Photography for gardeners: Documenting the story of your garden

Photography for gardeners: Documenting the story of your garden

With the onset of spring, I thought it might be the perfect time to share a photography project that I’m going to be embarking on over the next few months: Documenting the story of my garden. This is a totally informal, personal project that I thought might be fun to undertake. If you’re a gardener who also loves photography, I encourage you to give it a try too!

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The inspiration

Recently, I took a storytelling photography course. Coming from a background in landscape and sports photography, I am largely a reactive photographer. I’ve never considered myself too creative in terms of long-term projects. So, to start with something easy and convenient, I thought I would document the journey of my annual vegetable garden. While I personally only have a veggie garden, this concept could easily translate to flower gardens as well.

The concept of documenting the story of your garden

Here’s a tentative shot list for the types of things I’m going to capture:

  • starting seeds indoors, seed packets, containers sitting in the sunlight on the windowsills etc.
  • getting the garden beds ready
  • planting starters outside
  • growth stages of plants, including wide-angle shots and macro shots
  • maintenance like fertilizing and watering
  • harvested veggies/fruits
  • the produce being eaten and used to cook meals
documenting the story of your garden garden storytelling
Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

The end result

Even though this is just a personal project, I think it’s important to do something with the images after taking them. You can create a blog post, photo essay, small printed book or even a slideshow put to music. Whether or not you share your project with others, make sure you don’t just leave the images on your hard drive to never be seen again.

First, cull your images down to the strongest ones that complement each other in a cohesive narrative. Then, create your project through the medium of your choice. I personally will be creating a photo essay that I will share here next fall. I hope that this might inspire some of you to do the same and create a keepsake memory for the future.