Photography + Horticulture = Horticultural photography
Sat here on this rather grey and very cold Tuesday morning with the odd flake of snow drifting slowly down i think to myself perhaps this is a funny time to write about this? On the other hand, perhaps it is the desire to get out there and get my hands dirty that brings my thoughts around this way.
As some of my clients will be aware I have been studying Horticulture with the RHS for a while now. It all started with a portrait client of mine telling me they could not get a Gardner for love nor money for their fantastic gardens, this was early summer a few years ago. A lightbulb went off in my head! I thought “hang on, my portrait business gets quieter in the summer. Maybe I could do a bit of maintenance gardening, cutting grass, weeding, headge cutting etc? I mean how hard can that be?” Of course, having never really done much gardening before besides mowing my lawn at home and hacking at the hedge I really was in for a surprise!
Old dog, new tricks
Well, two surprises really. Firstly how much there was to doing this gardening gig properly and secondly how much I was going to enjoy this journey! That’s getting ahead of the story slightly though.
I was lucky enough to have a course, just one day a week, almost on my doorstep at Askham Bryan agricultural college where they ran an RHS course for practical gardening. I signed myself up with trepidation to start at level 2. They assured me I would be fine, after all there was only just over 100 plants to identify and spell correctly in their Latin name forms to be able to pass that year. I knew what a rose looked like, i would be fine; right?
What I went on to learn and discover over the next year was a whole new world of plants, techniques, best practice and characters (there are plenty of these in the horticultural community). I was smitten, by the time I had finished I had climbed a learning mountain graduating year two with a student of the year trophy no less and a good general understanding of all things horticultural from soil science to correct sowing temperatures etc! I realised this was a new found passion I wanted to continue.
It was at this time my head of year said I should come back and do level 3 which is based upon working in the industry. I thought about it and replied I would love to but I could not really justify the cost and time as I could not see it taking over from my existing photography business. He said that is exactly the reason why I should do it. With my combined skills in photography and now horticulture I would be perfectly placed to work as a photographer in that world! Well, here I am about half way through year 3 with the RHS learning how to graft fruit trees etc and feeling this is the year to push things further towards making the dream come true of combining my photography with my new found passion for all things horticultural. I have a few ideas of how to push this further and in what ways my talents would combine and shine. Watch this space.
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If you would like to discuss any aspects of my photography please give me a call on 07762240375