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Strelitzia /strɛˈlɪtsiə/[1] is a genus of five species of perennial plants, native to South Africa. It belongs to the plant family Strelitziaceae.[2] The genus is named after Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom. A common name of the genus is bird of paradise flower/plant, because of a resemblance of its flowers to birds-of-paradise. In South Africa it is commonly known as a crane flower and is featured on the reverse of the 50 cent coin. It is the floral emblem of the City of Los Angeles; two of the species, Strelitzia nicolai and Strelitzia reginae, are frequently grown as house plants.

Introducing my beautiful Mamma 💜

While this is partly a personal image, I am also very excited to include it as part of my official portfolio. This image is not heavily conceptual as I wanted to keep it very simple, bearing in mind that there was a limit to what I could get my 75 year old mom to do. However, I feel it does raise an important point that is perhaps conceptual in itself:

Have beautiful photographs of your loved ones!

And no, cellphone snaps and selfies do not count. Have beautiful photographs taken not only to have the photographs themselves that you will treasure, but also to give them a special day where they get to feel like a star.

I have been planning to do a proper photoshoot with my mom for some time. Then Covid hit and put a wrinkle in that idea, so we put it off. But we recently planned her session and had fun picking out the wardrobe and jewellery. I did her makeup (giving her the full makeup artist experience) and she did her hair (my mom was a hairdresser). We had a fun day of pampering, had a lovely lunch and took some wonderful photographs.

I wish with all my heart that I had captured my father properly and more recently before he passed away. I have been digging through some old negatives recently and I am hoping to do something with these as I once had my dad pose for me to recreate a photograph he had from when he was younger. My heart skipped a beat when I found the negatives and I cannot wait to get them scanned...

Before and after...

I hope you enjoy this short before and after progression video. As per usual, if you have any questions (about my process, the editing, or anything really), then please send me a message and I will assist.

The Strelitzias used in this image are from my garden. I have a wonderful big crop of them this year. I mostly leave them on the plant as they attract birds, but every year I pick a few for my mom for her birthday.


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