A dance, a glow. A shimmer and spark. I always play with my florals before creating a work. I waltz them across my table to acquaint myself with their every tiny detail: their gentle bends and curves, their delicate vulnerabilities, and the way they lean towards one side or the other. I have to know where they will live in a final piece. Sometimes, I am surprised that they ask to be rearranged when I shoot, but I oblige. I see every one individually, and to me, no flower can be a muse without first becoming a friend. Questions I have asked my flower-friends: Would you dance freely in a spring breeze? What would it look like as you gracefully bend your petals to accommodate a pollen-dusted bee seeking shelter for a nap? How would you bow with dignity, embracing the twilight of your existence, that inevitable, beautiful wilt of us all?

The flowers have taught me to dance with joy and to accommodate those in need of my shelter. They remind me that growing old is natural and necessary for all living things. What an extraordinary luxury to comprehend. What a joy and a privilege to learn so much from a living thing that can’t speak aloud. Frequently, people dismiss a floral still life as merely "just a picture of flowers.” I always smile,knowing that they have yet to realize what flowers can show us and what we can show with them. It is a partnership—a symbiotic harmony. The flowers teach me about life and allow me to tuck my secrets into their leaves. I nestle them among a constellation of artifacts plucked from my stories and the tales I spin for my camera,imbuing blooms with so many layers beyond their looks. Humans tend to overlook the substance and purpose that lies within beauty. We assume that if something is aesthetically pleasing, it must be hollow, incapable of holding profound depth.

I disagree. Find a flower, and shimmer along with it as you learn.

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