A rose is a rose is a rose

Summer is here and flowers are bursting into bloom. There they are right outside the door and so pretty. But just because they are so marvelous doesn't mean that you need to photograph them. It seems that every flower that has ever bloomed has had its picture taken. When the supply out numbers the demand...well you know what that means in the eyes of reviewers. Before you even think about taking another photo of a flower, ask yourself if the world really needs it. But if you must, how can you make your images of flowers and gardens sail past the jaded eyes of the reviewers?

Is the flower of exception beauty that could enhance a spa or inspirational website? Would an image of this flower have additional secondary use such as flowers that are emblematic of a region. The plumeria, known as the lei flower, is deeply associated with Hawaii and other tropical areas of the Pacific and are used in travel brochures. Don't neglect cut flowers. A dozen cut roses have universal appeal and flower arrangements within stylish interiors can make stunning shots.

It's a challenge to create memorable images of flowers. But it can be even more difficult to get great shots of gardens. Gardening now ranks as the number one hobby in the United States and its popularity is universal throughout most of the world. Home gardens that are artfully designed make great shots especially if the gardener himself is in the image. Formal sites like hedge maze gardens are wonderful locations for models and conceptualize the themes of complexity and problem solving. Advice from the experts: be certain to get at least a spot of color into a garden vista. Otherwise you might end up with a simple sea of green.

© Klikk

Curtice Taylor, a well-known garden photographer, said when asked his secret to success in the garden, "Long lunches. In fact you could also add an afternoon nap because if the sun is out, you do not shoot from 9AM to 5PM". I will add this is the reason that some fail to get the best location shots on any subject. They are either still in bed during the best morning light or in the bar for cocktail hour when the late afternoon light is magic.

© Clivia


•To view extraordinary flower paintings see the book, One Hundred Flowers by Georgia O'Keefe (1995).
•Here is an excerpt from a book about garden photography that is a bit heavy on lens recommendations but you might find it useful: http://www.timberpress.com/books/excerpt.cfm/9780881926804
•And the mother of all film companies chimes in with this: http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-locale=en_US&pq-path=206 PS To find out where the title of this piece comes from look for clues in the Diary of Alice B. Toklas.

Photo credits: Catalinus, Norma Cornes, Jon Helgason, Ruta Saulyte.

Your post must be written in English

June 18, 2007


"Before you even think about taking another photo of a flower, ask yourself if the world really needs it. But if you must, how can you make your images of flowers and gardens sail past the jaded eyes of the reviewers?"

I do have this trouble. Every time I take a photograph, I wonder if it does even one person any good. Then I realize it does me good. If I thought otherwise, I'd simply quit photography altogether and wait for another Ansel Adams to do the job.

Now, if the statement were ... before you even thing about uploading another photo of a flower... :D

June 13, 2007


I posted an article about shooting flowers as I said so that those that wish to shoot flowers and gardens will have a better understanding of what aspects of those subjects they should concentrate on in order to create images for which there is a greater demand than for just snaps of flowers. I hope this answers your concerns.

June 13, 2007


As the article states:

"Before you even think about taking another photo of a flower, ask yourself if the world really needs it. But if you must, how can you make your images of flowers and gardens sail past the jaded eyes of the reviewers?"

I don't see the point in trying. You are likely to spend hours upon hours searching for the right variety to shoot, and then dreaming up a unique way to shoot it. And all that just to come up with 1 or 2 accepted photos? If the subject is not something Dreamstime needs, why post an article on it?

June 07, 2007


Songbird raises a very interesting issue that I really feel the same.

I used to belong to various orchid clubs including the American Orchid Society and the largest club in Canada(hence my handle, lol) for years so I am fairly familiar with the orchid world. There are so many different orchids which are not covered by stock photos. However, I haven't dared to upload any of my orchid photos here because, based on my experience with another stock site, I am afraid that the reviewers will not always appreciate that not all orchids are created equal, many are rare and can be used for many different purposes, such as enviromental protection, CITES for endangered species, travel/tropical vacation, rainforest, climate change, horticulture, flower ID, marketing, hobby, gardening, home decor.... Perhaps I should give the DT reviewers the benefit of doubt before submitting any.

There might be a lot of common white and pink phalaenopsis (moth) orchids, but there are many rare orchids which are hotly and expensively pursued by hobbyists and professionals and rarely seen by the general public. The flower sellers definitely look for different flowers from stock sites. The few orchid photos I have on another stock website do get sold a few times. When I went to a flower show in May, I was impressed by the image of a bird of paradise in a store's promotional card. When I asked who was the photographer, the owner told me he downloaded from a stock site.

June 06, 2007


i would be interested in this as well. and no you aren't weird because you want them labeled correctly, for several reasons. one it is just proper to give them their proper name, the search for a peony should not bring up the daisy or dahlia, it is more effective for everyone.

June 06, 2007


Question...it is well-known that the garden industry is a large market, how much do you think this sector uses stock photography? I'd love to know this as I am a hort member and the photographer for our society. I have taken pictures of some truely breath-taking private gardens that have appeared on calenders, yet here they are turned down. The ones that do make it through are my top-sellers.
Secondly, (and I've always wanted to address this) there is not one stock photo site out there that has an exhaustive collection of flowers. Sure they have several hundred pictures of red roses but what about the rarely seen flowers? For example, there are over 60,000 different varieties of daylilies. If you search daylilies there are 73 hits. 11 are of the original species daylily, 24 are other varieties and the rest are not daylilies at all. Yet, when I upload a variety not represented and give it's variety name, description, and hybridizer name and year, it is rejected for too many or too specific. The ones that do make it through sell well. I know this isn't an encyclopedia but isn't variety the spice of life?
It also bugs me that so many flowers are misnamed (my weirdness) but if you don't know a daisy from a dahlia, then maybe you shouldn't be contributing to the flower section? If a customer is looking for a peony, he doesn't want to sift through poppies and dahlias.
I guess it boils down to whether sales in this section warrants proper labeling and diversity. Any thoughts on that?

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