The concept behind this shoot was to combine portrait images with flowers as an underlying meaning and connotation to Emma’s youthfulness and happy go-lucky attitude to life. I went to the florist and purchased two huge bunches of flowers that I thought best reflected her personality and used them as the subject of my secondary layer in this double exposure shoot
Frames selected and printed
- Frame 6:
- ✘ It was an extremely cold but sunny day – the subject looks cold and unwell. The close-up shots of the flowers are too dominant/large for subject. Subject looks unhappy with the whole situation and looks uncomfortable and bored.
- ✔ In focus, petals frame the eyes and they look like flames from a fire.
- Printed in realistic colours/ margins straight.
Outcome: this shoot was really disappointing… I thought that I could build on Shoot 3 of shooting the portrait using a white fabric backdrop overlaid with images of flowers rather than foliage. I really thought this shoot had potential but it was so cold, the weather was sunny one minute overcast the next and this played havoc with the light meter readings. Also, I had to zoom in on the flowers to make the bunch of flowers fill the frame to obscure any distracting background. This meant that the flower heads were just too large for the overall look – they completely dominated the image. Also, model didn’t seem to want to cooperate – no matter how I bribed her with chocolate cake and the result was that she looked bored and generally fed up. A takeaway point is that if children are not happy on the shoot then I should abandon the shoot until another day. Also, I need to rethink about using people as my subject matter that are situated back at home as this limits me on the number of shoots I can take for the project. I went home for the weekend and on the Saturday it rained all day and so this only left me Sunday to do the shoot and even then the weather was showery – food for thought.
Since this shoot I have done further research into a recognised science called ‘florigraphy’ – the study of flower meaning. It is said that “from the beginning of recorded history, special meaning and significance has been assigned to different flowers and plants.” The symbolic use of flowers is mentioned in many historical and mythology doocuments. I want to use this ‘flower language’ as an essential component to these portraits to give an underlying meaning to the portraits. So for this shoot the flowers above would have meant:
- Sunflower – Adoration, Pride, Sunshine, Longevity
- Gerbera – Happiness, Cheerfulness
I will try another shoot that uses flowers as an underlying meaning to representation portraits and hope for better weather conditions and a happier child.
© Hayley Salmon
- COVEY, S.J., 2014. Flower Meanings, History, Mythology & other information [online] [viewed 8 April 2015]. Available from: http://scovey.photium.com/flower-meanings
- THEFLOWEREXPERT.COM, 2014. Flower Meanings. [online] [viewed 8 April 2015]. Available from: http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/aboutflowers/flower-meanings