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Do you ever ask yourself, “Why do I make my work?”  I do all the time and you should too, so let me share my story to help you understand why you need to know the reason you’re making your images.

With my pink rose flood flower, I tried a variety of ways to make it special just for me, but before I dive into that, let me tell you the back story…

My daughter was having twins for her first pregnancy and we decided to have a tea baby shower. I brought out all of my Grandmother’s China from both sides of the family and bought some beautiful flowers that matched the China pieces. It was a special time for me and my daughter because we had generations with us spiritually.  The women started with the twin’s great, great, great, grandmothers. 

pink rose flower flood

Image used on Platform Overload. Sharing what I like to photograph and why.

This image had to represent the women in my family and in order to do that, I thought to myself HOW can I make a piece of the bouquet below into the up close and personal photograph that you see above?

I had to photograph them fast before they began to die. I did several shots with all of her flowers, thinking of us grandmothers, but the one above is my favorite… the beautiful pink rose for the women in our lives past and present and the soft flowers around it represents family and the water adding life, the new life of my two grandbabies that were about to be born.

So I decided to stack this shot because I was pretty close to the flowers. I started focusing on the closest part to my lens and took several shots to the back in focus and combined them into one file. It was a little too busy, so I brought back in some of the out of focus areas, especially to the back of the composition to make sure the rose could pop in the flowers. There wasn’t much more I needed to do for post-processing. I cleaned the mess, added a bit of vibrancy and sharpening and then added the water with a program called Flood 2. In this program, I made sure the water processed worked with the composition.

Below in the flower arrangement, you can see that I desaturated the pink roses to go with this vase that was also from my grandmother, which was her mother’s (my great grandma), plus I wanted the bouquet to be neutral and fresh.  Ashley, my daughter, was having  2 boys.  I didn’t need blue to represent them…. I just wanted to express the abundance of new life with the old vase.

Bouquet of flowers in an old vase with a black background.

For me, both images are about life and death, but in a beautiful way. When you know why you’re photographing the subject in front of you, the more you will put into that piece of work.  It may mean something else to others, but you know in your heart WHY you made your work. 

The rose flood is for sale at Thirt9.  I hope that it will bring happiness to you wherever you hang this image, like it has for me, and to remember the history of life past, present, and future. If you purchase “Pink Rose Flood”,  feel free to let me know.  I’ll print this up for you to have with your work.


Janice Sullivan

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