Behind The Image #11 – Tulip Portrait

I don’t often shoot black and white images, but I’ve been more interested in them recently. I tend to go through phases with the way I post-process photographs and at the moment I think I’m chasing a “fine art” aesthetic inspired by the still life images I saw at the end of the Don McCullin exhibition.

I’ve always wanted to shoot beautiful flower portraits. The idea of a flower “portrait” really fascinates me. To me, for an image of a flower to be a portrait it has to describe a characteristic of the flower. It has to go beyond being an accurate reproduction of the way it looks.

These tulips were purchased with a yellow sticker on them… £1.25 from Waitrose. They were, apparently, past their prime.

Having been a lover of tulips for years I knew that this meant they would soon lose their turgidity, gaining a graceful arch to their stem as they begin to show their fragility. They begin to collapse under the weight of their heads before their beauty has faded.

It was this weary prostration that I wanted to capture in a photograph. An ode to the delicacy and short life of a flower that looks so robust while in its prime.

And I think I did.

I also shot one that I think works in colour from a different angle. But I think the black and while has inspired me to shoot a whole series of these flower portraits. Perhaps even make a small book or series of prints.

If you’d like to head about how this project progresses, please don’t hesitate to sign up to my mailing list here.