Now you know I love food shoots, but once in awhile a garden or home shoot is presented and I pinch myself thinking how fortunate I am that I get to see and experience these spectacular places. I mean, to spend the day outdoors meandering through history, taking in views that are often reserved for the owner, family and friends. And taking pictures too?? It is not lost on me. It's a good gig.
And then I feel the pressure, how do I capture it so everyone else can experience it too? So I walk the space, repeatedly, up and down different walkways, trying to figure out what it is that makes it 'what it is', and determine the angles or vantage points that tell more in a single image than others. Or maybe it's just a little 'moment' or vignette of two chairs that speaks to me and 'feels' like what I am experiencing there. I only have a couple of pages to encapsulate a scene that could feasibly take up an entire coffee table book. Oh the pressure! But then I remember that no lives are at stake or anything, so that helps a lot.
I spent a breezy summer day at the estate of John Graham capturing this breathtaking series of restored gardens. On one side, with the Atlantic Ocean peeking through in the distance, I shot a restored 19th century alleé from a somewhat perilous spot atop the 200 year old plantation home ("don't lean on anything" being my sole instructions and the mantra I repeated while shooting up there). On the other side, a gorgeous 1930's formal garden with incredible boxwoods cut into three dimensional federal chain sculptures. Just beyond, a 21st century garden designed and dedicated to John's parents with lovely oyster shell paths.
Did I mention they were designed by Chip Callaway? Landscape artist extraordinaire.
Check out these images from the August/September issue of Garden&Gun Magazine. The must-read, happening magazine for Southerners and anyone who likes the South.