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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Room of 100,000 Flowers

This week was an exhausting one to say the least. One of my editorial clients hired me to photograph flowers out in California. Just to clarify, these are nationally recognized, award winning flowers; the best of the best. It sounds nice and simple, but in reality was anything but. This is one of the most grueling shoots I've been asked by a client to do. Luckily this is my second year photographing the competition winners, so I knew what I was in for.

A six page list of line itemed, ten point font size flowers, all needing to be photographed in a short, two day time frame due to their fragility and ability to wilt. Still sound simple? It's hundreds of flowers. I shot over one thousand images of flowers in a two day time span. My assistant and I carried hundreds of 30 plus pound vases of 2 dozen count arrangements back and forth from the judging tables to the set. The largest and heaviest being the long stemmed roses and giant lilies. All jokes aside, one Oriental Lily blossom equaled the size of my head. The seemingly 4 foot roses almost drowned my 5 foot tall assistant.

It's a tough shoot mostly because of the physical aspect. Not only is it two full ten hour days of awkwardly lifting of heavy items trying not to get pollen all over your clothes, but the room is kept at a chilling 55 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the flowers at their best. The first day, when we stepped out of the room for lunch I could feel the warmth in my cheeks as they were thawing. The room also contains a large mix of floral smells, all wonderful individually, but overwhelming when blended together. Definitely a time for the allergy medication.

Without a doubt, the flowers are breathtaking. The best flowers one who works outside of the floral business can see in their lifetime, and I've gained a new respect for florists and the delicate environment they work in because of my time photographing these beautiful beings.

At the end of the two days, we packed up the equipment. I felt as if I could rejoice that this long job was once again complete, and at the same time cry as I collapsed from exhaustion. Either way I know I am looking forward to seeing these special flowers again next year.

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