Three Months Planning and Five Hours of Flower-Arranging: See How This Escapism-Inspired Photo Was Created

We all know some of the best photos are taken spontaneously, capturing a fleeting moment. But others take months of intricate prep and planning – not least of which is this stunning shot, which included over 5 hours of flower arranging.

The photo is entitled “I Bloom For You,” and is part of a series by photographer Martin Stranka, called “I Found The Silence.” The inspiration behind the picture came from “nowadays society,” with Stranka explaining it is about “escaping from life to abandoned places where we can be yourself, and not be judged by others.”

A close-up crop
A close-up crop

Pictured is a 1963 Buick Electra 225, with flowers pouring from both the trunk and the interior. Stranka says the flowers are a symbolism of freedom. It’s about finding a place at which we can be ourselves, without societal constraints. The arrangement consists of several hundred flowers – taking just shy of five hours - and is the handiwork of the florists from Provoní.

With the shoot taking place in a stone quarry close to Prague, Czech Republic, it features young local actor Ivan Lupták at the wheel. If you’re wondering about the lighting set-up, that comes courtesy of FOMEI. Three battery lights of 600ws were used, with various types of softboxes.

Naturally, with any outdoor shoot, the weather is always a critical factor. The team lucked out; while an initial forecast had rain scheduled, the light rain on the day fused with sunset created a dramatic skyline which complemented the set.

Including planning, executing, and the post-production work on this shoot, Stranka estimates around 350 hours were spent constructing the final product. “When I look back and think about how many great people I was able to work with during this project,” he says, “…it makes me feel like it was all worth it.”

Stranka began taking photos after suffering the loss of his partner 11 years ago. Since then, he's racked up over 85 international photography awards. You can see more of his work at his website and Instagram.

What are your thoughts?

Main image by Martin Stranka. Behind-the-scenes images by Milan Vopálenský. All images used with permission

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michael buehrle's picture

350 hours ? dude, you gotta use your time better. i can see it taking 5 hours to get the flowers right but 3 months planning ? that's a couple hours on a computer at the most. how does he get anything done ?

amanda daniels's picture

I thought the same thing. I don't want to down play his hard work and talent, but just seems like a lot of time and I can't seem to see how it could take that long.

Paul Vaillancourt's picture

All that time and effort to produce THAT cheesy shot? Hmm.

Joe Schmitt's picture

I get so annoyed seeing things like this. It took them 5 hours to do that? I’m supposed to be impressed? He actually didn’t have the foresight to hire enough help for the job. Over-sensationalizing a photo and then applying a huge vignette over it.

Martin Stranka's picture

Thank you Jonathon, as a photographer of this piece - I really appreciate your comment and your attitude!

Felix Wu's picture

It looks stunning on that big screen although the retouching style is a bit too heavy-handed for my taste, especially the vignette.

Martin Stranka's picture

Thank you Felix for your words! :)

Timothy Turner's picture

I can understand why it took so much effort and time to complete this project. My wife and I used to do wedding photography which also included providing floral decorations many times with fresh flowers and going back to our supplier for replacement flowers because of breakage wilting etc. And many time just barely getting everything together in time for the event.

Blake Aghili's picture

DAMN ... I wish I had that kind of resources to pull off shoots like this too :( ... so good Love it

Blake Aghili's picture


Martin Stranka's picture

Thank you Blake, I appreciate it!

Ahmed Gadou's picture

The result is really good. I believe if the efforts behind the shot were represented in less exaggerated way, it could have been more impressive.
Personally, 1 year ago, I had in idea to execute for my daughter's first birthday, I managed to do it after 1 year of whatever you call it, laziness, poor management, poor planning or whatever, Then, I dedicated 2 days of work 3 hours each to to pull it off on her second birthday. Shall this be 1 year planning and 10 hours shooting?

Martin Stranka's picture

Thanks Ahmed for your words! I appreciate it. I think that time doesnt matter, the result is important.

Lee Christiansen's picture

Negative comments from people who may have never done anything so impressive.

Yes it is entirely possible to have the hours eat up. Recces, team organising, prop sourcing, concepting...

This is a beautifully executed image. Great vibe, wonderfully done, and I wish I had a room big enough to house a print that big of it.

To the naysayers... let's have a quick peek at your masterpieces so we can judge where you are coming from. Put your lens where your mouth is.

Martin Stranka's picture

Thank you so much Lee for your attitude, I really appreciate it! I am the artist who created this artwork :)

Blake Aghili's picture

yep, exactly. Tell them try for once to shoot something by a background more complicated than a Savage Grey wallpaper before you starts saying "I could do it faster and better" ...

Viktor Toth's picture

Akože je maximalne smutné že vo svete je toľko negatívnych ľudí. Clovek by si myslel že toto je vysadou iba stredovychodnej Európy ale bohužiaľ, asi nie. Bol som nadšený, ked som uvidel článok o Vasej práci práve tu na fstoppers. Gratulujem, a prajem Vám vela síl a inšpirácií v buducej práci. Nenechajte sa znechutiť negatívnymi ľuďmi :)