Does anyone remember that trend a while ago, when people would go into craft stores and take portrait photos of themselves with the silk flowers? I’m sure the retail workers enjoyed that one.
While I myself did not take any selfies with the overly expensive variety of undead flora, I did have the idea to take my camera into my local Michael’s (sorry store employees, I’m sure you were sick of me after a week), and see what I could capture, with a little arranging and some editing.
By the way, I always cleaned up after myself. I was taking advantage of the store for art purposes, not being a messy jerk.
I did end up spending a lot of time in that store. Trying to find the right flowers, the right angles. Trying to hide the tags so they wouldn’t show up in the pictures. And the more photos I took, the more I learned about my subject and the frustration of having to leave a flower behind. I loved it, but it did not love the camera.
And after some more time I began to edit these photographs to see if I could create worlds for these flowers unique to their personalities. It slowly became an obsession and I amassed a great collection of these. Some were fit for human consumption, and some were only ones I loved because I saw them in a way no one else could.
I did post a few online, and have gotten some positive feedback from them. But the majority I’ve kept to myself. I mean, how many photos of flowers do you really need to see before your eyes fall out from boredom? I’ve recently done the same thing with a series of photos of tree bark, but that’s for another post.
So, here are a few examples of that photography experiment I did. I hope you enjoy them.
These were all taken in store using the store lighting, and no flash. They have all been manipulated digitally for color and lighting only. I would arrange the flowers and hide the sales tags as best as I could, but never remove them. Then when I was done, I would put everything back and leave it nicer than how I found it.
Though I do have a few of these up for sale, I have not actually sold any as of yet, which is fine. I’m happy to have just captured something I enjoy the result of. And this was the moment in my photography when I decided that being chained to a ‘style’ was boring. While the very last photo is elegant and beautiful, and something I would love to religiously produce in all my work, it was also a fluke accident. I was just messing with the settings and have no real idea how I achieved that result. I’m just ecstatic that I did. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever created.
So try new things. Do weird stuff. Go into a craft store with an $800 camera, or just your phone, and take pictures of gnomes (I’ve totally done this). Just leave the place better than when you got there, and be nice to the overly worked retail employees. Get yourself an editing app. Art is for everyone, and art is everywhere. There are no rules. Just be kind. Learn to see the world around you like a great possibility for adventure, and who knows what you can discover with your camera lens.