Laura Bute Photography

Caution: these sunflowers are undead

Being a freelancer is tough, especially because work comes in waves. You are busy, busy, busy then suddenly the work dries up and you’re like, “Crap! What happened to my pipeline?” For any entrepreneur out there, keep your head up, stay calm, and for Christ’s sake keep your finances prepared for dry spells. Oh, and if you ignore all of those things, at least KEEP WORKING. The slow periods are the best time to do some soul searching and explore personal work and/or attend a class to learn something new and hone your craft. Then of course you wake up one day and think to yourself, “Wait, what were all those projects I had in mind when I was in the throws of shoots and editing and writing and deadlines?”

I forget. (Insert smiley.)

I had heard about these fields of sunflowers just north of town off the highway. They were beautiful, but there was a bit of a scuttlebutt because they attracted so many people the flowers were not only getting trampled, people were cutting them and taking them. Yes, technically this is stealing. Can you even believe that? And in Texas, where killing wildflowers is actually illegal! The nerve. Although it’s worth noting that if you’re a farmer with hundreds of acres of land and thinking of doing sunflowers, do not plant them right along a major highway. Fields of sunflowers will always attract people with children and cameras, but if it’s nestled back in the middle of nowhere hopefully any damage is negligible.

I waited a little bit because I was actually more interested in shooting these giant blooms post mortum. A little macabre, yes, but everyone has photos of living sunflowers. I also find that there is often beauty in the break down. So I truck it out there and what do I find? Fields of nearly dead sunflowers, their giant heads drooping all in rows as if they want to hold them up still but just can’t muster the energy. Can’t say I blame them, it is hot outside, but they weren’t exactly the brown-and-burned-in-the-Texas-sun look I had in my head. But I drove out there, so shoot I did. There were also little pops of color from much smaller sunflowers (naturally occurring ones, I presume) that were not all dead, probably because the bigger flowers shaded them.



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About Me

About me

After a photojournalism degree and a short stint as a lead photographer/photo editor at a news web site, I decided it was time to branch out on my own. I specialize in editorial food and travel photography but dabble in a little bit of everything.