Photography and Text by Cindy Ji, Copyright 2020
Visiting the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show
The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event started in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society featuring stunning displays by the world’s floral and landscape designers. This year, the PHS Philadelphia Flower show had multiple elegant displays and floral demonstrations from all over the world, as well as interactive and educational activities for children and families. Even though the weather was chilly and cloudy outside, the vibrant lights and colorful flowers welcomed the visitors.
I have been scrolling through photographs of flower installations and extravagant arrangements of flowers and have been waiting to go to the show since last March. I was excited to see installations and flower gardens in real life. When I walked into the flower show, I was surprised by the amount of people inside the show. Everyone was holding a phone or a camera taking photographs of the displays or taking pictures of themselves in front of the flowers. People were in lines to take photographs and people were mindful of not getting into each other’s frame as if there was silent agreement that everyone helping each other to take a good picture. Because of this, while beautiful flower displays allured my eyes, I wanted to capture the moment in the flower show and document the people around me. The experience of flower show would not be complete without taking photographs of flowers surrounded by a large group of people.
My photographs document and capture that moment during the flower show. They are a photographic survey of the people visiting the flower show. They visually communicate what people are doing in the show, and the usage of photography in people’s life. The purpose of photographing flowers for most visitors is to document their experience of the show and to remember how beautiful the flowers and displays were. When I was taking photograph of the people, they were so focused on photographing their own picture that they didn’t even recognize my presence. I was almost invisible, and a lot of people assumed that I was taking photograph of plants as well. Everyone was a photographer and tried their best to create beautiful photographs. My long-awaited trip to the flower show was different than I thought but seeing so many different people enjoying flower displays in various ways turned out to be a memorable experience for me.
About the Author: Cindy Ji is a Junior at Bryn Mawr College. Class of 2021.