Gardens of Possibilities – Design with Nature

Over ten years ago I met one of my first independent photography and graphic design clients, Donna Bone, designer and owner of Design with Nature, a design/ build landscape company. A business, at the time, with no visual marketing materials, I was hired to photograph their gardens to develop a portfolio and an advertising campaign. Fast forward to today…we have photographed over thirty clients gardens, with more to come.

These have been some of my favorite shoots – quiet, but vibrantly alive. Waking before the sunrise on cold Spring mornings to be on location at a private residence, always enlivens me. Feeling the first rays of the light come over the Sangre de Cristo mountains, or capturing the sun through the rain or before it settles behind thunder clouds in the middle of Summer inevitably makes me think of how lucky I am to be able to work in beauty. I would show up with my camera searching for the design intention, the unique color combinations, the spirit and character of the plants and place, only to be amazed, seduced, and enraptured by the glory of the moment, the magic of nature and designer working together.

What makes a lasting relationship between me as a visual artist and a client? Shared values top the list. Donna and I have a love of art and design, color and form, gesture and light. Also, we are in continual awe of nature, and have an authentic admiration for each others work. Another thing I love about working with Design with Nature, is the value of the tangible – a photographic print, like a flower, is something to behold. While many of the images I shoot remain in digital form for the Design with Nature website, we have taken many images off the computer to be seen as prints. We have created a large-format fine-art printed portfolio book, wall portraits, a Year after Year engagement calendar, leave behind postcards and brochures, magazine ads and fine-art cards and gift books for clients. With these beautiful marketing materials, Design with Nature no longer has to seek out new clients, new clients find Design with Nature.

Currently, we are reviewing the image library that’s been created and thinking about a new website that better represents Donna’s current direction, a coffee table book, and note cards – all likely to launch next year. It’s been such a pleasure to maintain a creative collaboration with Design with Nature over the years. The work continues to deepen and inspire. Thank you so much to Donna Bone and Design with Nature for reminding me of the power and pleasure of a single image, and the pure delight of spending time in the backyard.

While I love motion, still photography is my foundation and very much alive in my work and my offering to businesses and nonprofits.

As we venture into the dark and cold of winter, resting, rekindling, may we continue to relish the art of a moment and awaken when the first buds burst forth from the tree, or green shoots rise from the snow in Spring. With gratitude.

  • Karen Novotny - Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos. Inspiring and beautiful work – so glad I had you for a teacher.

  • Chris Barber - Genevieve,

    I really love the work you did in photographing gardens and the promotional materials for Design with Nature! I recently viewed a video by David duChemin in which he cited C.S. Lewis’ assertion that originality comes by telling the truth — your photographs are so true!

    Thank you also for the blog entry about Sat Nam fest — especially for including the photo of yourself at the end of the collection of photographs!


  • admin - Thanks so much Chris! I like the quote as well – I will have to check out the video. Glad you like the self-portrait! Ha! Sometimes the photographer has to be photographed.

  • admin - Thanks so much Karen! I really appreciate it.

  • Gaëlle - I am truly a fan of yours… i love what you see and your interpretation of it. rock on girlfriend!

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