A Flower for May

May 11, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Yellow RoseYellow RoseDried with hints of her personality peeking through. Giving only a subtle, playfulness about her away.

Yesterday I had a conversation with my husband, we sat around our kitchen table after a game of cards and discussed an aspect about myself I'd been thinking about. Before I opened up to him, my biggest confidant, my truest companion, I felt many feelings. Saying the words aloud would make them more real, would open me up to vulnerability and invite opinions about the subject. I felt safe and loved, but I know I'm too hard on myself, and so I expect it from others. 


The past four months have been wild. In a time where we are slow with business we found ourselves unusually slow. The editing of winter weddings wrapped up quickly, the spring photoshoots halted, the freelance work vanished. Nothing at our fingertips but each other and three wild kids. 


The hardest part of what I do is knowing there are hundreds of photos I love just sitting on a hard drive, never to be seen or printed or touched. I love the creativity of photography, the sound of the camera, the weight of it in my hands. The inspiration it brings when I click the shutter release and capture a moment or a flower or anything that has somehow left a little mark on my mind and my heart is truly wonderful. 


Gathering my flower photos off of hard drives took a good 24 hours. I had to try and not get distracted by the many folders labeled. "Kids May 2015, Kids Summer 2016, Lane's Visit 2019" and so on, they would have their time and those folders would need much more than 24 hours. Nine years I have been photographing flowers, petals, dried up stems and crinkled roses and I dwindled it down to less than 50 photos to share. It's wild, I probably took at least a couple thousand photos of these flowers, sometimes overshooting because I was using a macro lens and with even a slight breath the focus could change and effect the whole image. 


In Brooklyn I used a spare bedroom to set up studio lights and photograph with a stark white backdrop. Often my daughter Avery would be in a crib that I'd roll in there with me so we could "work" together. She'd lay on the floor of our office that also doubled as a closet and practice rolling over as I edited the images. 


In Connecticut I slowed down the pace of flowers, we'd had another kid, my hands were full and I often wondered if I'd ever go back to the flowers. I would, but not until baby number three came on the scene and instead of my stark white or black backdrops with studio lighting I would change to a single natural light beaming in from overhead. The style changed but my excitement over drying the flowers, watching their colors change and putting them in front of my lens remained. 


Like this yellow rose, I started bright and shiny, even florescent, and with time and care I grew deeper and more comfortable to sink into my own creativity. I knew there was this need to create within me but I didn't know how to listen, and once I did, wow it was almost an unstoppable force. 


So I encourage you to print if you can print, hang photos and art on your walls, let it be seen and inspire you. 




Julianna Ehlert   














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