Some days are more extraordinary than others. Just when you think you’re going to spend the day doing something one way, you might find yourself taking a completely different path.
That’s what happened a while back when my niece Isabella came to hang out at the studio for the day. I thought that maybe we’d work on a creative project and then see where it would go. No strings attached, just a day to play around.
I left it with her to come up with an idea. To think about something we could photograph in the studio that might stir up some creativity not only for herself, but everyone. Her idea completely caught me off guard.
I don’t consider myself to be a super sentimental person. But just like most things in life, that kind of stuff can sometimes sneak up on you. My Mom passed away just over 6 years ago, and she was someone who was always doing something creative in her spare time. Whether it was making jewellery, ceramics or painting random objects, she was always making something.
The morning of the creative, Isabella showed up with a few bags full of binders. I wasn’t prepared for what was contained within it’s covers. Page after page of pressed dried flowers and random plants, collected in envelopes. Each envelope meticulously labelled and marked with the date and location picked, as well as the type of plant or flower if my mom knew what it was. She picked where she saw stuff, it didn’t matter if it was down by the lake, at the side of the road or in the forest across from the house.
I had known that my mom had collected, pressed and dried flowers. But I had not known that she had categorized and stored so much of it over the years. And one day while going through a bunch of her grandmothers craft supplies and stuff, Isabella had found this little treasure trove of things that my mom had so lovingly collected over the years. I definitely did not inherit my Mom’s organizational skills.
It was a little overwhelming for me initially. My sister Debra had brought my niece to the studio that day and even though she knew what Isabella had planned, it was just as overwhelming to her as well. So many years after my mom had passed away, it seemed like she’d just popped back in for a visit with us all. And we were sure not to waste the opportunity.
For the next several hours we all worked together to delicately select and group many of these specimens to be photographed. We played with lighting, experimented with backgrounds and created the compositions that you see here now.
I think it’s a great testament to my Mom’s love of creating stuff. It’s a trait both my parents had passed along to my sister and I, and now my sister has shared with my niece.
I’ll leave it at that, I don’t want to come across as too sentimental.