Fear of Flowers - Breaking it Down


I am always amazed by the different fears and phobias I am come across while working on my 'Book of Fears' project. Some fears I am familiar with and have heard for years, but others have me perplexed, as with this one - Fear of Flowers.

Anthophobia or the fear of flowers is an anxiety/panic that occurrs whenever a person sees or thinks about flowers. Like many other phobias, anthophobia often originates from a traumatic event, in this instance involving flowers. For example, someone may develop an association between flowers and loss. Flowers play a role in the grieving process and at funerals, which can lead to a correlation between loss and the phobia. Another example, people with severe allergies may associate particular flowers with the illness and symptoms.

Breaking the image down.

Images from this series originate using figures found in vintage cabinet cards. Cabinet cards are a style of photograph that was primarily used for portraiture after 1870. I deconstruct the cabinet card scene lifting the figure from its original story and positioning it in a more contemporary setting or landscape scene I have photographed. The backgrounds, and other related objects are composed using Photoshop and toned to a chocolate brown when complete. Here are some of the elements found in Fear of Flowers.

I work very hard to incorporate images shot by me on my travels camping in the boxfotos airstream. The large looming tree was from a trip to Myakka River State Park in Florida. On the right you see the original cabinet card.

Since the illustration was about fear of flowers, I increased the florals with images that I purchased from a stock agency or found on a 'free' usage site.

The nest which is peaking out of the lower right hand corner can actually be found in another image from the series..... check out Fear of Children.

I will work for several days finding just the right elements and moving them around compositionally. I save the initial test images as I go along, establishing a history to the development of the final photograph.

Do you have cabinet cards that you no longer want to hang onto? Contact me at rslarson (at)mac.com. I do purchase cards and am also happy to take donations.