My Take on Black Photography Backdrop



Photo credit: Chantal Larocque

There is something intense, dramatic and deep about taking photos on a black backdrop... 
while doing some research and experiments with my camera, 
I learned it's much easier to photograph  against a solid background and then add/subtract filler items for context.  In gardening photography, this is called a specimen shot where the only thing of interest is an individual plant, flower, or leaf, and this kind of photography can be its own separate category in a gardening photography competition. Although in my photos I often have more than one specimen...I like to think my product fit the category perfectly!

Chantal Larocque


 I LOVE the freshness a white background creates!  However, something white against something black can really highlight the details that might have otherwise been missed!  

Chantal Larocque

Chantal Larocque

Chantal Larocque

Chantal Larocque
Chantal Larocque

To create my own black backdrop, I use two large foam boards I purchased at Walmart  - and sometimes, I use one of my old black velvet dress since the velvet fabric is known to absorbs the light in the best possible way.  Stretching the fabric nicely so that the folds do not appear in the image. Being smooth and free from the creases absorbs more light and also makes the editing much easier.

With my online paper flower business, photography became  second nature! I learned early on the importance of  "clickable photos" which are the photos your potential shoppers  WANT to click on!  I'm not a professional photographer...far from that...I'm constantly learning and experimenting with my camera, different lighting and backdrops and boy did I learn alot while I was shooting all the photos for my book 

Author Chantal Larocque


I hope you enjoy these few tips that works very well with either natural or studio lighting! 


Artist of the Week: Claude Garcia



Well hello lovelies! 
This week I'm happy to introduce you to Angel; a wonderful paper flower artist and the co-owner with her younger sister of Claude Garcia.

When I first discovered Angel on Instagram I was immediately smitten by all the beautifully styled and perfectly lighted photos of her fabulous paper floral creations. 
I encourage you to add Claude Garcia into your IG feed for daily doses of inspiration!

Here are a few questions I asked Angel:

How or why did you start making paper flowers?

I started making paper flowers when I was in between jobs. I've tried and learned several craft projects during that break but along the way i became more and more interested with paper flowers so I decided to focus on this. 

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

My most important tool besides my hand is definitely my scissors. I hand cut and hand shaped all my petals so I have several scissors to cut different components of the flowers. Sometimes I also curled the petals with scissors so really.. can't live without my scissors :)

What is your dream paper flower project?

My dream project will be to do commercial projects and collaborate with big brands, such as doing their window installations or incorporate my paper flowers in their goodie bags during their events. I'd also love to be involved in weddings.

Favourite or most inspirational place?

I mostly go to instagram and pinterest when i'm looking for inspiration.









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If you wish to be feature, follow @PaperandPeony on Instagram and 
fill the CONTACT FORM (on the sidebar) and I will be in touch! 


Can't wait to get to know you all!

Artist of the Week: Paper Ave



Hey lovelies, I'm back with another fantastic Artist of the Week feature! 
Let's get close and personal with Donna Tran-Corona, owner and artist behind Paper Ave that is currently based out in Huntington Beach!

I first saw Donna's stunning paper creations on Instagram and I was right away attracted 
by her photos style and colorful floral arrangements!

I hope you'll get just as inspired as I was when reading Donna's following 
responses to my little questions:

How or why did you start making paper flowers?

I've always had a liking for paper products since I can remember.  Each year during the holiday season, I would have so much fun sitting in the room for hours just wrapping each gift.  In 2015, I started Paper Ave on Instagram as a place to share my gift wrapping ideas, which eventually led to starting up a small side business selling small gift wrapping embellishments with little craft paper flowers. These embellishments were used as a keepsake of the wrapping.

As I looked up ways to evolve my business and stay in the paper world, I discovered the world of paper flowers using crepe paper as the main medium.  Through lots of Pinterest tutorials, books such as Paper to Petal by Thuss and Farrel, and drawing inspiration from other paper artist such as Jennifer Tran from Papetal and Margie Keates from The Lovely Ave, I spent all of 2016 exploring the techniques of crepe paper flowers and haven't looked back since then!  

I love creating paper flowers because crepe paper is so versatile and allows you to "grow" any type of flowers all year long.  As one who loves working with colors, it allows me to have a creative outlet and is my way of connecting with mother nature (as I'm not the best at keeping real plants alive).  I love creating flowers that someone can keep forever and can customize it to their favorite flowers and/or colors so that it'll be a keepsake for them at all times.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

A good pair of scissors goes a long way when it comes to paper flowers!  It allows you to cut out multiple petals at a time and to create more intricate cuts when the flower requires finer details. Another thing that I can't live without is my self-healing cutting mat.  I like the ease of measuring my paper on the mat versus having to use a ruler.  It's also easy to clean at the end of the day as well.



What is your dream paper flower project? 

As a business owner, the dreams never stop growing!  As I've expanded into creating window displays with my paper flowers, one of my dreams is to someday have a collaborative project with Anthropologie and to work with them to create their window display.  Second dream would be to work on a destination wedding.  Last but surely not least, I hope to someday teach a 3-5 day workshop where we can create multiple flowers to create a centerpiece or bouquet. Then we would also have a photographer help us take beautiful photos of all the students work.  



Favourite or most inspirational place?

Having had the opportunity to do a bit of traveling the past few years, my most inspirational places are anywhere outdoors with mother nature.  When I attended design school (which led me to become a kitchen and bath designer for 7+ years), one of the most memorable lessons I learned is to draw inspiration from mother nature in terms of color ratios and color inspiration as well.  
So now whenever we get to be outdoors whether it's at the beach, hiking through snowy mountains or being surrounded by mountains and waterfalls, I always bring some of that back with me to see how I can incorporate it back into my work.






Donna also offers workshops - if you are in  Fullerton, CA on March 3, 2018 -- it can be a super wonderful occasion to meet Donna in person and learn to make a fabulous mini bouquet!
Click here for Workshop information: Mini Bouquet Workshop


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If you wish to be feature, follow @PaperandPeony on Instagram and 
fill the CONTACT FORM (on the sidebar) and I will be in touch! 


Can't wait to get to know you all!