Tess Loves Flowers

Tess, a hobbyist photographer and former Celtic employee, has been taking the Cornish Instagram scene by storm since opening her account @tesslovesflowers in early 2014. Her never-ending supply of gorgeous images feature everything from local Cornish landscapes and scenery, to on trend interior shots featuring colour pop ceramics and, of course, plenty of flowers. As effortless as Tess's pictures may look, amassing an ever-growing follower list of over 16,000 is no mean feat. Tess sat down with us to share the secrets of her success. 


Polly Joke Poppies

When did you discover you had a knack for photography and how did you get into Instagram?

I have always had a passion for beautiful places. I love living in Cornwall and there's no better way of capturing moments in time than taking photographs. I started sharing my photos with friends and family and received some amazing feedback, so I decided to pluck up the courage and create my own Instagram page (not that I knew what that meant!). At the time I was working with a great team and they, along with my children, were kind enough to point me in the right direction.

What inspires your Instagram aesthetic?

A few years ago my husband and I joined the National Trust, we were blown away by the beautiful locations we have here on our doorstep, there are some real gems. These visits, combined with a love of nature and Cornish living, shapes who I am which I hope is reflected in my photography. 

You’ve become part of a thriving Instagram community, how did you make friends and what do you like to do on your meet ups?

I've only met three in person, we took flower photos! Instagram is a great community and I engage with my Insta buds on a regular basis.

Do you consider what you do to be a job or a hobby?

Definitely a hobby! I don't seek any reward from the photos I take, I just enjoy sharing moments I've captured with my followers, friends and family.

As your Instagram name suggests you obviously do love flowers but what else do you love to photograph?

The exciting thing about my hobby is that what I take photos of can change daily and certainly by seasons. Capturing a Robin on a crisp winter’s morning brings me as much joy as a blossoming Peony or Rose. I also have a guilty pleasure, I collect ceramics and pottery and can spend an unreasonable amount of time filling my pots with gorgeous flowers and faffing until I feel I achieve the perfect shot! Of course, I also love shooting Cornwall and all it has to offer.

Where do you get your never ending supply of flowers, do you grow them yourself?

I do grow some flowers myself but my flower photos are often taken on my travels around the county, sometimes even in other people's gardens. I've been known to knock on people's doors and ask to take photos of their flowers, particularly if it's a blue Hydrangea, something I'm unable to grow in my own garden due to the wrong soil. Local florist Wadebridge Flowers is a great source of inspiration.

How many pictures does it take to get the perfect photo and do you have any tips and tricks?

It depends on the light, I always take photos in natural light as I don't like the effect unnatural light gives to a photo. Sometimes on a bright sunny day one shot is all it takes, other times I may take up to ten of a flower for example, particularly if it's a windy day! When I take a photo of a flower I always consider what is in the background as I don't want that to detract from the flower itself. Oh, and the horizon must always be straight on a beach or sea photo!

Where are your favourite places in Cornwall?

Gosh, this is tricky one, there are so many wonderful places to visit in Cornwall that I can't really choose. For beaches Porthcurno is a favourite for its turquoise sea, a white sandy beach and if the tide is right, amazing waves! Also Sennen Cove, Kynance Cove, Gwithian and Crantock beaches, all with stunning clifftop walks. I also love The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Trebah Gardens and all the National Trust properties. If I could live anywhere else in Cornwall it would be Penzance which has a slightly bohemian feel to it, well worth a visit for so many reasons. Not forgetting Mousehole and St Ives which I also love!

 Are there any other places around the country that you’d like to have an opportunity to visit?

I would love to visit Bath, Oxford and London if only for the opportunity to take photos of something different in the form of the wonderful architecture and buildings.

You worked in our customer service team for 9 years, what is your all-time favourite Celtic & Co product?

Mmmm a tough question, there are so many lovely products, if I had to choose it would probably be the Classic Boots which are just the best item of footwear for warmth and comfort.

And do you have a favourite from our latest summer collection?

My favourites from the latest Celtic summer collection are the Stripe Boxy Jumper, an absolute classic piece in my humble opinion and the Fine Knit Merino Crew Neck , stripes are a must to wear in Cornwall. Oh and the grey geometric Merino Throw - perfect for taking to the beach for a picnic or wave watching, something we do a lot of! Sorry that's three, I couldn't choose one! 

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