When I set out to create this portrait park, I had a lot of different ideas and inspiration. But the one thread of thought I’ve had all along was to create an environment where I could “layer” my images. I wanted multiple spaces that gave me options to use foreground and background with my subjects in many different ways, depending on the subject, their clothing, props, etc.
Yes, the spaces change yearly, seasonally, and when I decide to build something new. But the consistent thought has always been, how will it look, or could it look, in a photograph. None of it looks like a manicured garden in “real life”. It is real, but I’m not looking for an area that looks great, I’m looking for an area that will make OTHERS look great.
Take the above garden space, for example. The large photo above was taken there just recently. I moved the big arbor over, from an area where it had been flourishing with a beautiful flowering vine, to this area just last year. It looked a little out of place here for a while, but I’ve been waiting for the plants to grow more, and for the right inspiration to hit. The former arbor location didn’t work with too dark of a background, so I had to let that large flowering plant go…sad…
I “fight” nature in many ways – the deer are driving me nuts having eaten plants that should have big beautiful flowers on them now, but these butterfly bushes are thriving, and with the clematis on the other trellis, it layered nicely with the field behind it all.
Foreground…butterfly bushes and muhly grasses. Background, field with setting sunlight…subject, well, beautiful.
It really is all designed for photos.