Behind the Scenes of a Floral Workshop by Myrtle et Olive in Tokyo

Melissa Baran

Flowers are my love language. I think in another life I owned a little bloom shop on a beach somewhere, or maybe that's still to come in this life. Retirement plan? I like it. If I ever make that happen, I'll surely be signing up for a workshop like this one, hosted by floral genius, Myrtle et Olive. Along with Megumi Maris to capture the event and Paper Tree Toyko at the planning seat, we're getting a behind the scenes look into the turning gears of a bloom workshop and what it takes to craft the lovely images we all get heart-eyed over on the regular. From Heather of Myrtle et Olive... I often feel that photographers and florists have a lovely symbiotic relationship. Photographers are our companion, our teammate throughout the entire design experience. It takes a great team of like-minded artisans to create the most beautiful editorial.My designs are often influenced by my surrounding environment and culture. I love to create something that’s an authentic and organic extension to the location. That’s when a great photographer comes into design formula - your work is only as beautiful as what you can artfully document. I can’t stress how important it is to communicate with your collaborating photographer. I always do a walkthrough together with my partnered photographer to determine the best location for set up and for lighting, to achieve the best photographic result for the design. I will always have a conversation with the photographer to create an ideal shoot list and to plan out the shoot schedule together to ensure that we can make the best use of time and light on the day of the event.Photographers often inspire me with their vision as well, we work together to perfect the balance, proportion, and rhythm of pre-styled lifestyle shots. As a florist & creative director, I want to bring the best out of one’s photography style, hence I try to work with a floral palette that goes well with the photographer’s preferred brand hues, some might go for a more mature neutral tone and some might enjoy working with a more bold and bright palettes. Respecting each other’s advice and expertise will often take your work to the next level.For our first workshop in Tokyo, I wanted to fuse aesthetics elements of Japanese and Western culture into my design concept. Japan is well known for its celebration of seasons, particularly in its food. I incorporated seasonal fresh ingredients such as fig and dried blood orange to compliment our floral, which are all locally grown in an abundance of fall tones. It is often said that Japanese dishes are a feast for the eyes as well as nourishment for the body, as each course is beautifully presented in a dish of a shape and color. We included this important cultural element in our tabletop styling. From Megumi Maris Photography... For Myrtle et Olive’s workshop in Tokyo, we worked with tricky lighting because we did not get the rental space until late afternoon and the studio was shaded by buildings. There was also orange cast coming from indoor lighting as well. I used as much of the available natural light as possible and used a reflector when needed. Hence, the entire set up needed to be by the window, furthest away from the orange cast. We were limited with time and space, we only had 1.5 hours to shoot all of the styling portions of the workshop. However, with communication ahead of time and a great shoot list, our team was able to work beautifully together. Everything was perfectly orchestrated and it flowed so well together.

Photography: Megumi Maris | Planner: Paper Tree Tokyo | Floral Design: Myrtle et Olive | Calligrapher: Maki Shimano | Venue Sponsor: Wako World