flowers + reading
We’re excited to introduce you to the work of Jappalin Manning, owner of FlowerTalk in Perth, Western Australia and photographer Natalija Brunovs, owner of We Are All Stardust. As you know, we talk often at Botanical Brouhaha about the importance of Flowering with Purpose. So, when Jappalin shared the images and stories behind the flowered fellas captured in these images, we asked to share the stories with our BB Community. Hope you find them inspiring!
Natalija & I had been discussing the possibility of doing an “older generation” couples shoot featuring flower crowns. We did a search for couples in their 80s and 90s, but unfortunately many of them are living alone as their spouses have passed away. So, we decided to feature the men instead as they don’t often get to wear flowers!
As the search for models progressed, I thought maybe if I approached men who had somehow been associated with flowers they might be more likely to say yes to the unusual request of photographing them wearing flowers.
We did the shoot in a flower farm hothouse at View Time Flowers which was the perfect location. The flower crowns, pocket squares and colour palettes were decided and made on site to suit the outfit and personality of each man.
Lino | 88
Natiljia put a call out in her local community Facebook group and we were led to Lino whose wife had passed away a couple of years ago. Lino and his wife migrated from Spain about 60+ years ago to Perth Western Australia. He was the perfect model and such a vibrant man. We noticed in his house he had many flowers that he kept and preserved, as well as many old photographs. So we instantly had a connection through flowers and photography!
I chose vibrant colours of red, blue, and white to show his personality. Flowers used were blue dyed disbuds, red ranunculus, and blush hydrangeas in a “hat” form with a pocket square of red ranunculus.
Cees | 63
Cees, a 63 years old Dutchman from Holland, migrated to Perth Western Australia in 1983. He started the farm in 1992 and named it View Time Flowers. Cees has supplied his local grown flowers to many florists and wholesalers in Perth over the years and continues to serve them today. I approached him about the photo shoot on his farm and also cheekily asked if he could be our model — he said yes! Flowers used for Cees were from his farm (with the exception of the orchids) and included solidago, amile, and snapdragon.
Leo | 73
Leo recently retired from being a wholesale flower company owner of 20+ years at Everbloom. I thought what a way to send him off with an official flower crown from his cool room…hehe. Since this shoot was done during the Covid 19 pandemic in October 2020, I thought it might be a great idea to have him wear a “mask of flowers” to remember 2020. Flowers I used included poppies and some daisy-like small flowers from my garden.
Alex | 70
Alex migrated to Australia 40+ years ago from China. He is actually the father-in-law of one of my staff members, Adeline Zhao, and shyly said yes to this request. I chose his outfit and it just so happened that he always wears his peak cap which was a perfect fit. An armband and a mustache of flowers for him! Flowers used were Michaelmas daisy, asters, and Celway celosia.
Howard | 81
Howard, an Australian, and his wife Carole owned and managed a shop called Ann Margaret Florist for 38 years before selling it. Carole was also a Florist educator in our first “Flower School” in a government-funded school for beginner floristry. I was trained there and Carole was one of my educators. When Carole passed away, Howard continued to volunteer for many floral education events and flower shows. He was, of course, the “right one” to do this shoot. Flowers used for Howard are asters, misty, stock, solidago and statice.
Photographer Natalija finds something both strikingly beautiful and oddly comfortable about the juxtaposition of older men and fresh flowers. Both are fragile in their own ways, the ephemeral qualities of flowers and the vulnerability that arises in an aging man.
Finding these men who were so comfortable being decorated in beauty was, in itself, a display of inner strength. These men all embraced the flowers and broke the stereotype of flowers being typically feminine.
The work speaks for itself as a reflection on masculinity and aging.
FlowerTalk is owned and managed by one of Perth’s leading wedding floral stylists, Jappalin Manning. Jappalin trained at TAFE, and following this, worked in several flower shops before opening FlowerTalk in 2001 and winning multiple awards at the Perth Royal Show.
Florist Assistant: Adeline Zhao
Jappalin’s Headshot: Deion Teo Photography
If you enjoyed today’s post, click here to see Jappalin’s Pets + Flowers photoshoot.
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