Photographing Succulents

Tags:hardy succulentsphotographing succulentssaxon holtsucculent extravaganza

We're excited to welcome Saxon Holt to the Succulent Extravaganza this year! He will be leading a tour about photographing succulents, as well as giving a talk on hardy succulents. As if that were not enough, he's bringing down a "pop up gallery" of large succulent prints for display during the event. 

Here's a little tidbit from Saxon to whet your appetite. 


When I first set to work photographing succulents for the book Hardy Succulents, I knew little about them.

Most of the succulents I knew from my gardening in coastal California were the more tender Aloes, Aeoniums, Echeverias, and Kalanchoe, many of which melt in a good freeze.

The book gave me an excuse to learn and I traveled coast to coast (and Colorado in between) discovering Agave and Yucca, Sempervivum and Opuntia. I admit they are harder to photograph in a garden than most plants, since they tend to be in tough, low water gardens.

Above: Hardy succulent, Opuntia aurea 'Coombe's Winter Glow' flowering in Denver garden

One trick is to frame the photo so that the photo includes other plants gives an impression of lushness.

At the upcoming Succulent Extravaganza I will lead a walk through the demonstration gardens at Succulent Gardens giving tips on how to photograph succulents.

Bring your cameras so you can practice framing your photos and get tips on how to handle tough light. And as individual specimens, nothing beats a succulent to photograph, hardy or not. They are SO graphic.

Here I have photographed both a tender succulent, Echeveria subrigida (left), and the more hardy (to 20º) Agave 'Blue Glow'.

I think it's pretty safe to say they both make wonderful photos. Both of these are part of a series of succulents, "The Green Wall," I have printed on canvas as large display prints. I will be showing and talking about these at the Extravaganza too, as I introduce my new website, PhotoBotanic, and the garden photography workshop ebooks.


Click here for the full 2015 Succulent Extravaganza schedule.

Click here to read speaker and contributor bios.

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