We Heart ThisFlowers by Claiborne Swanson Frank
"I am beyond thrilled to announce the new Photo series, 'Flowers,' by my beloved sister and portrait photographer, Claiborne Swanson Frank! Her modern botanical prints were the centerpiece of our new Southampton store, where they are displayed. In my family we all share a deep love of flowers and recognize their power—the magic of their delicacy and strength all at once. We grew up with my mother adoring her garden and relishing in its bounty. Her love language are her incredible arrangements she makes for those she loves. 'They’re answered prayers,' she always says.
"Like we all did during the pandemic, Claiborne pivoted. She shifted her lens from the beauty of women to the beauty of nature, and the result is an arresting series of portraits that represent purity and hope and literally make you want to stop and smell the roses.
"Read our Q&A below and join me, Veronica and Claiborne at VB Southampton on Thursday, June 17, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, to celebrate the launch!"
Xx, Veronica Swanson Beard
Shop prints from the fine art series at claiborneswansonfrank.com.
Tell us about this new botanical series… What was the inspiration?
I began photographing flowers in the late afternoon light after home schooling my kids during quarantine. As there were no people—my usual subjects—these flowers became my people. They were my light in a dark and uncertain time, my escape from reality and my creative outlet. I collaborated with my young son Hunter, whose hands are seen in many photos. At six years old, he was my assistant, my master flower handler and muse.
We all share a deep love of flowers in the family…
Yes, we all love flowers. We grew up having a beautiful garden in Napa. My mom threw her heart and soul into that garden and those flowers. My mother is a master flower arranger. She would put together the most beautiful bouquets and they would be all over our house. We learned at a very young age the power and beauty of flowers, how they can transform a room and uplift your soul.
Taking portraits vs. still life…
These flowers became my subjects and I shot them as I would a woman, looking for their best angles and trying to capture them in their greatest beauty. If it hadn't been for COVID, I don't think I would have turned to still life as my next body of work. What drives my work is the beauty, finding it and capturing it. Whether that is a flower and child or a woman, it's all the same.
Favorite from the series?
I love them all. It’s too hard to choose.
And favorite places to find great blooms?
For me, the best places are my garden, Whole Foods, the flower market and your neighborhood florist.