Photo-Shoot Madness

As I mentioned on my facebook page a couple of days ago, I’ve been in a frenzy of flowers, photography and indecision. I needed to take some stylised photos of my cards for my Etsy shop and I’m rather chuffed with the results, especially as our Hobart skies were blankets of grey over the days of the photo shoots which pushed my Photoshop lightening and de-shadowing skills to their absolute limit.

I wanted to represent the cards as they might appear on a coffee table, bookshelf or mantlepiece in such a way as to create a sense of unity between the pictures, but without compromising the individuality of each design. I started by gathering together all the items around the house that I thought might look good in a styled shot and then, for some completely mad, make-life-difficult-for-myself reason, I decided that the unity could be achieved by including flowers in each photograph.

To my dismay I had to admit to myself that we have very few knick-knacks (pretty vases, animal ornaments, book ends and the like) and those that we do possess just weren’t suitable. So off to the op shop and tip shop I went, naïvely expecting to find some quirky old vases, ceramic jugs or cheeky trinkets and intending to be back home within the hour. After an entire day of trawling Hobart’s op shops, I was still empty-handed.

The next morning, bright-eyed and fresh-footed, I bravely upgraded my budget to the kitchen supplies aisle of our local supermarket. They only had one lonely little bowl and even that was chipped! I then proceeded to visit every homewares shop, florist, gift shop, department store, hardware store and garden shop in Hobart and the surrounding suburbs. It was proving much harder than I ever imagined to find things that actually complemented the colours and suited the dimensions of my cards. Several days later, however, I had mustered together a small, but versatile troupe of props.

A selection of wood, ceramic and glass vases, cups, jugs and jars, and a pale grey plaster-cast owl, arranged in two rows from tallest to shortest.
The newly mustered troupe of props. Small but perfectly formed.

Now all I needed was the flowers. No problem, I thought. It’s late Spring after all, I thought. I’ll just pop out into the garden and pick a few blooms and I’ll have these pictures done and dusted by the end of the day, I thought. Very soon I started to feel as though I was trapped in an unknown verse of “There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza” as it dawned on me that our garden didn’t quite meet my requirements either and off flower-hunting I’d have to go.

I was determined not to spend any more money so I raided my mother-in-law’s garden, phoned friends to find out what they had in their gardens and even knocked on someone’s door to ask if I could pick a few daisies in their front yard!

At last I was ready to take those photos and after the long and somewhat frustrating lead-in, I found it to be immensely absorbing fun. I loved the process of selecting the best combination of flowers and vase for each card, composing each shot and then deciding, ok … agonising, on the final photograph out of the hundreds I’d taken. So here they are below, in all their glory. Why not take a peek at them through my shop window on Etsy. I’d love to hear your thoughts and which photo most catches your fancy.

From now on I shall always be secretly on the lookout for potential prop candidates in the form of retro homewares, vintage ceramics, sweet vases and endearing ornaments. That’s my excuse, anyway. In fact, I have to head out shortly to find a couple of christmasey items for the two christmas cards I’m doing this year. I may be some time.

Note to self: plant more daisies!

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