Photos of 2016

– Posted in: Garden Photography, Miscellaneous

January 2016 – Magnolia sargentiana, San Francisco Botanical Garden

Can it actually be 2017? Did any of you make New Year’s resolutions?

February 2016 Hummingbird visiting Arbutus menziesii

Well, if you are a garden photographer, now is the time to put your files in order. You’re not shooting much this time of year, and spending way too much time indoors wishing you could be outdoors. Spend a couple hours organizing your files now in January and make a habit of doing it every year.

March – Aloes and succulents in Santa Barbara Garden

First, be sure to backup all your photos.  Download all of those Flash cards and all the phone photos into their own folder on your computer – somewhere that you can find.

April in Virginia woodland garden

Before you walk away from that, be sure to do a very simple description of each folder.  Sure, I could tell you to go in and write a caption on each photo, but I don’t even do that myself.  At least put a basic name to your file “Dogwoods, April”, “Sea Ranch, May”.  It will help enormously when you try to find something later.

May – California Poppies at The Sea Ranch.

A couple of hours spent every January will become one of those little chores you will be glad you did.  Now, those couple of hours organizing may very well become a couple of days reminiscing … but that’s not a bad thing to do on these cold winter days.

June – Floribunda rose impression in California garden

I use the winter months to finish my post-production and computer work on many of the gardens I shoot for personal projects.  The deadlines and demands of my assignment work too often gets in the way of reviewing some of the most interesting gardens.

July – Sacramento Old City Cemetery graveyard (Actually I shot this in April)

It can take me days to finish up a photo shoot.  I review every photo individually, add captions, look up the botanic spellings, and make color corrections before I ever put them into my database and upload them to my galleries on PhotoBotanic.

August – Floating patio on floating pond, private Los Angeles garden

I know it is unrealistic to ask you to put captions on every photo, but really, now is the time to do what you can.  Every search tool uses text and every word you put into a caption makes it easier to find.

I always tell students my favorite time in the garden is the early morning light, but if I don’t put the word “morning” into a caption, how am I going to find a photo to illustrate it?

September morning light in the Ruth Bancroft Garden

Of course, for me in my business of licensing photos, I want editors to find my photos, so I do extensive captions before I put them on-line, but do at least give your files a name so your own computer can find them.

Didn’t I once shoot a Honey Locust somewhere on a trip back East?  . . .

October – Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Imperial’, Arnold Arboretum

It can indeed be a tedious process but this time of year it transports me back to glorious days and wonderful gardens – even warm autumn days before our rainy season kicked in.

November – Bright sun, Sunset Demonstration garden, Cornerstone, Sonoma.

I invite you to follow me throughout the year on the PhotoBotanic site where I add new photos, garden notes, and photo tips all during every week.

December – Heteromeles arbutifolia – Christmas Berry; California native shrub.

And if you follow my Instagram account you also follow my dog Kona. Here we are the day after the election, rededicating ourselves to bringing you beauty.

November 9 – Photographing California Oaks on Cherry Hill with Kona dog.

Saxon Holt
Saxon Holt is the owner of, 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
Saxon Holt

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Lisa at Greenbow January 13, 2017, 7:02 am

What gorgeous photos. This post brought joy to my heart on this gloomy winter day in a string of said days. You make lessons a pleasure.

Saxon Holt January 13, 2017, 12:17 pm

Thanks Lia – One thing that January is good for – looking back at garden photos

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