From Growers to my Garden.
I'm often asked on Social Media the names and varieties of the roses I photograph and where I source them.
Over the years I've added many flowering trees, shrubs, bulbs, and annual flowers to my small garden. I've also invested in several David Austin rose shrubs to provide me with a quality of rose that is extremely hard to source unless you can find a specialist grower.
From the end of May, I have a steady harvest of roses all the way through to October. New varieties have several seasonal flushes making them worth the investment.
Below, I've included the names and varieties I repeatedly turn to for my floral photography. I've also included some photography tips that you may find helpful when working with roses.
A P H O T O G R A P H E R S G U I L D TO
G A R D E N R O S E S
Olivia was the first David Austin rose I purchased and its never failed to produce a mass of baby pink blooms every May - June. It continues to bloom all the way through the summer months which makes it a perfect addition to my small garden.
Wisley is another beautiful pink David Austin rose I have.
Lady of Shallot
Lady of Shallot are the large coral - orange blooms featured in this collection.They're a stunning colour not too overly orange for me which is why I like this particular rose and it always looks good in a tutti-fruity colour mix.
Skylark sits in the centre of this arrangement and is a cup shaped bloom. It starts as a ball opening into a stunning cup. Individual blooms are short-lived only lasting 2-3 days. However, the shrub keeps producing new buds throughout the summer. I have two of these shrubs because I adore the opening shape of the rose.
My favourite, Boscoble is heady and deeply rich in fragrance and petals. Planted in my garden I also have another David Austin rose called Princess Alexandra of Kent (not pictured). Its similar and another of my favourites with its rich coral -pink tones.
Grace, pictured in the centre of this display is the latest edition to my garden. Its flowers are a warm peachy hue and the rose is full bodied with a fully ruffled centre. I'm looking forward to seeing more blooms from this shrub as it grows.
T H E R O S E G A L L E R Y
P H O TO T O G R A P H I N G F L O W E R S
P H O T O G R A P H I N G
G A R D E N R O S E S
An English rose is pure elegance.
Photographing roses is made more joyful by their incredible fragrance. Homegrown climbers and shrub roses are both elegant and quintessentially English.
F R O M P L A N N I N G T O C A P T U R E
Planning your shoot is essential! Sketch, list or create a mood board of ideas to work through. From simple stems to full bouquets. Roses work well both alone and with mixed summer flowers. Always think about the look you wish to achieve before you start.
Commercial roses may be easier to work with as they're grown on a single stem. However, garden roses grow and bloom in clusters, meaning for every stem you'll get a few fully open roses as well as unopened buds. I always cut rose stems upwards by an inch so the flower can draw-up more water. Get yourself a thorn-striper too, you'll thank me.
Garden roses grow on shorter stems so bud vases and smaller posies are ideal.
Gardner roses have a softer form than some other flowers so when creating an arrangement be mindful not to squish roses in with heavier flowers and foliage. Give them space, to ensure they keep their natural shape.
Let older roses drop their petals and consider styling props that help tell a story. I like to combine roses with stone, their tenderness against such a hard, cool surface paints a story of hot balmy summers days.
Rose have an incredible iridescence to their petals. If you look closely they almost look dewy. Whether I'm photographing roses on the shrub or as part of a still-life I always make sure I use defused natural light.
Outdoors, I'll aim to shoot in 'the golden hour' just after the sun has set or in full shade. If needed I'll use a scrim or a white opaque reflector cover to cast my own shade, this is especially helpful when I cannot control the position or light direction.
I always shoot between 1.8f to 2.8f. When working with such a narrow depth-of-field I keep the focal point on the one rose I've pre-selected to be the subject of the image. I always pay attention to detail and damage and will select the very best rose I have.
Roses can take a little more contrast but I don't like to add-in additional saturation, as they're already colourful enough. You can get creative with roses and create a pretty vintage or cottage-core look with Beyond the Lens Original Actions.