I hope you had a lovely weekend welcoming in the New Year…
I wanted to start off 2012 with some beautiful floral pictures, so it totally made sense for today’s post to feature images from the very talented photographer, Jemma Watts, who also answered a few questions for me:
Could you tell us a little bit about how you became interested in photography?
I was given a camera when I was about 14 and was always the one with the camera when we were out or on holiday.
I went professional quite late though because as a teenager I was always told to ‘keep it as a hobby’. When I was in my twenties, I decided to take it up professionally because I thought I’d never know unless I tried.
I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures of people and the everyday things around us, so I moved into the area of food and lifestyle photography.
How did you learn your photography skills?
I’m self-taught, I suppose. When I went into the industry, I found work assisting an established photographer and I learnt a lot from him.
I worked with him for 2 years before going solo with my career. I also would do short courses in the evenings sometimes to learn things like hand printing and developing, but that was more to understand the process than actually wanting to do it all the time with my own film (yes ‘film’!).
What type of camera and lenses do you use?
I use a Nikon D3. I’ve always used Nikons and really like them. I have a variety of lenses – loads actually! I think I would come across as a bit nerdy if I started talking about all of them!
I have a Panasonic Lumix GF1 that I take everywhere with me as it’s small enough to go in my handbag.
Could you tell us about any of your recent commissions where flowers have featured?
So many of my shoots feature flowers. In fact, recently when updating my website with images I was quite surprised how much flowers appear in so many of my shoots!
Flowers are the perfect way to add a splash of colour to a shot or to give the perfect lifestyle feel to an image.
I’ve done some specific shoots about flowers too. I photographed the chef, Skye Gyngell at Petersham Nurseries, when she was putting on an event cooking with edible flowers. Of course, having a free rein to photograph around the nurseries was an added bonus. The flowers there and the gardens are beautiful.
Emma did an amazing job creating bouquets, table centrepieces and many other floral adornments that you may wish to have at your wedding. The theme was ‘Gold and Glamorous’.
What are your tips for people taking photos of flowers?
I would always be aware of your depth of field and make sure that you choose the focal point well. You want to ‘draw’ viewers into the pictures, and their eyes will follow where the focus is.
Also, be careful with the exposure if you have light and dark flowers in the arrangement. You don’t want to over or underexpose the image and lose any details within the arrangement.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m actually shooting a cookbook at the moment.
I also shoot weddings under the company name, Pearl Pictures, so I have a few lovely ones booked for this summer. These, of course, offer me lots of opportunities for photographing lovely flower arrangements.
What is your favourite flower?
My favourite flower is the tulip.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading today’s post and seeing Jemma’s beautiful images.
(Images : Jemma Watts Photography)