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In the Garden by Stacy Bass

June 08, 2012

A little while ago I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Stacy Bass's beautiful book In the Garden and when I was given the opportunity to ask Stacy a few questions about the book and her work I was so excited!

I love that the first few gardens are photographed with a heavy layer of mist in the book. What time of day do you find has the best misty light?

I prefer to shoot at dawn—and usually begin about 30 minutes before “official” sunrise and I shoot for as long as the light allows.  Summer months, and especially hot and humid days, are wonderful for that misty/foggy effect.

What is your favorite time of day to photograph outside?  What about inside?

Again, either dawn or dusk are best for outdoors—you avoid the harsh shadows of the middle of the day and are more likely to get a clean and even exposure.  For shooting indoors, really any time of day works! And I do try to use natural light for my interiors as often as possible.

You have many close detail photos of various flowers, I love them. Which do you prefer to photograph- overall spaces or the details?   

Thank you!  I really love to shoot the close detail shots, it feels very intimate and in many ways, creates a challenge to frame the details in just the right way for maximum impact.  That said, shooting the overall scope or space of a garden feels painterly and is very calming. I love trying to capture the feeling of a garden and really set the stage to explore what’s inside.

I love all of the different types of hydrangea that are included, it is my favorite flower.  Do you have a favorite?  

I am partial to hydrangea, too!  I love how they are lush and bold but also delicate and I LOVE the colors they come in.  I also love shooting lilies and irises—any flowers with bold color and a really strong shape and defined lines.  It helps make for a great image. And I am slightly obsessed by the smell of lilacs and honeysuckle, though not my favorite to photograph.

How does your photography influence your daily life with family?  Do you photograph at home too?  

I think being a photographer is the perfect job for me, really. And being able to freelance is the right fit for my family as I can be with my kids as often as possible and yet still schedule shooting time when they are in school or away at camp.  I think it’s a great thing to pursue a creative career and I love that my kids know that their Mom works. I think they feel really proud to see my work out in the world.

You also work as an interiors photographer, can we look forward to a book featuring interior photography as well?  

Good question!  I’d LOVE to do a book of interiors and have been thinking what the best way might be to approach that. Since interiors books are usually works by one designer with images by lots of photographers, I’d have to have a more thematic approach like…waterside homes or……feel free to make a suggestion…..!

How does your work with exterior and interior photography influence your own home and garden?  

DRAMATICALLY!  We re-designed the interiors of our home about 2 years ago and the direction and tone of the project was surely influenced by my favorite assignments and what I see when I shoot.  Similarly, we are just completing a garden project and I sent the landscape designer images from my garden shoots for inspiration and even in some cases, to select specific flowers to include. It was so helpful.

Have you always lived on the East Coast?   

Yes. I was raised in Connecticut and lived in New York City for 12 years during college, law school, and early work.

What is your camera/lens of choice? 

For exterior and garden shoots, I shoot with a NIKON D3 35mm DSLR with a zoom lens.  I have always been a Nikon girl—inherited that my Dad who had lots of Nikon (film) cameras.  I have to work quickly, so I try to use a lens that gives me maximum flexibility and won’t require me to change lenses too frequently. I also shoot with a 60mm macro lens for my close up work.  For interiors, I use a Phase One medium format digital camera with a series of fixed length lenses.  It produces gorgeous images with exceptional resolution.


Each garden featured in the book is unique and beautiful.  Stacy's ability to capture light and life in these spaces is really amazing. I hope you enjoyed the interview and take a moment to visit her site or pick up a copy of In the Garden.

all images via Stacy Bass

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