The past two weeks have been insane, in only the best way. For a couple of months now I’ve been working hard on a collaboration with West Elm and their London team and, in my usual “I need to prove something to myself” style (what is it with that??) I didn’t do any of it by halves. I held my paper flower workshop in store at the weekend-more on that next week, my styled table in the “loft” has been sparkling like a beauty all week and last Wednesday my DIY Easter party favours post went live on Front+Main. I’m still getting over the buzz from all the amazing feedback on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter-thank you if you spoke out and loved it.
I came up with the design, perfected the DIY and shot and edited it myself. I don’t think I could’ve predicted how well received it was going to be and I’m all the more proud of myself because, just two weeks before I took the final shots, I’d never used a DSLR before. Yep, never. I bought my Nikon D3100 in February as I felt that it was time to graduate from my iPhone, which is still my camera of choice when I’m out and about, but when it came to shooting styled pieces, it was coming up too short for my liking. I’m most definitely a run before walk kind of person when it comes to learning (I think that’s why it took me so long to learn to drive!) and I get really frustrated when something doesn’t work first time, but this time I was prepared to sit and read the boring manual, hunt for the best online tutorials and experiment. It paid off. I am a living testament to anyone that thinks learning something new is impossible-I got manual mode nailed in just a few days and look what I did! When you’re under to pressure and you have no choice but to do something it-you will do it.
So I really wanted to share the remaining shots that didn’t get used for the post because, if I do say so myself, I think they’re really beautiful. For example-this shot of my sister. She hates having her photo taken, so I told her I was only going to shoot her hands and torso and focus on the little pod. Then I pulled back a bit, focused on her face and got her looking quite relaxed. She’ll probably hate me for this now!
I took my inspiration for the floral motifs on the pods from Rifle Paper Co and Leslie Shewring-I could fawn over those designs all day long. Sweet, delicate and bursting with spring, don’t you think? After a hectic day with Reuben and Tabby it was a real treat to sit down for a couple of evenings and get some ideas down in paint, I don’t use my acrylics enough.
I got pretty handy setting up the shots and working with the timer given that my hands had to be in most of the frames to show the action. Took a little practice but I’m a pro now!
That beautiful blue/green cotton napkin against the gold flatware. Oh my. It just works, doesn’t it? And I was thrilled to find anemones in such excellent condition- I didn’t have time to order them in through my florist so I did a run to M&S and was pleasantly surprised. Sometimes you buy them closed and can see the petals are bruised or browning around the edges, but these were immaculate and allowed me a good two days to work with them fresh.
As a contrast to the soft tones of the irises and parrot tulips, I wanted to add in a pop of colour so I deconstructed a bouquet which had that beautiful protea flower inside, the vivid green leaves and hot pink Metalasia Muricata which dyed the water pink!
Do you love it? If you fancy having a go for yourself, you can find the tutorial here on Front+Main and most of the pieces I’ve styled the table with can be found online.
Thanks again to West Elm for having me, and to the UK marketing manager Jess for bringing me onboard in the first place.
I’ll be back after the weekend with more about last weekend’s workshop, how to choose the best indoor plants for your home with a special guest and more. Have a beautiful Easter!.