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Chelsea Flower Show 2019

Background to this photoshoot

For many years now, I have been fortunate enough to be to photographer for Hillier Garden Centres, a company I am so proud of working with.

A key date in the yearly calendar for Hillier’s, is the prestigious Chelsea Flower show. Held once a year, this incredible show brings designers, gardeners and suppliers from all aspects of the gardening world together – putting on one of the most incredible weeks, showcasing gardening, any where in the world.

Hillier’s have a very long tradition exhibiting at the Chelsea Flower Show, having won an incredible 74 consecutive gold medals – which is a world record.

So I needed to document this years entry, really well. My job, here with Hillier’s at the Chelsea Flower show, was to document the Hilliers Garden. Showing the full set up, the small details and some of the exquisite planting. These images need to be photographed, edited and delivered on the day – so Hillier’s can send them off to print to feature in their show guide.

It is a high intensity job.

Story Of The Shoot

I arrive early. I always do.

Upon arrival it is clear that the garden is a long way from finished. The Hillier team are busy running around, planting and cleaning path ways. It’s chaotic and stressful for everyone involved. Me getting in the way now really wouldn’t help.

So I start by walking around the site, see what can be seen from afar, what are my close up angles and where are all of my key vantage points. I meet with the designer to go through the design of the show guide, to see where the images need to be placed. Between us we are now building a great plan for not only the guide but all of the social media posts throughout the event.

I subtly start working, a mix of detailed shrubs that have been specified as well as some broader scene shots. Much later in the day, we are finally given the all clear and we can begin to come in to the garden, shooting all of our big, wide hero shots as well as many more detail and supporting shots.

By mid afternoon we have a great mixture of imagery, so we spend half an hour with the design team going through the images on the laptop to check where we are.  The client is thrilled, we have captured the garden, it’s look, it’s feel and the ambience it creates perfectly. There are a couple of specific show shrubs that needed some more images but other than that we are good to go into post production.

So we then head to our hotel room, set up the editing suite and by 9pm, all images are edited, signed off by the marketing team, signed off by head office and sent to the printers for the show guide to be printed ready for tomorrow morning.

Project Gallery

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