Valentine’s Day flowers that will live on, like your love

Giving flowers is so last century …

Red Roses - Flower Wall Art Prints

OK, it’s really not. Don’t ever let anyone convince you of such a thing! Every woman loves getting flowers. It’s a universal crowd pleaser and you can’t go wrong. However, they do die. Given a Valentine’s Day gift is meant to represent your love, I’ve always thought this to be a rather sad ending to such a beautiful gesture.

The first time my soon-to-be husband gave me flowers (we’re getting married in June!) I salvaged one prior to them all wilting. He gave me a dozen long-stem red roses – very traditional – and they were exquisite. As a way to keep my memory of this moment alive forever, I hung one of the roses upside down in a dark room to dry.

Dry Roses - Flower Wall Art Prints

The dry rose is now sitting across some books on my library bookshelf. Actually, just the other day I was tidying up some books and dropped it on the ground! It crumbled a little.

“Oh no!” I exclaimed!

“What’s wrong?” my partner responded.

“I dropped the rose you gave me on the ground and it crumbled!” I said.

No response. He didn’t care. He’d moved on already. But I cared. What if he never bought me flowers again and this was the only lasting memory I’d have of that loving moment?

While I’m the first to admit to having a wild imagination, I do have good cause to think such things.

Irisis - Flower Wall Art PrintsIt took my ex boyfriend four years to buy me flowers. My favorite color at the time was purple, so he bought me a big bouquet of irises. Had to give him credit for that.

I was so excited to receive them. I placed them in a vase then cared and nurtured them like they were a new born baby. I also photographed them (of course). This was back in the day when cameras had film, so it took a while to get the photo developed.

When I received the photo back, I set about buying a canvas and painting the flowers. My grandmother, who had much better painting skills than I, helped me. The result was, dare I say it, ghastly. I never hung it up.

But I think that gives you some indication of how much I wanted to remember that moment.

Given it’s so easy now to print images to canvas, I now have a much better Valentine’s Day gift idea that will trump anything done before. No, I am not suggesting you photograph a vase of flowers and print them to canvas (what was I even thinking back then?).

This idea is more considered and heartfelt.

Go flower hunting:

Find flowers from your own balcony pots or backyard garden or perhaps from a local park or community garden you regularly frequent together. Photograph three different flowers. If you know her favorite flowers, photograph those. Or if you simply think they’re beautiful to capture, photograph those. Don’t just choose all white flowers or all red flowers. Choose a selection of colors. If you have a story to accompany the reason for choosing them, even better.

Photograph three different flowers:

When you’re photographing them, be sure to take close ups to get as much detail and clarity as possible. While macro photography can take some skill and even require the purchase of additional lenses, I’ve personally found shifting to the macro setting on a point and shoot camera can be effective enough to capture something truly beautiful.

The trick is to ensure your subject (the flower) is well lit, but not in direct sunlight, so try to wait until there is a bright but cloudy day. Direct sunlight will throw dark shadows and create a dappled effect that will create too much unwanted contrast.

I always love to photograph just before the sun sets. This is a time when there are as few shadows as possible. However, if your subject has plenty of shade at other times of the day, that’s fine too.

The bonus with shooting close ups of flowers is that, unlike moving objects like insects, they don’t move. They’re the perfect subject, really. So don’t be afraid to get as close as possible.

Remember to include some foliage around the flower as it provides context and some contrasting colors – giving it life. Frame the full flower or group of flowers together – don’t go leaving parts of the subject out of the shot. And speaking of insects, one of the treasures of macro photography is the accidental capture of an insect enjoying the fruits of the flower.

Note, you will want to shoot for a square frame. It’s OK to shoot a landscape size, but just keep in mind that you will be cropping it to a square later.

If you’ve got a shaky hand, consider mounting your camera to a tripod. Before you move on from capturing the best shot, take care your focus is spot on. Look back at what you’ve shot using preview mode and zoom right in to ensure the focus is clear and the detail is evident.

Be sure to shoot in the highest PPI (pixels per inch) setting your camera offers.

Print each different flower onto a canvas:

Once you’ve selected three of the best flowers, create your own series of three custom flower prints by printing them onto three different canvases

Collage - Flower Wall Art Prints

Start by selecting a material – canvas, acrylic glass or aluminum – and then select a square shape. They don’t have to be huge. They may even be just 12×12’’. A series of three would have the most lasting impact.

Be warned though! Be ready to hang these straight away!

Give her a lasting gift of flowers:

Present her with your carefully crafted, from the heart series of three flower canvases. Her reaction will last for more than one day and your love will surely be eternal.

But please, buy her some fresh flowers as well! And not just on Valentine’s Day!



Eli is Canvas Factory's resident blogger and social media buff. She has a passion for art, craft, design, fashion and photography. She loves to explore the joys and challenges of family life, relationships, motherhood and pet ownership. Eli finds it's more funny to poke fun at herself than others. She's travelled extensively and considers herself a citizen of the world.

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