Portraits • Headshots • Plymouth, New Hampshire

Blue Floral Portraits

Maya Angelou once said, “You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us.”

Recently I had been thinking about the idea of floral portraits, so I reached out to one of my favorite muses, Kieran Sequoia. She’s always up for a creative project.

Blue Floral Portrait #1
Blue Floral Portrait #1

I can identify several things that contributed to the making of these blue floral portraits.

Before I became a full-time photographer in 2012, I studied floristry in London. I love flowers and gardening.

I have studied all forms of art since I was a child. I still take art classes whenever I can! Last year I took a cyanotype course with Bev Conway at Kimball Jenkins School of Art. It was a wonderful course, and I made some blue floral work that I loved. I’ve been drawn to the color blue ever since.

Here is a cell photo of the first floral cyanotype I made in the class.

floral cyanotype
cell photo of my first floral cyanotype

My library of art books is a place I go for inspiration. I have a couple about Maxfield Parrish. Parrish was an American artist in the first half of the 20th Century. He was known for romantic, neo-classical images and saturated colors. When I think of his work, the words “blue” and “floral” both come to mind.

As I do for most portrait sessions, I started a mood board on Pinterest. Kieran and I both added images we were drawn to. I analyzed the mood board for threads and put together a 1900s-Art-Nouveau-Maxfield-Parrish-inspired session. For Kieran’s wardrobe, I found this floral headpiece on etsy.com. The silk gown is from the studio wardrobe.

Behind the scenes making blue floral portraits
Behind the scenes

It was only later that I decided to process the portraits only in tones of deep blue. In my work, I tend to prefer a limited palette of between one and three colors. There were many colors in the floral crown: teal, green, white, orange, and red. The antique velvet room divider is a different green, and the silk gown Kieran was wearing is pink. The many colors all worked together in person, but together–for my taste– there was too much going on as a two-dimensional image. I wanted more harmonious shades, but also something unexpected.

Blue Floral Portrait #2
Blue Floral Portrait #2

Many thanks to Kieran Sequoia for collaboration on this project.