Exotic Beauty Heliconia

I have been working with flowers for years now and have never seen an online magazine as inspirational as The Green Gallery! Issue after issue they create a poetic world with flowers and plants & you can imagine my excitement when I was asked to create a few images for them ❤

Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery - Heliconia Muse
Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery – Heliconia Muse
Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery - Heliconia Muse
Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery – Heliconia Muse

Working with the exotic and colorful heliconia was certainly a new but great experience for me. Usually I don’t work with exotic plants – I like to go for a walk and most of the time I come back with foraged flowers, fruits and plants. There is no way I could pick a heliconia in the forest nearby.

Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery - Heliconia Muse
Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery – Heliconia Muse
Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery - Heliconia Muse
Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery – Heliconia Muse

In this case I was amazed how well the ‘foreign’ heliconia blended in with the flowers from my garden. I started experimenting with a kniphofia, geraniums and different shades of delphinium. I loved the mix of exotic and locally grown flowers – the heliconia was the perfect colorful addition.

Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery - Heliconia Muse
Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery – Heliconia Muse
Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery - Heliconia Muse
Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery – Heliconia Muse
Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery - Heliconia Muse
Anastasia Benko for The Green Gallery – Heliconia Muse

I have been playing with these images a little and ran wild with a few filters. If you wish to see the images for the Green Gallery and browse the Muse Section, you can pay a visit here.

SUGGESTED USER @INSTAGRAM

WHAT A WEEKEND IT WAS!

It was late Friday night here when I received the most amazing email! I had to read it twice before realizing, that these were the news, I have been dreaming of for ages!

INSTAGRAM wrote that they have put me on their list of SUGGESTED USERS!

I know these things happen … but I never thought that this would happen to me! Just imagine the millions and millions of users Instagram has! And the millions and millions of beautiful photos that are uploaded every day! I am so honored and grateful and would love to share this special moment with all of you!

I started my account years ago, named it after my german vintage shop ‘Stilzitat’ and that was it…. Back then I didn’t know what a gorgeous platform Instagram was! I was in for the filters.

Three, or so, years ago I started using Instagram on a regular basis: it was daily that I discovered amazing photographers, made wonderful friends and started sharing my photos I took on my travels, my interiors and tons and tons, and did I mention, TONS of flowers ❤

Anastasia Benko @stilzitat Instagram account
Anastasia Benko @stilzitat Instagram account

I developed a certain look along the way with my interiors & flowers {I even won an award for my individual style}. I learned not to use too many unnatural filters for my product photography and for clients. But at some point I started missing using those vintage filters, that I used in the beginning. Especially the bright, blush and pink colored ones. It felt natural to start a second account to spoil myself and all the fans of blush tones! A few months ago my new account @crushonthecolorblush was born. Let me tell you, it’s a celebration to the eye!

Anastasia Benko @crushonthecolorblush Instagram account
Anastasia Benko @crushonthecolorblush Instagram account

So what do you think?

Talking about celebrations, I have another gorgeous challenge to share with you, once we are here talking Instagram!

It’s a challenge that is very dear to me as it spoils me, every time I go to look at it!

#itsamoodywednesday was a challenge originally started by my dear friend Gudy from Eclectic Trends. Due to her packed working schedule she offered me to take over and host this challenge. I knew I needed help with this weekly challenge and asked my friend Jocelyn of The Inner Interior to host it with me. Now we have been doing this for quite a while and we couldn’t be happier with the community we’ve built and with the amazingly beautiful pieces of art that are contributed every single week to this gorgeous #itsamoodywednesday! This is a small outtake of last week’s moody Wednesday:

#itsamoodywednesday via anastasiabenko.com
#itsamoodywednesday via anastasiabenko.com

Still ecstatic with the amazing news from Instagram, I will leave you here, hopefully inspired to do the same! Inspire and get inspired – it’s an opportunity we photographers and artists should cherish to the fullest… Spread the love and you will get it back! ❤

A. XO

 

 

 

Fading flowers

You have probably learned by now, that one of my biggest inspirations would be Gudy from Eclectic Trends. Her posts about mood boarding and trends are very well researched – but it’s not only her expertise, but her impeccable style that makes me want to spend hours on her blog.

Not too long ago she wrote a post about Pantone’s color trends for 2016. Gudy presented only 4 of the 8 color trends, because they appealed to her the most. Oh boy, 2 of these trends impressed me big time! But see for yourself, if you find a resemblance between these flower images and the words the trends are described with:

1: ‘Fade – Colors layered in watery pools announces itself, quietly, gradually, forming itself into mottled and ghostly hues.’ 

2: ‘Invisible – by disappearing we can escape pressure. Colors appear and disappear like an illusion.’

The minute I saw the moodboards about those color trends, I instantly knew that I wanted to create an installation with flowers and milk.

fading flowers by Anastasia Benko
fading flowers by Anastasia Benko

These color trends, mentioned above, are predicted to be the big players in interiors and fashion. My flower photography has nothing to do with both, you might think, but I love getting my inspiration from all kinds of fields and industries. And of course I can see one of these images, when developed on a huge canvas and put up on a wall, give a room the last sheer finish, what do you think?

fading flowers by Anastasia Benko
fading flowers by Anastasia Benko
fading flowers by Anastasia Benko
fading flowers by Anastasia Benko
fading flowers by Anastasia Benko
fading flowers by Anastasia Benko
fading flowers by Anastasia Benko
fading flowers by Anastasia Benko
fading flowers by Anastasia Benko
fading flowers by Anastasia Benko
fading flowers by Anastasia Benko
fading flowers by Anastasia Benko

PORZELLAN MANUFAKTUR NYMPHENBURG

Last weekend I went to Munich for a very special occasion – the launch of our book ! Our publishing house Callwey has created the most wonderful and exclusive program for that day! Soon I will let you know about the book launch and the award ceremony, but let me start with the most wonderful tour of the Nymphenburg porcelain manufactury.

Schloss Nymphenburg, München, Germany
Schloss Nymphenburg, München, Germany

Located at the Nördliches Schlossrondell of the Wittelbach family’s summer residence in Nymphenburg the porcelain manufactury produces the most wonderful porcelain since 1747. You can even stress the ‘manu’ in factory because everything is completely handmade! So this remains the last manufactory in the world, that ‘consciously decided to continue to employ purely manual production methods and, since the 18th century, has refined them to perfection.‘*

at the turning shop at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
at the turning shop at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
samples at the turning shop at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
samples at the turning shop at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg

Usually very little tours take place behind the doors of the master workshops, we even found out that normally no one is allowed to take pictures inside these walls. So with all this in mind I am very honored to have been able to walk these halls and am very excited to show you these exclusive insights!

a look at a small variety of the big collection at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
a look at a small variety of the big collection at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg

My mother is a big collector of fine porcelain, so I inherited the love for porcelain from her. Even though I have been a big fan of fine porcelain, I didn’t know a lot of things:
– it takes years (!!!) to produce the porcelain past and ‘it takes around three years from the initial mixing of the porcelain paste, to the end product.’*
and:
– ‘Nymphenburg also creates and mixes its own paint; its porcelain painters work without templates. Each item is shaped and painted by hand, each ornament individually applied and all fretwork, be it ever so small, cut with tiny blades into the unfired porcelain.’*

porcelain chrysanthemum flower at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
porcelain chrysanthemum flower at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
porcelain flowers at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
porcelain flowers at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg

But, just see for yourself, how amazing these rooms were and how inspirational the working places. Don’t these pictures make you want to take out your brush to start painting your own porcelain?

at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
shadow play at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg
shadow play at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg

Another stunning fact is, they love to work with contemporary artists and designers, like Karl Lagerfeld. Speaking of contemporary, I simply fell in love with this this ‘LIGHTSCAPE’ line by Ruth Gurvich. This porcelain looks and feels like paper – oh please, dear Santa, I’ve been a good girl this year….

Lightscape Nymphenburg design by Ruth Gurvich
Lightscape Nymphenburg design by Ruth Gurvich
Lightscape Nymphenburg design by Ruth Gurvich
Lightscape Nymphenburg design by Ruth Gurvich

I can go on forever and ever… Learning about the production process of porcelain made my respect grow! Also my curiosity! I loved reading their book ‘Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg (Snoeck) as there is so much more to learn…
Walking these halls has forever changed the way I look at a piece of porcelain! Thank you very much for letting us be part of this gorgeous tour!

wall plate decoration in PORZELLAN MANUFAKTUR NYMPHENBURG, München, Germany
wall plate decoration in PORZELLAN MANUFAKTUR NYMPHENBURG, München, Germany

*quotes are from the book ‘PORZELLAN MANUFAKTUR NYMPHENBURG’ published by SNOECK