How to be more creative with flowers - With tips on photography from Janne Ford
New ideas for using flowers creatively seem to have an almost magical Instagram appeal. But for us as sustainable flower farmers, what’s exciting is how Instagram is helping people to appreciate how different flowers come and go through the seasons. This quiet revolution is starting to shake up the cut flower market by challenging people to think about where the flowers they are buying come from and how they have been grown.
Florist Hazel Shaw (@edenblooms on Instagram) and photographer Janne Ford (@jannelford) both share their passion for seasonal flowers through Instagram. They have also created a series of workshops to teach participants how to arrange and photograph flowers in innovative and exciting ways. For September they’ve chosen to work with a wealth of freshly picked flowers from our English flower farm. We caught up with Janne and Hazel to find out more about their partnership and Janne has also shared with us some of her top tips for photographing flowers.
How it all started
Janne: I’m from a family of keen gardeners and so have a love of all things floral. I trained as a designer, but photography has always been a hobby. It wasn’t until I joined Instagram that I found a creative outlet for sharing my floral imagery.
Hazel: I’ve always had a love of gardening, which bloomed into floristry after I helped a friend with flowers for a wedding. I trained as a florist about ten years ago and I’m still passionate about wedding flowers and bringing a bride’s vision to life.
How we met
Hazel: We met at a calligraphy workshop taught by Judy Broad. We soon got chatting about all things Instagram and not long afterwards we collaborated on a photo shoot. We realised there were very few accessible workshops where a florist and photographer worked together to share their creativity.
Celebrating English flowers
Hazel: This summer we paid a wonderful visit to The Real Flower Company’s English flower farm in the Hampshire countryside. The setting is idyllic, with row after row of gorgeous dahlias, roses, larkspur, honeysuckle and foliage you just don’t usually see as well as foliage and herbs that change with the seasons. English flowers are unrivalled for their scent, and here the roses smell like roses! And I know that brides love English roses too.
About our workshops
Janne: Our workshops give people a wonderful day of inspiration and creativity where they work with gorgeous seasonal flowers in a beautiful setting. During September’s workshop at Bury Court Barn near Farnham participants worked with Hazel to create an autumnal arrangement using beautiful scented roses and foliage supplied by The Real Flower Company. I then took them through styling ideas for their arrangement and tips on how to photograph the flowers in natural light. We worked together to create a seasonal candlelit tablescape filled with scented roses, herbs and berries. Our September workshop sold out very quickly, but we are holding another one at Bury Court Barn on 16 November.
Top tips for photographing flowers for Instagram
Janne: There are so many ways to shoot flowers depending on the mood you want to create, but generally using even, natural light is best.
- I usually shoot flowers near a window with the light coming in from the side and sometimes use a reflector to reflect the light back.
- If I’m shooting flowers close up I usually like to set the camera to manual to have full creative control.
- There are some brilliant mobile editing apps that can help you to create something unique if you are sharing images on Instagram.
- I love shooting flowers outside – the early morning or golden hour late in the day can give a beautiful atmosphere.
- A beautiful hand-tied bouquet needs very little to accessorise it – just choose a simple vase and backdrop and let the flowers do the talking.
Hazel and Janne’s next workshop, ‘Festive Styling’, is on Thursday 16 November, 10am to 3.30pm, at Bury Court Barn, Bentley, Farnham GU10 5LZ. Price £125 including refreshments. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Images are by Janne Ford.