Spotlight: Photographer, Adrian Samson

Photographers are amongst some of our most popular clients at our store in Bethnal Green and we spend a huge amount of time sourcing flowers and foliage for shoots in and around London. Local photographer Adrian Samson is a regular customer at McQueens. With a rare eye for the subtlest detail, Samson’s still lives and portraits capture the sculptural qualities of objects and bodies alike. Drawn to his latest floral-focused photography project, we chatted to him about his work and appreciation of flowers.

When did you first discover your love of photography?

I was only a small boy when I got my first camera from my father who was an avid photographer. I was going to make it my career choice as a teen but for practical reasons, my parents had to send me to a different school that was closer. Only later in 2001, at the age of 27, it popped up again as a career option when I worked in the US. By then I had been taking pictures with my film camera for years, so there was nothing more exciting than the opportunity to become a professional photographer.

You have been capturing images of flowers for a new book. Tell us about the project.

The book is called Mother, since my partner and I had a son, born earlier this year. It will be coming out in 2019, and it has many different sections, all one way or another connected to motherhood and the relation between mother and a child.

This project is very close to me as a first-time father. It’s mostly still life shot in my studio but there are also sculptural installations, captures of the feeding times or the development of the child.

Tangerine-coloured carthmus

What are your thoughts on photographing flowers?

I always loved photographing flowers, and I’ve been doing so for many years. I especially like photographing them in a studio setting where I can light them and experiment with their shadows, forms and colours. I guess it’s la similar experience for painters; they like to paint flowers because there are so much variety and beauty in them. Once you know your tools, you can express a lot with flowers and the possibilities to capture them on film are endless.

Do you enjoy photographing particular types of flowers?

It’s hard to tell, even when I pick the ones for the shoot I’m still not sure which will be my favourites once they are lit. Some just really pop out when I get close up.

Detail of a snowberry

What is your relationship with flowers and why do you think they are so important?

When I was growing up my mother had flowers everywhere in the house. Even to this day she will have at least 50 different types in her home. I’m sure that had an effect on me and later influenced my sense of aesthetics. My mum is a natural flower photographer, she shoots flowers literally every day. Everyone knows her for that. I’m a bit more precise in my workflow, so I tend to plan my shoots months ahead. I think flowers make people better.

Asclepia in close-up

What are your plans for the future?

I have a bit more work to be done on my book. Besides that, it’s my usual commissions. With regards to family, we’re hoping to have a house with a garden very soon!

See more of Adrian’s work here.