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Interview With Floral Photographer Jacky Parker

Jacky Parker Floral Art and Interview

I’m very pleased to present this interview and featured art by Jacky Parker. Jacky is best known for her radiant, oh-so-lovely, macro photographs of flowers. When browsing her images on 500px, I find myself wanting to “Like” and “Favorite” every one of her images! Here, I’m featuring only her textured images, so be sure to immediately go look at her other photography. In following tradition, I always give away a free texture with each interview. See the end of the interview for the link.

Jacky Parker Published/Awards/Representation

Published

Awards

  • RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Photographer of the year 2008.
  • First in the Macro Art section of the International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) competition 2012
  • 1st in the Wildlife category and 2nd in Plant portrait category of this years RHS Photographic competition 2012. (To be announced on 29th October.)
  • Finalist (IGPOTY) Year 1,2,3 & 4

Representation

Cosmos

French Kiss Collections

Jacky, can you tell us a little about where you live and your life today?

Jacky

I live in the small village of Iver in Buckinghamshire, England UK, happily married for 26 years to my wonderful husband Dave, a professional photographer for a national newspaper, two grown up children, Samantha and Andrew, not forgetting Daisy our Labrador retriever. I work part time for my sister who runs a Market Research Facility nearby.

Two little florals

Vintage yellow flower

French Kiss Collections

How long have you been photographing and what drew you to photography? Did you go to school for photography/art or are you self-taught?

Jacky

I guess I started taking an interest in photography around 8 years ago whilst studying for the RHS diploma in horticulture, I needed a few images for an assignment and used a little Canon “point and shoot” to capture some plant detail. I loved being amongst the flora and fauna of the garden with the little camera, trying to identify the different parts and structures of plants. I simply enjoyed the fact that with a digital camera the results were instant, no waiting for film to be developed, and with a lot of help and guidance from my dear husband Dave my passion for flower photography began.

Aquilegia

French Kiss Collections

Do you have other traditional art skills?

Jacky

I would not say I have any particular skills, I have always loved art and drawing and I have completed courses in flower arranging and egg decorating, both of which I found very inspirational.

blossom still life

French Kiss Collections

Your images are very joyous. They are radiant with light and seem to dance to the music of the universe. I imagine a rich interior life and appreciation for the beauty in the world in you. What inspires you or moves you?

Jacky

I have often been referred to as the Flower Lady/ Flower Whisperer which I take as a great compliment as I am truly passionate about the natural world which inspires me greatly from the tiniest creature to the intricate detail and structure of flowers. When editing I always have classical music which I find very inspirational, playing softly in the background, whilst using my Wacom tablet to gently remove or paint around areas of texture giving another dimension and painterly feel to an image.

Forget Me Nots

Heart Flower and egg wreath

French Kiss Collections

In an email earlier this summer, you mentioned going to the meadows to photograph wild flowers. Do you have a favorite method/place for photographing? I’m thinking of those times when we lose ourselves in the joy of working.

Jacky

I could spend literally hours in wildflower meadows and once a year we venture down to the South Coast in a little cottage by the sea in the village of West Pentire, Cornwall, the area is surrounded by fields which have been cultivated with native wildflowers, the majority of which are field poppies, as you can imagine, weather permitting I am in flower heaven for 7 days. I love to sit and watch the movement of the flowers in the sea breeze and try to capture this with a the camera set at a wide aperture or experiment with the painterly effect the Lensbaby can create.

2 Flower images

French Kiss Collections

You’ve mentioned in another interview that you often cut flowers to photograph or photograph potted plants that you can move around. How do you photograph the cut flowers? Do you use natural light indoors? What kind of backgrounds do you use?

Jacky

Having a large north facing garden I often struggle to get the soft hazy light where I want it and this lead me to start cutting flowers and taking them to available light source.

When I cut flowers I place them in a Wimberley Plamp (clamp), {FKC note: I’m so going to get two!} which I then secure to a tripod to prevent movement. I place the tripod and Plamp usually in front of pots containing colorful flowers or a bright shrub in the garden using them as natural backgrounds, blurred by a wide aperture setting on the camera. The Plamp can also be used amongst groups of flowers or foliage to hold a certain stem in place, giving a more natural feel to the image, if you do not have a clamp I find clothes pegs quite useful.

2 Little flowers

Daisy

French Kiss Collections

Do you ever use flash/strobes in your photography? Is there a certain kind of light you like most?

Jacky

I simply love the early morning light and still bright overcast days unfortunately this year has been quite sunny & breezy. I sometimes combat the elements and shoot in my greenhouse where I have set up a little studio. The only flash I will use is a Sigma Ring flash which is great for achieving bold images full of detail, I can hand hold the camera with this flash and set the aperture to F/32 for maximum depth of field.

Tree Blossom

French Kiss Collections

Do you shoot any differently if you know you will use textures?

Jacky

I do not usually think about processing when taking photographs, it is not until I see the image on the screen that I decide whether it lends itself to texturing.
Some images just shout out to be textured but I can never predict which ones they will be.

Blossoms

French Kiss Collections

You have a very delicate touch with textures, which I love. Is there a blend mode that you find you use the most?

Jacky

I often start with a Screen Blend mode which creates a lighter image and then experiment with the overlay mode where the shadow of the image is maintained yet the overall colour changes I usually finish with a soft light mode, a softer version of the overlay mode, adjusting the opacity levels to see which works best, I have no set rules and often save a few rough copies of the images with several textured layers set with different blending modes before deciding which one I am happy with.

Two Still Lifes

French Kiss Collections

Are you duplicating the flower layer or the texture?

Jacky

I position the first texture over the image and usually try out the screen mode to make the image lighter, painting away the areas of the image I want to keep bold, I then apply another texture or the same one and experiment with the overlay mode, again removing any textured areas I don’t like, and finally add another texture or the same one again and soften it down with the soft light mode, at all stages adjusting the opacity.

Bleeding Hearts

French Kiss Collections

What equipment do you have in your Camera Bag?

Jacky

I currently have a Nikon D700, Nikon D300, Nikkor 105 micro VR (my Favorite lens), Nikkor 17-55 VR, Nikkor  80-200 2.8, Nikkor 300 2.8, Valdai Helios-77M-4 50/1.8 MC, and a Lensbaby composer with Sweet optic and macro attachments. Gitzo carbon fibre Tripod.

Pastel Flower

French Kiss Collections

What Photo Editing software do you use?

Jacky

I use Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Adobe Lightroom 4, Photomatix Pro, Helicon Focus 4.2.9 for focus stacking, MAC OSX.

French Kiss Collections

Do you use any 3rd Party filters & plug-ins?

Jacky

I do not have any at the moment that I use regularly but I would like to experiment in the near future.

Craquelure Flower

French Kiss Collections

What tips would you give someone beginning to photograph macros?

Jacky

Look for online tutorials on macro photography, join an online photo sharing community such as Flickr, find groups specializing in macro photography look through discussion forums for help and advice and draw inspiration from photo streams. Experiment with different genre and get the feel of how the world close-up through a macro lens can be enjoyable and creative.

French Kiss Collections

Any advice to new Artists for finding their own vision?

Jacky

Don’t set out with any preconceived ideas and visions, relax and enjoy photography as a hobby and let it take its natural course and you will find your own style in time.

The glory of the garden lies in more than meets the eye. ~ Rudyard Kipling

See More Of Jacky’s Art

I’ve featured Jacky’s textured photographs in this interview, but be sure to visit her other macro photography which is breathtaking.

All images featured use French Kiss Collections textures.

Free textures

Free Download

Get these 2 textures as well as the other free textures, brushes and overlays when you subscribe (below) to the free newsletter. Plus, you’ll get notified of monthly freebies!

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50 Responses to Interview With Floral Photographer Jacky Parker

  1. Kelly Fitzgerald October 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Beautiful work!

  2. Rene October 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful work, both the textures and images, and how to use them. Thank you, too, for providing free samples! 🙂
    Rene recently posted..Arianna 2012

  3. VIAINA October 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    Jacky’s such a gorgeous texture master! Amazing work and an amazing interview!

  4. Lois Bryan October 19, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    Jacky’s images have been an inspiration and a joy to me for years … great interview and beautiful examples of her artwork!!!!!! Thank you, too, for the textures!!! As always, they are lovely!!!!!
    Lois Bryan recently posted..Sunny Country Road by Lois Bryan

  5. sharon October 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Jacky has long been a favourite of mine. I find her work so inspirational. How nice of you to feature her excellent work. I enjoyed this interview very much!

  6. Kimberly Chason October 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    Jacky’s work is just breathtaking. What a fabulous interview! And as always Leslie…your textures are the best!

  7. Anita Bower October 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    Thank you for this interview. I’ve wanted to know more about Jacky’s methods for years!

  8. Annie K... October 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    such pretty and inspirational work and so beautifully presented, an interesting interview…and thanks for sharing your lovely textures 🙂

  9. Angela Dölling, AD DESIGN Photo + PhotoArt October 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    So wunderful works, love this!

  10. Rebecca October 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    If only….sigh…Jacky’s images are scrumptuous. Thanks for the textures Leslie…your’s are by far my favorite and they live in their own special file folder.
    Rebecca recently posted..Morning In The Bushes

  11. Kathleen Lapergola October 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Beautiful inspiring work!!!!

  12. Tracey Tilson October 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    I first discovered Jacky’s work on Society6 and then on Flickr. Her work is so inspirational. I love her use of textures in her images, as well. The final result is always so pleasing to the eye.

    It was a great interview. I really enjoyed finding out more details of Jacky’s photographic beginnings. Now I know why she loves photographing flowers so much!

    Thank you also for the two free French Kiss Textures! They are lovely!
    Tracey Tilson recently posted..Izzy

  13. Ivelina Aasen October 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Wonderful interview; Jacky’s work is fine and classy!
    Thank you Leslie for these sweet textures !

  14. Pamela Schmieder October 20, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    A heavenly body of work! So enjoyed reading the interview!!

    Thank you, Leslie, for sharing your talents! Beautiful textures.

  15. Anne Clair October 20, 2012 at 1:52 am #

    I love her work. Being a gardener and a student photographer, well, what can I say? She’s terrific.

  16. Nancy T October 20, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    Thank you so much for this interview and the textures..I did not know of Jackie…what beautiful work!

  17. Kim Hojnacki October 20, 2012 at 2:22 am #

    Great interview Jacky. Very inspiring work.

    Thank you Leslie for these beautiful textures.

  18. Muriel Hastings October 20, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    Breathtaking! What wonderful work.
    Inspiring! Thank you for both the interview AND the great textures.
    What a two-fer!

  19. Viki Herbert October 20, 2012 at 6:29 am #

    Fantastic interview on an inspirational photographer.

  20. Teresa Pople October 20, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    What stunning work. . . Jacky deserves all of the accolades and I’ve enjoyed seeing into her world and the methods she uses to get such exquisite results.

  21. Sharon Mau October 20, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    . her images are very beautiful . . . Jacky is very talented and a tremendous source of creative inspiration . .
    Sharon Mau recently posted..In The Path Of A Dream by Sharon Mau

  22. Robin from Israel October 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Absolutely gorgeous work, what a joy to discover!
    Robin from Israel recently posted..In every grain of sand…

  23. Angela Fanton October 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Fabulous interview … Jacky’s incredibly talented and has such a wonderful eye for beauty!

  24. Suzan October 21, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    I would love to soften a little of the boldness out of my images and Jacky has given me so many ideas. Breath taking work. I am inspired.

    Suzan

  25. Kim October 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Absolutely gorgeous pics, great interview and many thanx for the download 🙂

  26. Betty October 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    Have long been a fan of Jacky’s art. Thanks for a great interview! (And the texture!)

  27. Betsy Bush October 22, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Positively breathtaking!

  28. Betsy Bush October 22, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Oh so sorry I was remiss in forgetting to say thank you so much for the textures!

  29. Michel Daudin October 23, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Truly magnificent photo work and excellent use of textures. Awesome and inspiring! What a feast for the eye! Thank you, Leslie for this interview and gift textures!
    Bien cordialement!
    Michel.D

  30. Celeste October 26, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    Jacky is such an inspirational artist, and I am so happy to see her interview and her featured work here!

  31. Lisa Knechtel October 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Wonderful article. Stunning work. Thank you for the textures.

  32. Jacky parker November 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    A huge thank you to Les Nicole for putting together such a wonderful feature and taking the time to interview me after such a busy summer, we finally did it 😀 xxxxx
    I am also humbled by such wonderful comments from everyone, I am truly grateful for every single kind word, thank you all so much 😀 xxxxx

    With love
    Jacky Parker

  33. Amber Dunham November 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Beautiful photography Jacky, just beautiful. You bring the art of the flower world to the masses. I’ve seen you work at http://www.fotoviva.co.uk/ but this textured stuff is taking it to another level !

  34. Aimee Cunningham November 8, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    Enjoyed the interview! Thanks for the textures!

  35. Bob Jensen November 15, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    Gorgeous images – thanks for sharing this amazing work

  36. Becca@Bin Hire Melbourne November 19, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    Amazing flowers… even if they’re blooming only for a season, yet their goodness will be there forever. I really love this article.

  37. Connie Grippin December 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    Superb and I am in love with your site, textures and information!As a beginner, I am thrilled to find such a splendid resource. Thank you! and Merry Christmas! Connie

  38. Suzan January 24, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    This was my introduction to Jacky’s Art. Breath-taking just doesn’t describe her work. I am so grateful to Leslie for the introduction and Jacky for sharing.

    Suzan

  39. Rachel G. March 5, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    Great questions in this interview. I really need to get busy learning how to use the wonderful textures! Thank you for this interview, and thank you Jacky for sharing your knowledge. 🙂

  40. Robert Leslie Withey May 13, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Thank you Jacky for sharing all of that and for your advice for beginners like myself in macros. My goal is simply to enjoy it as a creative venture within the years of my retirement. Bless you and many thanks once again.

  41. Lilian Lingwood June 24, 2013 at 1:44 am #

    Wow thank you, Jackie, for sharing info on how these wonderful images came about. Thank you also, Leslie, for your freebies, which I will certainly try out. An especial thanks, Leslie, for the tutorial on how to use the textures. I wouldn’t have had a clue. So now I can have some fun and increase my skill set all at the same time! I will certainly keep an eye on your web and Facebook pages.
    God bless you both.

  42. Marsha Holmes August 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Many thanks to you both for such generous sharing of beauty and information!

  43. Michelle L September 21, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    I too am thrilled to have found this wonderful interview…..I have long adored Jacky’s work and she inspires me in my own. THANK YOU for the gorgeous free textures….This is new for me to try, I love the look so much! Bless you and thank you…both!…again XX

  44. Peggy Steinberg April 17, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    Wonderful interview, Leslie! Thank you for introducing me to Jacky’s work! And, of course, thank you for the wonderful textures you create.

  45. Rupa September 9, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    Thank you Jacky and Leslie for sharing your fabulous talent! I am a 2yr addict to photography, especially of flowers/nature. I have a long way to go in learning all about my DSLR (Nikon D7000) and its manual settings etc. I have received positive feedback on many of my macro pics but I know I have so much to learn to achieve the results of these great artists! Thank you both for your inspiration for newbies like myself. PS: I would love to see Leslie’s answers to the same questions that were posed to Jacky :). That would be very interesting and educational.

    • Leslie Nicole September 21, 2015 at 10:19 am #

      Thank you, Rupa! Hmm. That’s an idea. Maybe I’ll have to get someone to interview me. 😉

  46. Sabrina Kemkes January 5, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

    Vielen Dank !!!

  47. Janis Herd November 30, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

    Leslie, thank you for the interview and the beautiful textures!

  48. Ruth Drews March 4, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

    Leslie….just so you know people are still reading your posts/blogs….etc. Been following you for a long time. I enjoyed this interview and I’ll be ordering the new Wimberly Plamp II….great stuff! Keep up with all that you do for us….

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