“Working as a freelance photographer for more than 20 years, I have travelled a lot, taken a lot of portraits and photographed an awful lot of flowers. Flowers are colourful, mysterious and festive. They make me happy and it’s nice to have something beautiful in front of your lens.
For me orchids are the crème de la crème. Their beauty is almost unsurpassable. And then there are all those different species: from tiny to massive, from wild-growing to cultivated. The orchid is exorbitantly extreme in all its manifestations. Whether I’m taking a close-up of a Vanda or a Phalaenopsis, each species gives me a different feeling. The diversity of colours and varieties engenders many emotions. Which is something that music, for example, also does.
When I photograph flowers I get right up close to them and seek out the structure. Partly so that I can picture what it’ll look like when you see it full page in a magazine in due course. Never underestimate a flower! I think that every orchid contains a ‘spaceman’, wearing a kind of helmet, with two eyes, sort of mad wings and a big beak which opens. I want to get to know that ‘spaceman’.
I have been able to take 25 shots for the international press dossier about orchids that Art of Life is offering magazine and newspaper editors in various countries. The stylist and I had more than 125 species at our disposal. Orchids are so diverse and you can find so much in them that photographing them never becomes a chore. After all this time orchids still continue to genuinely surprise me and I have increasing respect for them. They have a fragile strength which makes me happy and of which I will never tire.”
Jeannine Govaers has worked as a freelance photographer for various European clients including magazines and PR agencies since 1991. She has a knack for finding the most characteristic aspects and surprising angles, which always result in singular distinctive images.