I have taken a new interest in the flowers and foliage around me, though I am aware of them daily, I sometimes take them for granted. This new interest is due to the fact that I am trying to shoot my Carousel Horse series with real flowers. Seems easy enough, but there are a number of factors that must be considered. First is budget, to bedeck one horse in real flowers is pretty costly, multiply that by 12 and it adds up real quick. My solution for that; use available flowers & foliage. Brilliant, you might think, but maybe not…….
I decided to start with Ruby, my horse & top model, which is conveniently stabled at our house. The week of the shoot was a week filled with rain, with only one day of sunshine. Fortunately, that was the day my horse handler was available, but it was also the only day of the week my husband needs the field for his dog club - slight conflict. It would have been easy to cancel and put off until next week, but my set designer, Joan Schultz, advised to just go ahead and shoot. So we did, and fortunately so, for as you can see by the pictures below one tree has blooms and the other has nothing. They are the same tree! The one with no blooms was taken only two days after the shoot . There were many other trees I wanted to use as backdrops and for costume decor but their flowers are gone too, in just days! The wild flowers I picked for the shoot wilted in minutes - amazing for how durable they are (think weeds). Fortunately, I got a shot of Ruby with some beautiful flowers, maybe not to be used for the Carousel Horse series, but a pretty picture nonetheless.
Despite the difficulty of the situation, it has given me a new appreciation for the here and now. I am now looking at things and people in a new light. My dog, Eliat, for example, has always been young and exuberant to me, despite her age. But now I look at her and I notice her gray, her slowness of movement, her lack of wanting to go out on cold, rainy days. I think of the flowers and how quickly they go. Then I think of people and animals I love and I think of how quickly they can go too.
I am setting up an indoor studio in Barrington, Illinois (details to follow) and I am photographing more families and children. It makes me think more and more of how quickly things change. Children to young adults, young adults into young families and young families into larger families. Whatever stage your family is in, may I suggest a family portrait? For we all know how quickly things change. And no time is better than the present!