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Photographing Flowers – London

Friday, May 10th, 2013

I work as the in-house photographer at the wedding and events company Todich Floral Design; based in Camberwell South London; the florist has built up a successful reputation in providing unique and beautiful floral designs for local wedding and events for the last fifteen years.

My job is filled with a variety of different tasks which means no two days are ever the same. One moment I could be in the studio photographing intricate buttonholes with a macro lens or the next I could be at an event photographing the grand floral displays for the companies’ online portfolio.


We have recently been in the process of updating and modernising the Todich Floral Design websites gallery. It has been my job to provide stunning photographs which are to be displayed showcasing the florist’s achievements.

Over the years Todich Floral design has successfully built up a number of clients which they provide flowers for on a weekly basis. My recent project meant that I got to travel around London with my camera and photograph each design in their place setting.

On a daily basis I photograph each vase arrangement in the studio with a three light setup, but as a photographer it is always preferential to photograph the displays in a natural environment with natural lighting.

This month I was assigned to photograph the spring flower designs, my first office contract was based in West London, A modern company with white walls and white furnishings, The single vase arrangement stood proudly behind the reception, The tall vase was simple and elegant and was filled with white tulips and decorative twigs,  The office only had a skylight window but the room was fairy bright, I used a Canon EOS 7D with a 24-105mm lens, the photograph was shot with an ISO of 800 and a shutter speed of 1/50 of a second, I set the aperture at f4 so to keep a good focus of the depth of field.

I then moved onto a beauty salon which was also in west London, The vase arrangement was a design with yellow Vanda orchids and bamboo. The design was sat on a bright airy reception desk and
was eye-catching up against the salon window. The room was very well lit so I kept the same depth of field setting but changed the shutter speed to 1/80 of a second as the lighting was much brighter than the previous office.

My next contract to photograph was based in central London at a French brassiere restaurant. Our designers have been working with the management to create
modern stylish window displays which are very different to anything we have done before.  Professional styling is key and our head design consultant Laura Fisher has been working one on one with them to create displays suitable to the company’s needs. Vintage French garden has been the overall theme for this client, White wash troughs, ceramic pots, and rustic mirrors. Vintage white tables and even an old fashioned step ladder has been filled with a
variety of herbs and plants which make this window display stand out and unique to any other company.  I photographed the window display from the inside and the outside, I focused on detail and changed my lens a couple of times, I started off with photographing the whole display with a prime 50mm f1.4 lens, I then moved onto the 24-105mm to capture each planter, I then moved onto a macro 50mm lens to capture the close ups of the flowers and
herbs.

The day of my London photography trip was our first sunny warm day of 2013, I decided to photograph London, I wanted to capture beautiful flower and plant arrangements which were based in gardens and hotel entrances, As a florist and a photographer it was vital to see for myself what the current trends are and how other florists were styling hotel entrances. I would then
use these photographs for a discussion with our design and florist team and look at how we can work these ideas into our next displays.

From window boxes to large park public displays, I photographed arrangements that caught my eye; whilst concentrating on colour, style and shape.

My next contract was a 5* hotel based in West London, the hotel has a modern interior and only stylish sophisticated designs are suited. The flower displays were made up with tall alliums which stood in a base of fluffy hydrangeas, the designs were modern and in keeping with the style of the hotel.  The lobby was an incredibly dark room with very small windows. There was little natural light which meant I had to change my settings on the camera and lens.  Personally I generally refuse to use flash at all times, I
detest how flash looks in photographs, I will push the ISO up as much as possible (unless there is too much grain) and use a tripod instead of using a flash gun if I can help it.

The hotel lighting meant that I had to push the ISO up to 1600, this is not always possible with all DSLR camera, but my canon E0S 7D can handle dark lighting much better than other cameras, even better than the full frame Canon 5dmk2 which I previously owned before this.  I then switched my lens to a 50mm F1.4 prime and managed to shoot at 1/60 of a second, I did not have a tripod on me so I felt it best to not go for a lower shutter speed. I am however very pleased with the result and glad I stuck to using natural lighting.

The last contract was based in south west London and is a relaxed new York/Italian style restaurant. They have wood
burning stoves, wooden floors and stones walls, The design we created was very natural and in keeping with the décor, The arrangement included dill, blossom and decorative twigs, I decided to keep with the 50mm f1.4 lens, I lowered the ISO to 250 and changed the shutter speed to 1/125 of a second. Overall I am very happy with the results and the colours are captured beautifully in the photograph.

As we enter into the busy wedding period, I will be writing more about my photography experiences within this season.  Take a look at our gallery on our Todich Floral Design website for up to date images on our portfolio.

Thank you for reading.

Annalie Kaufman