Using Spring in the Greenhouse for Photo Inspiration / by Andrea Moffatt

Do you know how sometimes, you visit a place and you just feel INSPIRED? Inspired to write, inspired to sing, inspired create, inspired to plant, inspired to shoot? That's just how I felt a few weeks ago when I visited Arona Road Greenhouse in New Stanton PA. I went for flowers and came home with a box of them, but it only left me wanting to hurry back as quickly as I could with my camera! Because oh, the COLORS! (Not to mention the lines!)

You can just tell that the owners of this business LOVE gardening and the magic of planting and nursing plants along until they are just dripping from their baskets and filling every nook and cranny of the place. The displays are friendly, informative, and beautiful and the flowers are all overflowing and well cared for. 

The nice thing about shooting in a greenhouse is that the domed ceilings act like giant soft boxes. They provide a pretty, even light free of color casts. Even on a sunny today (which today was not), you can take beautiful portraits because you are standing under a giant diffuser.

Yes, it was all about color, color, color. Everywhere you looked! But there are still times, that despite the brilliant vibrance of spring's palette, a simple high contrast black and white treatment can pull your eye to what is remarkably beautiful.

And while we're on the topic of color (or no color), I must come clean and admit I got lucky with my sons' red jackets today. Red and green are complimentary colors, meaning that they are opposite from each other on the color wheel. If you are going for poppy, stand-out pictures, where your subject is clearly separate from their background, you should dress your kids this way on purpose. If you are going for something more subtle, choose an analogous color (one that is side by side with green on the color wheel), like yellow-green, yellow, turquoise, or blue. 

If you live in the area and haven't visited Arona Road Greenhouse yet- what are you waiting for? It's like Christmas in the city or St. Patty's Day at the pub - May in the greenhouse is its month to shine.