown below
I personally want to give special thanks, all local flower growers and florists that are part of the Slow Flowers Movement since flowers have truly become a big part of my business' success over the past year. Your work is nothing short of amazing and truly saved me from feeling this need to blend in.
Cheers to American Flowers Week and the Slow Flower Movement!