Thursday, November 4, 2010

Give some thought to Thinking Gardens

A recent article published in the UK online E-zine , "Thinking Gardens"

Check out the link below. The published article has some photo images to go along with the essay.


Aspiring for excellence: Elevating the bar for Landscape Designers
NOVEMBER 1, 2010
This is a piece for landscape architects and gardens designers regarding the presentation of their work – though I wonder if the same applies in the UK?

A rap on the knuckles for careless designers from Michelle Derviss

It happens all the time and quite frankly it lowers the bar :

A ‘professional’ landscape designer publishes a ‘finished’ project photo into their online portfolio or on a web site set up for ‘professional’ landscape designers to peruse and interact on.

The photo is poorly composed, It was taken in harsh overhead light, the plantings were installed yesterday and the hoses and black plastic nursery pots are still scattered about the site.

Note to duhsigners : This is not good professional representation of your design work.

It doesn’t put you or your work in the best possible light and lowers the standards for the profession as a whole.

It’s no wonder landscape designers moan that they receive little respect. The bar has been set low.

A photograph speaks volumes and a poorly presented one will tell your audience, be it other designers or potential clients, that you are not ready for prime time playing, at least in the ‘professional’ category.

Look at the real professionals in our industry who are being published, are making waves and have a distinguished following.

Their portfolio images were taken in the proper lighting conditions, ie: early morning light, over cast illuminating light or the golden hour of sunset.

Their gardens are lushly mature, full of beautiful plants and have tastefully arranged furnishings complimenting the softscape and adjacent architecture.

Someone took the time to sweep the site, arrange the chairs, stage the ‘set’ and compose a photograph that puts the designers work in the best possible light.

These are our ‘professional designers’ and you can instantly tell the difference by looking at how they strive for excellence in the profession of landscape design.

If you have poor photography skills , hire a photographer. There are many available at a wide range of rates.

If you feel you can’t afford one then educate yourself in how to take a decent photograph.

And above all, choose a garden that has some age to it.

As a professional you should be keeping in touch with your recent past clients.

Not only does this speak well of you to your clients and their investments, it keeps you connected to one of your growing assets, a finished project waiting to be photographed in the best possible light .

Strive for excellence and bring up the bar by showing potential clients and your peers that you have completed beautiful works of horticultural and hardscape craftsmanship via a well composed and presented photograph.

Michelle Derviss


Susan said...

I totally agree, especially with the importance of having eye catching photos on blogs and websites. Beautiful photos can show that a designer does professional work and also catches the interest of the visitor.

It's not always easy to get back to a landscape at just the right time. As you mentioned, time of day is important, but also exact time of year when the garden is at its best. Although I've managed this at times, I've fallen behind too and always regret missing that window of opportunity.

I'm surprised when I see photos on a site that are "below the bar".

Phrago said...

You're an international Star! of course, us homeys always knew you were. Congrats...

Anonymous said...

I truly appreciate you taking the time to share this. Look forward to more posts from you.
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Ron Mylar said...

This blog gives the explanation of each and every part of garden. And also it Give some thought to Thinking Gardens.

Heidi Schreiner said...


Absolutely true. Thanks for the reminder.

I have found that I get in the habit of photographing outdoors and it's then easier to 'find' the time. It's now a hobby that I'm developing.