Happy Weekend everyone with a closer look at Gardens At First Light and the gifted photographer behind the lens..
Many of you have been asking more about the beautiful coffee table book that I’m hosting a Mother’s Day Giveaway on Instagram for.. Why not share more about it and the talented photographer here. I have to admit… this book has become my absolute favorite book on gardens to date. The incredible captures at dawn from the amazing, Stacy Bass are drool worthy to say the least. I stumbled upon Stacy’s work years ago and her garden images at sunrise are unlike any I’ve ever seen.
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This book is a collection of 12 intimate gardens. All of the gardens are different and beautiful. From amazing architectural elements reflected through the gardens and homes to the mixtures of stunning flowers and greenery… these gardens speak to me. There really is a garden for everyone as is eveident here. Another feature in this beautiful book is the generosity of the garden owners in sharing their detailed landscape designs with everyone so we can learn more in depth about what they placed where and why. So much landscape knowledge and beauty to be absorbed.
Gardens At First Light reflects Stacy’s ability to grasp the newness that arrives with each morning light.. It’s my favorite time of day when everything is unfolding and fresh beginnings are so promising. The mornings speak to Stacy and it shows in her careful way of capturing the light and time. I’m thrilled that Stacy has shared more about herself through an interview below… I’m always interested in learning what inspires an individual who looks through a lens. Photography is an amazing art form that I’ll always love and respect. To order Garden At First Light click here.
1. If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
For sure, I’d be doing something creative and visual– but with a detail-oriented and organized bent–either a movie producer, an interior designer or….maybe a creative director at a magazine. Something that speaks to my paper fetish would be nice, too!
2. What inspires you about photography or capturing the perfect photo/moment in time?
I think what I love most about photography is the chance to frame a scene in a way that is beautiful but different than it may have been viewed before. I love the challenge of using my camera and my eye to organize the elements before me and to be able to share that vision with others. Though this is true with interiors photography, it is in some ways more so with landscapes and gardens …when the natural elements cannot be shifted or altered and I need to move my lens and change my perspective to capture it.
3. What places have you photographed that have been most interesting to you?
I love going to a new place, usually before the sun rises and the surprise, if you will, about what will be before me as the sun comes up.
Unless it is necessary for an assignment, I prefer not to look at scouting shots so that I can react, in real time, to what I see and not have any preconceived notions about what to shoot and from what angles. When I approach it that way, it feels like an adventure and a chance for exploration/discovery more so than a job/assignment.
In that regard, I also love going to a new city and the excitement about translating the experience of seeing it for the first time with my camera.
4. People that are your biggest influences?
There are so many but if I had to narrow it down, I’d say my father and my grandmother have been the biggest influences in my life.
I am inspired by so many artists and photographers and keep a mental glossary of my favorite pieces in images in my mind. These often inform my work.
5. Pivotal moments in your career….?
There have been a few key ones.
1. Deciding to spend a year out of college working in the photography world
2. Deciding to go to law school at the end of that year
3. Giving up working at a law firm to go into the movie business at Savoy Pictures (with a 60% pay cut!)
4. Going home to CT to help my brother run the family business after my father died (despite an offer from Barry Diller to work for him when he acquired Savoy)
5. Putting a website of photography up and hoping someone would see it!
6. First assignment—which ended up on the cover! (but then incidentally, my very first “real” photo assignment (age 19-20?) for Columbia University’s magazine was to photograph Keith Haring in his studio. Shot ended up on cover and in fact, I recently met with his foundation and donated all of my images from that shoot for their archives and use.
6. What are your hobbies/charities/interests?
Hmmm…skier (former giant slalom racer and ranked in state), love to travel, movie fanatic
I was formerly the President of the board for the Westport Public Library and have been part of committees for numerous charitable organizations. Most notably: Westport Country Playhouse, Westport Arts Center, Near and Far Aid Association. I was also on the advisory board for a Youth Film Festival.
7. Tell us about your story (path, creations, beginning…)
As many of the best things in life are….how I came to be a garden photographer was really by chance. I am trained as an attorney, worked in the motion picture business and later in commercial real estate, but photography was really my passion. I took some time off when my children were born and when it was time to go back to work about 12 years ago, I put up a website— hopeful that someone would discover my work but with reasonable expectations. In very short order, a brilliant art director named Amy Vischio saw my work and sent me a lovely note— full of promise but with no real offer to work. Then…many months later, she called and hired me to photograph a garden. I had no experience shooting gardens but jumped at the chance to do it. The assignment was to shoot a gorgeous property high on a hill in Southport, Connecticut. I was alone and the light was spectacular and I was so enchanted by the chance to wander around this gorgeous place, discovering new surprises at every turn. It was so serene but yet very alive and SO very visual, I couldn’t wait for the next one. And really, on that very first shoot, I was hooked.
to make the book beautiful to look at but also a useful tool.
own archives and reference.
And Simon Upton. And Johnny Miller….shall I go on?
subject. It’s the singular combination that defines that photographer vision.
Thanks so much Stacy for sharing your vision with all of us… I am in love with your work and your ability to share the most spacial time of day in the garden. xx