The Art of the Orchid
From a new book of photography by joSon, these images capture the allure of orchids.
When people see my floral portraits, they often think I have a big garden and a really green thumb. The truth is I try very hard to take care of the plants in my loft, but eventually they tend to wilt before they have any flowers for me to photograph. So the flowers I end up photographing are ones from the backyards of other people that I discover through friends and from driving or walking around.
When I knock on the gardener’s door, I always try to give them a big smile, telling them how beautiful their garden is. Then, before they have a chance to reflect on their hard work, I ask them if it’s OK to cut some of their flowers so I can photograph them. Most of the time, people say yes.
Over the years I have found that gardeners are like mothers or pet owners: They love to hear nice things about their children, and they can never have enough photos of them.
We have one thing in common: the plants. The gardeners love to grow and nurture them, and I am fascinated by their gorgeous colours, intriguing forms, unique textures and limited lifespan. To me they are like undiscovered planets that draw me inward and compel me to document their existence.
Editor’s Note: For more, see the forthcoming book joSon: Intimate Portraits of Plants (Graphis Press, spring 2013). This large-format book presents over 100 signature photographs from joSon’s Fotanical collection. More than 100 plant species are represented from all parts of the world. If you are in the Bay Area, stop by his gallery; for appointments, call 1 510/653-1194.