Photographing the Beauty of Dahlias

January 16, 2022  •  2 Comments

Happy New Year to you all! We are in the midst of winter, snow, and very cold temperatures here in Chicago. I continue to enjoy working on my winter project "What Remains: The Beauty of Winter in the Garden.," a project I started last winter when so many indoor green spaces were closed due to the pandemic. I have produced some new work this year that I love. In my next blog post, I will share an opportunity for you to learn a little more about this project, see my work and challenge yourself to get out and find interesting subjects to photograph in winter. Stay tuned for that!

Winter is also a great time to catch up on processing my work from the summer and fall of 2021. Those of you who know me, know that dahlias hold a special place in my heart. I love all flowers, but dahlias have such incredible beauty, and they come in a myriad of varieties, sizes, and a rainbow of colors. They can be photographed in so many different ways. I find such joy in both photographing them and learning about growing them. During the late summer of 2020, while walking in my neighborhood, a daily practice I started during the early pandemic, I stumbled upon the most beautiful dahlia garden a mere 3-4 blocks from my home. That day was an incredible blessing because I met the grower of that garden, Karin England Fink, whose greatest passion is growing dahlias. Karin and I became instant friends, sharing our love for these flowers. That summer and fall, I had the pleasure of photographing all the dahlias in her garden. This past year, Karin leased land and started a micro flower farm, Choosing Calm Farms, planting thousands of dahlia tubers along with other flowers, and creating a successful business of selling her flowers to florists in the area. Flower farming is a lot of hard work, but Karin has the tenacity and passion to make it a successful business. I spent many a happy day at the farm with her photographing her incredible flowers, talking about life and flowers and how they are so intertwined for both of us. Despite the hardships of the pandemic these past two years, there have been many joys. Meeting Karin was certainly one of those joys. I am so grateful for the friendship, and it is that sense of gratitude that has kept me centered and sane during this time. I want to share some of my favorite images from this summer. 

Dahlia 'Chewy'Dahlia 'Chewy," Lensbaby Velvet 85mm

       Dahlia 'Chewy,' Lensbaby Velvet 85mm

Dahlia 'Labyrinth'Dahlia 'Labyrinth'

Dahlia 'Labyrinth,' Helios 44-2, Vintage Russian Lens

Petal DancePetal Dance Petal Dance, Lensbaby Sol 45mm, Macro Filters

Dahlia 'Café Au Lait'Dahlia 'Café Au Lait' Dahlia 'Café au Lait' with Curls, Lensbaby Velvet 85mm

Dahlia Symmetry, Lensbaby Velvet 85mm

Dahlia 'Peaches 'N Cream"Dahlia 'Peaches 'N Cream" Dahlia 'Peaches 'N Cream,'' Helios 44-2, Vintage Russian Lens

Dahlia 'Café Au Lait'Dahlia 'Café Au Lait' Dahlia 'Café au Lait,' Lensbaby Velvet 85mm

Dahlia 'KA's Mocha Katie'Dahlia 'KA's Mocha Katie' Dahlia 'KA's Mocha Katie,' Lensbaby Velvet 85mm

Dahlia 'Valley Porcupine'Dahlia 'Valley Porcupine' Dahlia 'Valley Porcupine,' Lensbaby Sol 45mm, Macro Filters

These are a few of the many dahlias I photographed this summer. To see more of the collection visit my gallery "Karin's Dahlia Garden."

Always feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about Lensbaby lenses. As you see, much of my work is captured with these lenses. As a Lensbaby Ambassador, I can offer you a 10% discount on any non-sale items at Use the code WBELMONT at checkout. 



Daphne, thank you for this lovely comment! We are both so fortunate to have neighbors who grow such beautiful flowers, inspire us, and feed our souls. I also hope we have an opportunity to meet in the not-so-distant future.
Oh Anne. How soul enriching to just scroll through these beauties. I too have a neighbor who has become a great friend who has a beautiful garden with dahlias and roses and many other plants. She is at the end of my block and our relationship has flowered".
She is trying to entice me to plant dahlias in my own garden. But why would I when there are over 80 varieties and permission to wander at will? Thank you for inspiring me. One day hope to meet...
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