Towards the end of 2014 I wanted to do something to thank my clients. Something to say I am truly grateful for their trust but in a way that would also be a symbol of this incredibly unique time in their lives. Whether they are newlyweds from 2014 or their wedding is coming in 2015, I wanted to create a symbol of romance just for them.
My light bulb moment came when I was walking through the shopping centre and saw the most amazing coral peonies for sale. By the time I got home, I had decided I wanted to photograph them individually, as each was simply beautiful in their own way and I envisaged the end result as a limited edition signed print to send to my clients and a handful of my favourite vendors that supported me through 2014. It was such a great morning taking my time to photograph them slowly and quietly, thinking about the angles, the light and my choice of lens and settings. I set myself a limit of 2 shots per flower to make myself truly slow down and be deliberate in pressing the shutter.
I began with a Macro 100mm 2.8 lens on my Canon MK III camera body assembled on a tripod to be able to get a very small aperture (f32) to retain as much detail as possible in the flowers. After a short while I decided to try the 50mm 1.2 lens instead and found a look that I preferred at f/16, 1/4sec, ISO 200 (which all of these photographs are shot at).
Then came the time to edit. I can’t tell you how hard this was as each one spoke to me in some way and but I selected 1 of each flower and edited them in Lightroom with Totally Rad Actions Replichrome Fuji Pro 160S preset. Then I exported the JPGS and I needed to decide on which image would be “the one”. I then adjusted the levels and finishing touches with RadLab in Photoshop to get it perfect for printing.
For a while I fell in love with the flowers in black and white as you can see here. I loved the depth and texture that going monochrome gave the flowers but tried to stay true to my initial vision of a coloured print.
Ultimately I chose Peony #5 (below) and had 60 limited edition prints made. The photograph was printed on Hahnemuhle 300GSM 100% cotton rag paper at 5×7″ which I then signed and mailed with a personal note. I have loved receiving emails and text messages from my clients of them showing me their new piece of artwork in their homes.
I loved the whole process of creating a piece of art and when you see the print in person it is easy to mistake it for a watercolour print rather than a photograph. I hope to do more personal projects like this and this project certainly got my creative juices flowing.