Spotlight: Alma Haser
Alma Haser was born into an artistic family in the Black Forest, Germany and now works as a photographer, based in London and specialising in carefully constructed portraiture influenced by her background in fine art.
Expanding the dimensions of traditional portrait photography, Alma uses inventive paper-folding and cutting techniques to create layers of intrigue around her subjects, manipulating their portraits into futuristic flattened-paper sculptures. Shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in 2012 for her piece ‘The Ventriloquist’, a portrait of two childhood friends, Alma has gone on to win the Magenta Foundation’s Bright Spark Award with her project ‘Cosmic Surgery’.
The EDFF Portraits, shown here in Hungry Eye, was a commission from the Electric Daisy Flower Farm to record the flowers they grow through the seasons. Alma wanted to invent unusual ways of showcase the crop, visiting the crop once a month, she decided that photographs of bouquets would not be special enough so Fiona Haser Bizony (the owner of the flower farm) started styling crowns to be worn by men.
Alma has been visiting the farm for over a year now and has just completed the EDFF 2016 pin-up calendar with the man-of-the-month wearing the flowers you could expect to find on the farm. Alma and the Farm have already started work on the 2017 calendar which will be women with their pets ….and flowers of course. Here Alma gives PhotoBite a short run through of the monthly shoots, working around the blooming of the flowers and a break down of who’s who in the calendar.
The flowers were picked early morning before the shoot and assembled to make the crown, and then I shot the models on the top floor of the house belonging to the flower farmer (my mother) which is mostly made of glass and windows so we worked with only natural light and coloramas as back drops. The flowers are all such bold colours and were styled brilliantly so it wasn’t hard to make them the centre of the photo, rather than the models – they just popped. Also we tried to give the models plain clothing to they wouldn’t stand out too much.
It proved remarkably easy to persuade friends and neighbours to model for us. They seemed to enjoy the attention and didn’t mind getting moss down their collars. Mr. January is a friend’s son and our spring shoot, Mr. February a Geography Teacher, Mr. March a student, Mr. April a high powered project manager, Mr. May our painter and decorator, Mr. June the farmer on whose farm we grow our flowers, Mr. July our son, Mr. August an artist and lecturer, Mr. September our neighbour the architect, Mr. October the cameraman, Mr. November a photographer and Mr. December science historian and writer, my husband.
My mother does all the growing, picking and styling of the flowers and I take the photographs. It’s turned into a family project that we have all got involved in and we are excited about our part in showing what beautiful flowers can be grown in the UK. Our aim is to help clients choose British flowers, grown sustainably and organically and not flown half way around the world or shipped in from Holland.
The 2016 EDFF pin up calendar is available at the Electric Daisy Flower Farm websitewww.electricdasiyflowerfarm.co.uk