Rose Bouquets

– Posted in: Garden Photography

Gardening Gone Wild readers:  help me decide which photos to include in my new rose book.

Rose bouquet with pink rose 'First Prize' with floral wallpaper background

Rose bouquet with pink rose ‘First Prize’ with floral wallpaper background

There are several sections to the book, explaining how to photograph roses in gardens and as close-up illustrations, but the section on bouquets has too many photos – or maybe not.  Help me out.

Girl as May fair princess with flower garland of roses in her hair

Girl as Mayfair princess with flower garland of roses in her hair

There are so many ways to make beautiful photos of roses that are not necessarily about gardening, so I want to include a section about roses in bouquets and arrangements to give photographers a few ideas.

Bouquet of pink rose 'Tiffany' on sun porch with lunch table

Bouquet of pink rose ‘Tiffany’ on sun porch with lunch table

These are lifestyle photos, not really about gardening, and require a different set of skills as a photographer.  My workshop audiences have always been garden photographers, so I am not sure how many of these type photos will be useful.

Bouquet of rose 'White Delight' on floral print background

Bouquet of rose ‘White Delight’ on floral print background

These are all rose photos to be sure, but much of what makes these kinds of photos beautiful is not about the garden or the camera, but the styling and setup.

Bouquet of pink rose 'Jacques Cartier' on table by window

Bouquet of pink rose ‘Jacques Cartier’ on table by window

These are all great examples of using roses and I am very proud of the photos, but I don’t have a whole lot of tips to say about photographing them, other than to find good roses and good props.  Then compose a photo.  Simple.

Woman in red sweater placing bouquet of white hybrid tea cut rose 'Pascali' by windowsill

Woman in red sweater placing bouquet of white hybrid tea cut rose ‘Pascali’ by windowsill

Do you think photographers want to know the story behind a lot of photos ?  One tip is surely to take different photos of the same arrangement.  If you go to the trouble to set up a photo shoot, then take full advantage of it – as these two views of a bouquet of white Pascali roses from both sides of the window.

Bouquet of white rose 'Pascali' on windowsill

Bouquet of white rose ‘Pascali’ on windowsill

Sometimes just setting up the flower bouquet on the workbench is a charming photo.

Bouquet of fresh cut pink roses, 'Bewitched' on potting bench in greenhouse shed

Bouquet of fresh cut pink roses, ‘Bewitched’ on potting bench in greenhouse shed

And if you have a friend who is an extraordinary grower, such as my friend Michael Bates, challenge him to create a glorious bouquet.

Large floral arrangement of old roses

Large floral arrangement of old roses

Or perhaps just showing the roses cut in a bucket as they condition.

Bucket of fresh cut old, heirloom roses conditioning in garden

Bucket of fresh cut old, heirloom roses conditioning in garden

So many choices.  Which ones would you like to see in a book about photographing roses ?

The book will be ready the end of the month.  I am taking preorders here. Sign up and ask for a Gardening Gone Wild 20% discount – since you have already seen some of the photos.

Saxon Holt
Saxon Holt is the owner of PhotoBotanic.com, a garden picture resource for photographs, on-line workshops, and garden photography stories. An award winning photojournalist and Fellow of The Garden Writers Association with more than 25 garden books, he lives and gardens in Northern California. PhotoBotanic - Garden Photography online at www.photobotanic.com. https://photobotanic.com
Saxon Holt

Latest posts by Saxon Holt (see all)

28 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Mary-Denise Smith January 12, 2016, 8:12 am

I think you hit your theme with the question “Do you think photographers want to know the story behind a lot of photos?” If the answer is “yes”, then the photo choices are made for you. From a reader’s perspective, I like the idea of walking an arrangement through a series of set-ups. I also think the arrangements should either be utterly sere and graphic or blow-me-away lush. Leave out the ordinary.

Donna Lane January 12, 2016, 8:55 am

fresh-cut Bewitched roses on potting bench

Pat Webster www.siteandinsight.com January 12, 2016, 9:26 am

The two photos of the ‘Pascali’ roses, from inside and outside the window, are wonderful. I like the colour echoes and the composition very much.

Alexandra Campbell January 12, 2016, 11:17 am

First prize, Tiffany, white delight and Heirloom are my favourite pictures. The colours would be considered quite bright in the UK, but I appreciate that it’s a different market. Hope it all goes well,

Alys Milner January 12, 2016, 11:39 am

They are all beautiful, but I have three favorites. The girl with the flower in her hair. It’s inviting and sweet and also unexpected. Lovely. The white roses in the earthen pot looking out into the garden. It connects the roses with the outdoors. The pot adds to that feeling. The pink roses by the window with the eyeglasses on the table feels approachable. Did the reader just step away? Congratulations on your upcoming book

Bea kendall January 12, 2016, 12:20 pm

ALL THE PHOTOS ARE BEAUTIFUL Saxon. There are only two that I might eliminate. The Tiffany bouquet on the lunch table and the roses conditioning in the bucket.
I’ve enjoyed all your articles on gardening gone wild. All the contributers have a real passion for what they do and it is greatly appreciated by your readers.

Saxon Holt January 12, 2016, 12:52 pm

Thanks for the input Mary-Denise. My problem will be I have hardly any of the setup photos that might show the progress of putting together the arrangement. I think readers would like some of the story but without supporting photographs I don’t think I can simply tell all of the stories. I don’t know. There are ways to break apart a photograph and use arrows to explain various elements but that is not really the scope of this book. Hmmm – but maybe it should…

And do you have suggestions for the ones to include? Do some of these cry out for those stories?

Saxon Holt January 12, 2016, 12:54 pm

Thanks Donna – I had not planned to take that picture, as the stylist had an idea for inside the house. But the homeowner had this extraordinary greenhouse and the lighting was so elegant we changed their mind.

Saxon Holt January 12, 2016, 12:56 pm

Thanks Pat – those two photos are definitely in the book as it represents the only example of shooting the same bouquet from completely different angles. I just wrote about that in my own PhotoBotanic blog, Two Views of a Bouquet

Saxon Holt January 12, 2016, 1:00 pm

Thanks Alexandra -you like a lot of them! I am pretty sure I’m going to use First Prize and White Delight because I love the textures and they will be greeting cards. But most of the skill in creating the photograph is in getting all the props together and creating the composition. I most definitely enjoy doing this, but I am thinking this book should be concentrating on garden photography. Maybe not …..

Saxon Holt January 12, 2016, 1:08 pm

Thanks Alys – love your comments showing you really looked at the photos and try to figure out the stories. I too loved the girl with the flowers. I went to a Mayfair that spring when I was working on a book on miniature roses needing to find a model for ‘Magic Carrousel’ as you can see, this May Queen was delighted to work with me

Saxon Holt January 12, 2016, 1:10 pm

Thanks a lot Bea – input much appreciated, especially your recognition that all of us here at Gardening Gone Wild have a passion that we like to share

Pam/Digging January 12, 2016, 1:43 pm

Definitely write about props — what kinds of objects to use, how to arrange everything pleasingly — as that is part of the process of getting these great photos. Here are the ones I like best:
Rose bouquet with pink rose ‘First Prize’ with floral wallpaper background
Bouquet of rose ‘White Delight’ on floral print background
Bouquet of white rose ‘Pascali’ on windowsill

Saxon Holt January 12, 2016, 2:14 pm

Thanks Pam – I had not planned to make this book about styling, thinking of it as a garden photography title. They are very different but much of these comments seem to want me to explain the styling. As an author, I certainly want to create content that people want, so Hmmmm…..
In all honesty, the section about bouquets was a bit of an afterthought once I saw that the American Rose Society had a section on bouquets for its judging.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden January 12, 2016, 3:15 pm

Saxon, all these arrangements are eye-catching, but since you asked to select… my favorites are:
Bouquet of white rose ‘Pascali’ on windowsill’ (great lighting and almost 3-D)
Bouquet of pink rose ‘Tiffany’ on sun porch with lunch table (wakes up my appetite)
Large floral arrangement of old roses (old world’s charm)
Bouquet of fresh cut pink roses, ‘Bewitched’ on potting bench in greenhouse shed (roses are jumping out from the frame!).
The only picture that doesn’t agree with me is the very first.
Happy New Year!!!

Elizabeth Joned January 12, 2016, 4:54 pm

I love the girl with the garland and the giant arrangement of the old fashion roses. I also think the woman in red is a nice touch. Good luck with the book. I don’t know why the cap button does not work.

Saxon Holt January 12, 2016, 5:44 pm

Hi Tatyana – thanks for these comments. I appreciate that you looked so closely at them, but having so many favorites does not help me narrow things down.:-) that first one has the potential of actually being my favorite, but something about the hues is not quite right and I may play with it in Photoshop. Not enough time in the day……

Saxon Holt January 12, 2016, 5:49 pm

Thanks Elizabeth – everyone seems to like different ones, which is actually quite nice. The woman in red is my stylist, she had not planned to be a model, but I love the red myself; she hoped people would notice the yellow Meyer lemons pick up the undertones of the rose.

elizabeth baker January 12, 2016, 6:06 pm

Love them all. especially the red sweater, lemons and roses. If one was cut –Could do without the large formal arrangement of roses in the cement urn.
Beautiful but no story to imagine–for me

Saxon Holt January 12, 2016, 7:51 pm

Thanks Elizabeth – Pascali rose with the red sweater is definitely in. It tells its own story

ks January 12, 2016, 10:05 pm

i THINK MANY OF WE GARDENERS ENJOY BRINGING BOUQUETS INTO THE HOUSE …AND IF WE ARE USED TO TAKING PHOTOS IN THE GARDEN WE MAY BE CHALLENGED WITH HOW TO BEST SET UP A SHOT INSIDE –i KNOW i AM. i LIKE THE SHOT WITH THE LADY PLACING THE ROSES IN THE WINDOW–IT IS A STORY ! tHE ONE WITH THE LADY AND THE WREATH IS MY LEAST FAVORITE–IT LOOKS TOO MODEL-Y. i THINK INSTRUCTION ON HOW YOU SET UP THE STRAIGHT SHOTS OF THE ARRANGEMENTS WOULD BE VERY USEFUL.

Saxon Holt January 12, 2016, 11:43 pm

Thanks for the comment Kathy; I will have you know I am smiling big time about the “lady with the wreath … being too model-y” That photo was easily the least staged of all. Working on a miniature rose book, I showed up at a school Mayfair celebration in the Sonoma Town square with my own basket of Magic Carrousel roses knowing a feature of all Mayfairs is to make flower garlands, and flower donations are always needed. Lisa is was 12 years old, a friend of the family, and made her own crown. She posed in the shade of the big trees while the light is reflected off a bright store window across from the square.

I think I need to tell this story in the book and am already having fun just thinking about all the stories behind each photo.

grace wagner January 13, 2016, 11:55 am

I’ve DABBLED IN PHOTOGRAPHY OVER THE YEARS, AND MY CURSORY CHOICES FOR YOUR BOOK WOULD BE THE FIRST PHOTO “FIRST PRIZE” WITH THE BLUE VASES, AND WALLPAPER BACKGROUND (RICH COLOR), LIGHT, COMPOSITION..ALL GOOD. MY SECOND CHOICE WOULD BE “WHITE DELIGHT” ON FLORAL BACKGROUND. tHE COMPOSITION BEAUTIFUL WITH THE VASE AND LAVENDAR/YELLOW PLATE. attractive.
MY THIRD CHOICE, IS THE pASCALI WITH RED SWEATER (ARM) & ORANGES. LOVE THE JUSTAXPOSITION WITH ORANGES & RED SWEATERED ARM/HAND AND BEHIND THE WINDOW. ALL VERY INTRIQUING, A TOUCH OF MYSTERY.
MY FOUTH CHOICE, “BEWITCHED”, BUT DON’T LIKE THE BASKET TO THE RIGHT….DISTRACTING TO ME. THERE YOU HAVE IT.

Saxon Holt January 13, 2016, 1:04 pm

Thank you Grace – Well considered comments. You are the first one wanting to include ‘First Prize’, the one that is the most styled but difficult to get the colors just right in the reproduction.

V Scola January 23, 2016, 5:28 am

Lovely photos of roses and clever ideas. May be you can help me by taking a look at my blog and giving me some feedback.
Would be so grateful.
Thanks.

Saxon Holt January 26, 2016, 7:37 pm

Thanks for stopping by Vanessa – Blogging is such a personal thing, but visually I would make your photos bigger.

Kate March 9, 2016, 2:51 pm

Hi to everyone. I’m the owner of floral design studio and we create a many bouquets with roses , one of them are popular and another are not. As for me I’m love in red roses and want to create as more flowers arrangements with this flowers as I can. But to my regret people buy them very-very rarely. And I have one question – why? Is our flower arrangement with red roses are sucks or it some another reason?

Saxon Holt March 14, 2016, 2:35 pm

Kate – My guess is folks who go to a flower designer want something “more special” than red roses and you would have to use lots of other flowers and foliage things to build a distinctive bouquet.

[shareaholic app=”recommendations” id=”13070491″]