Better Homes & Garden
Art Director:Jarret Einck
Associate Photo Editor: Holly Pruett
Photographer: Gabriela Herman
Heidi: Was this your first shoot with the magazine?
Gabriela: It was my first shoot for Better Homes and Gardens and I felt like it was such a good fit for me based on many previous garden and flower stories I’ve shot for Martha Stewart Living.
How long were you at the garden?
We went down to the Naples Botanical garden where this was shot and had a glorious, (and sweltering!) 3 days documenting all the different varieties of water lilies.
What made this shoot stand out for you?
Besides just learning everything about water lilies and aquatic plants which I knew nothing about, one thing that stood out for me was meeting Danny Cox, the aquatics specialist at the garden, and seeing someone so young have such passion for his plants. “Water lilies are the sexy part of water gardening” he’s quoted in the article saying. While still in high school he got a part-time job at the garden and got obsessed with water gardening, went on to get a degree in environmental studies and now oversees over 300 water lilies on the property.
How did you get so close to the delicate flowers and manage the variety of bloom times?
I loved getting in waders and walking through the different ponds to approach the most prized lily. Some were only knee-deep, but a few we were up to our waists while shooting. It was also nice to have the luxury of time for this shoot to be able to approach the flowers at the exact time of day when they would be open to their fullest and the lighting would be best, including the night-bloomers which we caught early morning.
How did hurricane Irma effect the garden?
The story is actually kinda bittersweet, because a few days after we left, the entire garden was completely destroyed by hurricane Irma. I believe after much cleanup and recovery, they were able to open the garden back later that fall, but the President noted that it would never look exactly the same as it did before the hurricane. The power of photography becomes even more evident in a scenario like this, where through these images, the garden as it once was can be remembered.