June 19, 2012

Introducing photographer, Sabina Rüber…


You may remember that earlier this year, I reviewed a book called Painterly Plants? Well, I was so blown away by the stunning photographs it featured that I contacted the photographer, Sabina Rüber.

Today’s blog post features an interview with Sabina and a selection of her images…

Could you tell us a little bit about how you became interested in photography?

In my teens, I was given an old camera of my father’s and I remember taking pictures of things I found beautiful.


How did you learn your photography skills?

I did Art Foundation at Zürich Kunstgewerbeschule, who offered photography as an evening class.

The projects where always challenging & they got me exploring. My summer project was to photograph and compare the famous cemetery Pere-Lachaise with the cemetery for pets on the outskirts of Paris.

I then did two years of a four year photography course at the same Art School in Zürich, before deciding to jump ship, move country, learn a new language and enrol in a Documentary Photography course in Newport, Wales, run by David Hurn, a member of the prestigious ‘Magnum’ photo agency.

There I learnt a lot. After that, I went to the Royal College of Art in London and worked towards an MA.


What made you decide to specialise in garden photography?

My first garden…the pleasure of growing and discovering the wealth and beauty of flowers.

After the RCA and a spell in Madrid, my photography was mostly documentary and travel: a motorbike blessing in Italy, the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a Bloomsday piece in Dublin, a Dracula travel story in Romania… a way of life not really suited to a small child.

So with my family settled, I got seriously into gardening, learning as I went along and creating my own very special place.

It was my husband who encouraged me to combine my love of photography with my love of gardens and plants.


Could you tell us about any of your recent commissions where flowers have featured?

Most of what I do is self-generated rather than commissioned but I am photographing auriculas for Gardens Illustrated just now.

And apart from the Painterly Plants book which has been a three year project, I’ve recently produced images for a greetings card company and a company that supplies artwork for interior design.

I’m also working with a flower co-operative that promotes locally grown cut flowers and I have a project underway to produce a visual tulip database.


Do you have any tips for people taking photos of flowers?

Its all about light. Don’t photograph in bright, harsh conditions…use diffused light.


What are your plans for the remainder of 2012?

I’m growing hundreds of different annuals to be photographed later this year for a new series in House & Garden magazine.

A true challenge, as I’ve no previous experience growing from seeds but I have a team of lovely ladies also growing for me as a back-up.


What is your favourite flower?

I haven’t really got ‘a’ favourite flower.  

There are flowers I look forward to ‘revisit’ every year, starting with the hellebore in the winter.  Then I can’t wait for the tulips and scented narcissi to come out.

One flower I’ve been particularly hooked on for the past three years are auriculas especially the doubles, whose delicacy and variety in colour holds me in rapture and I can’t seem to get enough of them…

Then, there’s peonies in all their lovely frilliness, the dianthus with their heavenly scents and so it goes on.


Many thanks to Sabina for all her help in putting together today’s blog post and I hope her gorgeous photographs have brightened up your day…


(Images : Sabina Rüber)

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