Capture the plant’s life cycle.
Look at any book, magazine or website featuring pictures of flowers, and you’ll see beautiful, clear, pristine shots of perfect flowers. That’s not uncommon; we all appreciate beauty and perfection. Have you considered that there is also beauty in capturing pictures that show the life cycle of plants and flowers? Think of a walk through the woods on a fall day; the browns, reds and orange of leaves on the forest floor can make fantastic pictures. Plants that are in decline or decay can also present interesting opportunities. Capturing life cycle pictures can introduce the viewer to less seen and often ignored phases of a plant’s life. With life cycle pictures we can learn to appreciate that there is beauty and interest in, not only gorgeous flowers and plants, but also those in their decline.
A great way to let your flowers tell a story is by documenting their growth, flowering and decline through a series of pictures. Most of the people reading this article are gardeners or at least interested in gardening. Find a favorite flower in your garden and start capturing pictures. Take a series of pictures over time that show the plant’s growth, flower blooming and when its eventual death. Include shots that show the impact of weather, disease or insect on the appearance of your subject. You’ll be surprised at how interesting some of those shots will be.
Broaden your horizons and skills as a flower photographer; remember not everything has to be pristine perfect to make an interesting photo. There are lots of opportunities for life cycle photography; so grab your cameras and get started.
Written by Cliff Blackerby, July 2019.