Garden photography is a specialised genre and requires an appreciation for the beauty of nature as well as a wealth of horticultural knowledge. For a garden photography business to thrive, it's also crucial to maintain multiple income streams, from editorial and private commissions to workshops and books, while maintaining a strong social media presence.
Clive Nichols has been a professional garden photographer for more than 30 years and has built a library of over 90,000 images. He has a number of regular clients in the UK, from editorial publications such as Country Life and The Sunday Times to organisations including The National Trust and the Royal Horticultural Society.
"The challenge is to be in the right place at the right time," says Clive. "Garden photography is unique because gardens and flowers change from day to day, and even within a day, unlike landscapes, which can be quite static. In a garden, you've got hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of different plants, so you're dealing with a much more complex and evolving organism. You're at the mercy of the weather and you're working within the limits of the garden as it has been planted. The reward is creating strong and memorable pictures from what can be a difficult subject."
So what does an average day involve for a garden photographer? Here, Clive talks about the kind of shoots he does, the kit he uses and how he maintains his business, as he takes us through one day in mid-spring in South East England.