Down in the Garden
I love flowers and I'm sure anyone who who knows my work would know I'm really really in inspired by nature and it really like I will go through to a book beginnings which I certainly feel the recent later later on on on how much nature inspired that but I think that um nature represents everything that baby's represent you know renewal and and natural beauty and the descent sense of hope and the fact that people delight so much in looking at nature and it's around us every day and and the other thing of that nature that I have noticed is everything is round and everything's right not if you think about it and so viral yeah thiss what's queer in nature and said the little heads and the baby's faces and around tummies and all of that you know it's just sort of been that sort of zone and then someone suggested them you know you should do ah a book um and so we came out with down in the garden and no good you've got to remember that down in the garden was created in the two years before a...
nyone had ever seen down in the garden and so this was just and getting a photographer in oakland in new zealand's really um photographing for this book you know with my team and getting involved in that being in its own the whole time I've I was three months to you sooner well and just letting the story take me wherever it went um and I was just started I just wear side away from the dawn mcgowan who doesn't my props and style and you know and she's worked with me for years and yet we're ever since down in the garden and she is coming over here obviously for the shoots that we're doing and, you know, way kind of just grew together with this and the idea is one idea and lead to another one state I remember when we were planning down in the garden um I had a room full of, um we had the story laid out, you know? It was it was it was amazing because I had all my crazy sketches and I don't manic moment when I threw them all away I so wish I hadn't done it yet I was like, what was going to start like this and then it's going to get that this thing is going to do this and this and this and so you know, we've got a big studio in front of us here, you know, you can imagine just started and were spiraling these pieces of paper, you know, with mad sketches on all the way around and we had the publisher camera from the u s and I was trying to explain this concept and using this kind of look at me like ok andi I'm like no it's going to be you know I could completely see this short and and the little the little lines in down in the garden you know that that we're so adult in some ways you know remember to live the milk out the sources of milk out because it keeps the huge walks out of the booth and all this stuff you know, it's like that I didn't know that you know it was in new zealand and new zealand's quite an organic country and so the people who were working around you're like, oh yeah that's what you do keep him out of the henhouse really and depends ease have faces natalie my studio manager said, oh yes you can say you know panties really do have faces she said, because when I was little I went to pick a pansy in the garden and my mother was my grandmother was there and she hid behind a bush and said, you know it's like hard so now every time I walk passes messes of panties I think of that I think at that moment you know, so I think the charm of down in the garden was it essentially a children's book because I was with my little ones at that stage but it has adult humor and so we were and we started shooting down in the garden and without any knowledge that it would end up being a new york times best seller because by the time you've created all of this you've moved on to something else you know and and I was it was my very first book I was very taken aback with the success of that I was really I just had no idea I wasn't even completely aware of what it meant to I have a new york times best seller and I think it was at the time one of the most expensive books to be on the bestsellers list was it with a coffee table book that really that really didn't happen you know so it was just insane making down in the garden you're doing and I know god some of these props that we were doing the paint was we're drawing the bank with here driest before you know it was like quick we need to do this money to this we've got a deadline you know and it was like two years after the book came out before we could go back and look at it without stress crying something like you know I remember one of the chutes it was the wood lily she um you know and that's a story in itself that in between the water lily and this year we're doing that afternoon she went to sleep on a sofa you know it's just like I need to stop for a minute this is just too much you know but it was a really intensely creative, really intense anonymous new territory for me as well, you know, so it's quite exhausting but exciting at the same time and the flower pots came back well yeah, the flat parts sort of might and appearance well, of course you know they're sitting on walls and, um you know thiss when we had monica better fires um in you zeeland I don't know if you know if the monarch butterflies are around the world, but everyone knows that to be an untitled with monarch butterflies and chrysalis is and everything you buy us one plant I don't know what I call him here, but the course one plants you discarded a local plants store and you put a couple of one plants on the balcony and then all of a sudden, you know, you've got the caterpillars and you've got chrysalis is hanging everywhere off your cheers and you know, the sides of your bell canyon off the edge of the flower pots and everything you know they will call around the turn into a chrysalis is and then you've got these money monarch butterflies hanging everywhere and the girls were little stephanie will remember, you know, though, with butterfly wings and all drawing their wings that's a wonderful kind of nature listen, you know, says if this a lot of damn garden came from real life. You know, real life that we were experiencing. Yeah, but the flowerpots? Yes. They made an appearance back again. We had them sitting on. Oh, yes, this is true. She got the miracles, you know, a lot of spare parts. So it was definitely a face. Yeah. Popped some theories and fairies, let's talk about the continuing about the the stories that you are creating those the influence of stories into the images. It's definitely storytelling. Um, I still think that everything that I do this story telling, um you know what? I'm what I'm shooting for the knicks calendar that we're going to be doing here. Storytelling, I think that they're not just pictures of babies are the way I see it is I'm creating a world that the baby's inhabit, um, it's their world and there's a tremendous amount of love that goes into what I do, you know, it's not just a picture of a baby. It's it's how you can talk a little pantomime. You know how you guys gonna be in here, you know, little fairies. And you know these furies? Why half of them didn't want to put the costumes on and then it was always the one I've been the ones who wanted to put the costumes on we'll find the ones they didn't want put the questions and didn't want to take them off later you know it's all just okay, what about you know and the gnomes you know had the little gnomes were like that we had a nine waiting on enough it's in here the nine bride didn't want put it bosoms on just like no no and I'm like no, I'm no I'm saying no you know, kids yeah look, I was innocent I was doing all this with a sense of innocence, never having a clue ever that it would be as huge as it became, you know, in the sense of innocence I in the book a little girl write me a letter saying, how did I get the theory on my hand you know we need isn't that isn't that wonderful actually believes that you know that's well that's what you have here for the eyes a child, a wonderful things seem possible and through the eyes of you oh, I think do I see things in a different way? Um, I think that's what every artist does and I think that's the the mission of every artist is, um um leading people to think in a different way to something that was totally unexpected in their eyes yeah, I love this image and I loved sort of some of the stories behind it tell me about it look, people would think that this is photoshopped okay, so you got to remember that down in the garden it was early early fighter shot basically nothing at all. So everything in down in the garden israel and so if you wanted to sweet peas um for down in the garden then and they're lying on a bit of peace then you have to go really a whole lot of people on and at one stage you know, because people the people are amazing. You know, one state over is doing a greeting card this in this similar story to the peace um I was with my daughter two girls and they were small stuff you probably will remember this we went to the supermarket and I need to buy sixty dozen eggs sixty those sixteen I should do everything myself, you know that's tight, you know and it was some forty star for a greeting card and you know and we had to paint all the eggs and boil them and everything that's why I go to the supermarket and I buy sixty dozen eggs and unfortunately on that day they went a lot of them went dozen lot, so we had a half dozen let's I had this this shopping trolley pile full of eggs and stephanie walking behind going you are so embarrassing this's I'm like come on steve let's just get this over with the undersigned no, I just just terrible this terrible right? And we go through the check out and the person said do you want them in a bag or a box like oh I said oh box kiss okay I didn't even say so what's going on here you know I'm let's remember so we bought all of this piece you know, frozen piece and you lay them out to think that I like peace as I say in here you know I was up in the ceiling on debt had this bid of peace sort of underneath that the whole studio just smooth little and the little babies where this was this is actually really you know what was too fat grafting to lots of three um and then of course you you have to think, well, what do you do it the peace afterwards, you know? And so someone joked hall maybe the zoo or something you know? And we sent them after the zoo and they said they feed them to the elephants were headed making elephants with wings and you know that what I know I know you guys trying to stop thinking that now you know what I love about this is this is sort of pre probably people dressing their babies up for halloween say in peapod, women have halloween, I did it so well they're starting to know in australia, new zealand, you know, it's kind of, but not not anywhere near what it's like over here. So this was the halloween concept people started saying all these great halloween outfit something like what? You know, I don't know what you mean, you know, put a baby in a peer yeah, um, little black baby in this one image it's it's interesting that when I was photographing in new zealand it's really, it was really, really difficult to find babies of really toxic in morey and pacific island, baby, so they don't have skin that's really dark and for me to be creating an international calendar or greeting card range or, you know, a book for the international market, you know, it's very important to have, you know, dubbed this groups of babies and and so this little baby, you know, if you can picture the scenario here because it's not on photo shop um, and I've got three babies in the image and I'm up in the ceiling, by the way, and I'm too old to get a ceiling and photographing downwards, and so, you know, you really want this baby to be a good sleeper right, because generally speaking, if I need one baby in a in an image I would have two or three in the studio because you know I mean, it doesn't matter if you know what's gonna happen all right? But when you're going to get one like baby and we couldn't find any other babies at the time right, who wasn't a good sleeper and the other tourists late not police place just in his place like it's not too much of to us and course for this classy and was the last one to go in and and so you know, your hands are shaking when you're shooting inside just close your eyes close your eyes, you know? I mean, I would do it brian, I know how hard do you bribe a baby to see sleep yet that doesn't really on people asked me over the years, you know, what's the secret to getting babies to say and, you know, I joke in here it's like, if I had a magic wand, I just you know, the trillion you're living somewhere, you know, selling magic ones. But you know, if and I find that the best thing to do is pretend that it doesn't matter right and you just carry on and talk in the next minute you look down their sleep right? But you know, that said if you've got a newborn at home at three am tomorrow morning where's and gators and you can't be here right now you know because you gotta pick the times but generally speaking if you don't get too stressed and you pretend it doesn't matter then well the babies can feel that stress right I think so if you're can there's a very intuitive yeah little babies and it's really interesting that you know, some people you know in all babies look same you know you're kidding me you are kidding me you know a newborn baby they come into the studio there also different that will react differently they will live differently they will slip differently you know from the minute they're born they have their own character you really believe that yeah absolutely something quite strong characters let's keep flipping through it talk about some uh oh go water lilies well they didn't have the watermelons you know these aerial images from down in the garden and these are really, really watermelons. Let me tell you the fact that you may not know about watermelons because families are smaller these days they don't grow large watermelon ten when I was small and from the large family the would amount is to be enormous because you know we've come over school of my mother used to have them in the in the laundry tub in cold water cause we're in trouble countries to ship them call but to find a watermelon rember six nineteen and what sort of mean ran nineteen ninety three ninety four to put a baby in I mean you can't exactly phone markets and say that anyway, you know? And so we had to go out there and really early in the morning and try to find the biggest watermelons and better was part of the fun of being involved in all of that creating yeah, yeah now they have the little ones that are about the state yeah, because you know, families aren't so big, but I thought the costumes phillies watermelon to absolutely beautiful had really really they mean well, they're made of foam on babies a lying on fine and plastic inside the watermelons and then drawn made this, you know, just the color matched exactly and the little real seats and little watermelon shoes and, you know, I wish that we had been able to shoot footage of a lot of this as my career progress and, you know, I went on to books like, you know, some of pure beginnings and, you know, we were filming a lot of behind the scenes because, you know, it's just such a shame that those early years weren't captured, yeah, that's why we're talking about the stories yeah, exactly, exactly yeah andi course the teddy bears and on the tv biz picnic and it just were so organic in terms of storytelling, because you just got from one thing to the knicks, and the pressure wasn't on me to photograph to anyone else. This gender. You know, at one stage, we had the team who were working on down in the garden. We went away for a day. You know, I find sometimes it it helps to get away from your environment that you should in all the times when I travel a lot. It helps me. I was kind of clears your mind and and it's not moving to new york, which we did in april this year. You might open all the time because you it's just different. And so you get used to an environment. And even if it's a creative environment like a studio. So we took a day when we were thinking off the little versus that we put him down on a gun and we went out of oakland tio classical hotel did in which was, you know, you guys don't have lunch. A lovely restaurant in the conference room. We all sat round in a conference room and just brainstormed. Okay, well, what would we say for this and what we would say for? You know the hedgehogs and what we say for the panties and and the snail and you know things like that and that's where it was really in that day where we actually sat down and just kind of feed off each other and came up with all these little sayings both crack are just remember remember so clearly you know I remember all of this clearly or maybe the water lilies I think george and I nearly got a divorce over there what's what happened tell us well it was okay how do you how much time do I have you thiss I was in a studio that had a concrete basement on bits like well, we're going to shoot this and remember this is pretty photo shop so we had way built upon with black plastic and a barrier obviously and we're like, well we're gonna fill it with water we're going to figure out how to have the water temperature right obviously because in the baby's sitting in there and tell him and so we got a the heating system and well first we feel the pond and we came in the next morning we filled it overnight takes awhile, came in and hit a spring a leak so there was water everywhere through the whole cop like okay, all right, so when you start that again and then so we built it'll and reinforce the plastic filled the pond got the hitter going which we lift overnight before the shoot right and so of course when you've got babies everything needs to revolve around them and I'm thinking no the bags they love sitting in the warm water and love ballads and splashing around we had a little black terry telling class underneath the baby so because see on the plastics I would slickly all of these things that you have way actually had and look at this picture we had a baby at the shoot called lily and millions like there's no way I'm doing this I'm like please really come on you know be a sport so no no um and so this was before this shoot right? So anyway don had made this head we had the babies here and the hat wasn't exactly what a pro so sooners we set the baby in there and there was splashing around that started going you know it's like there's not going to work because that kind of sloppy and are that sound like dorner she's like on oil can't you know and so we had to call off the whole thing on dh reshoot against of course when we had to come to the pool because cars packed there and we have to reset it up again a couple of weeks later and you getting my drift here right so we feel the pond we here at the pond we got the water lilies came from a womanly found outside of oakland and we thought of nailed it here now we know exactly what to do it right ahead good. Um well, but the water's good um so we've got the real water lilies and we put them in the pond and I don't know if anybody knows this because it comes under the heading of trivia, but if you leave water lily lives in warm water for too long they sink of course they d'oh it's a gold floppy and I think right, so then we thought, ok, right? So this next time we do this it's gonna trail and yeah, yeah, we've got to get the baby to get the water lilies everything and do it fam it's done, you know? And the other thing that I found about babies is now sitting in a bathtub and play with all manner of floaty things and, you know, bobby doles and rubber ducks and everything for some reason they do not like sitting with college in water, they're kind of like god s o tyler was she was right to a sitting in there, you know? And she was she was just fantastic chewing on the lily leaf on everything, and so I got the most amazing images really yeah, and what I love about this image is that when you look at it there's so much going on you know there's lily leaves and the hat and frog and everything but the first thing you look at that is their eyes yeah andi it's just a funny story because when she first started school shows up five or six and I was when friends were you know, in the heyday like really, really popular and way had called from there produces our friends saying I could really use a couple of your images on the fridge door or in the kitchen right? Uh old mcpherson was in the acting and you remember yeah okay, so we're like you're sure you know and so we called tyler's mother and I told her and said taylor watches the episode and she goes to school the next day and she gets up in front the class since it ours on friends last night you know? And it teaches like oh, wait oh her in just one of the classic images that your people always remember me for the a beautiful face andi I think that's why um you know, I visited that shoot for the cover of a labor of love you know, years there were other babies there of the shoot and I was able to feature famous well, yeah, they are redefined, mentioned and so you know, all of these images from down in the garden this israel you know this little woodland theory? You know we got all of it was shuttered in autumn, you know, local awesome over there when I tell you decide fall to my friends I go it's autumn you know you've been in new york material near this piece of driftwood was holed up a cliff face from a bitch in auckland by a couple of billion men I went to super vise, you know, one of them, neil who did my black and white printing his and the they're pulling this up in there like a yeshua really unlike nice it's a beautiful thing it's a beautiful thing, this piece of driftwood it weighed a ton, right? We loaded it into the back of my little mitts of issue van I had to try very, very carefully back to the studio because it was so heavy in the back that every time we went over a bump, a car guy like things. You know, I thought I was going to put backwards on this date account tribe with a huge piece of driftwood hanging at the back of you'll mitsubishi galanter was something I think it was because probably arrested, but it's all riel and I think that it's a lot of charm too down in the garden and, you know, we talk about some way we're going to be coming up for the twentieth twentieth anniversary of john in the garden, so we're bringing out the book again next year and a calendar, and I had thought maybe we should go and, um, you know, re redo it like disney does with the movie saved really digitize some or whatever they're doing, I'm like no, no, I just leave leave it with the original challenge because israel? Yeah, because it's really? Um, you know, how did you come up with this thiss beautiful lady here. Piggy, can you see her? Are you can yes, she's she lived next door to us in one of their homes in sydney, and she was sort of like my girls, grandma, you know, enters really crafty, and I've got a photo of here sitting in the front room of her house is used to make little butterflies and do all this, you know, she lived on her own, you know, she has to have a dining table in her dining room, which would put a different sitting every day of she collected dining sits and, you know, just really a centric old lady, but just gorgeous, and I never saw her without her pills, and she is to have a win thumb. Outside her kitchen window and she has to feed the scraps to the wounds you know it's fascinating I don't know if you know any any kids these days auntie si when bombs you know, but and so I thought when I was doing, um down in the garden I would do a sequence called piggies women from and so I think how many babies were in here? I can't remember now but was shuttered over I was fifty five newborn babies have bought their unique charm to pick his women from no one win repeat it and so they were photographed over a period of six months, six months, one day help place I became more common sense sort off by that stage because I'm like that coming and you need to make this easier for yourself but there were about a half a dozen women outfits and so people are bringing the newborn babies and I photographed them from above in a farm shape, right? And this was put together on very, very early fighter shop, but all of this there's every one of these babies is a separate baby right it's insane right on so I seen piggy that and I didn't tell piggy amounted and I seem to the book and she was just like, oh my god that's just so beautiful that I wish this is one of the images where I wish um we had been able to ship footage it's just hilarious seriously got a sleeping baby and this women you know it was just so hilarious you're carrying them around in his bed with his big win tail it's just so funny and the mothers were in hysterics and I was just a really gentle humorous play innocent time you know it really wass and and that's why I think down in the garden is so popular even today because of that I think everybody gets it you know, I walked into my reception area studio once and um after down the garden you came out there was a little baby sitting on the floor kissing all the pages you know it's like because it was all god you know I mean and that was before cell phone something over to shoot right? Sort of yeah, yeah, there was this another one of the baby is a older yes now yeah, in a labor of love you know, I was able to go back and revisit some of the iconic images and the the babies who have been in there and julius nail the title of this image came from the fact that the baby's name is julia you know, on dh some of that just stop, you know, it's like we've got a picture of baby and hide rangers and we called it hydrangeas fabius re bloom you know uh yeah just crazy was described but for julia to come back in she must have been I think about twelve or something in here we had we got snail shell out again same one year the same one yeah and had her holding it so it was really nice toe is quite strange too um leap across that gulf of time when I hadn't seen julia after that day and in your mind there they are that tiny newborn baby as a snail you know and and then they walk in is like a twelve year old girl it's kind of like well you know it's just that's pretty amazing it is amazing and then but that comes back to your this is a moment in time that very moment that that she will always have to yes and to see the look on your face you know she said proud proud to be a part of the book and do you still do what percentage of your props to you keep do you have I think I saw a picture in here of like boxes and boxes and boxes yeah look it's the boxes here look I've gotten when we went through the story there is thiss and you know we were looking back over the titles on some of the boxes you know two carrots one p one betty bee suit three three days is, you know, blue fairy costume fluffy ducks box off you know and it's just sort of we'll talk to hedgehogs suits for shoes pumpkin vine got you mirrors canary hours doing new c rhymes and to farm and plaster europe's be extremely careful and so you know I thought would be great all the chicken feathers and I must tell you about it you can get okay okay hydrangeas they're blue yeah hydrangeas fabius rebloom it's this little ruby his putting up a good show critical or competition near with all these beautiful hydrangeas and you know I love hide rangers because they remind me of all ladies hats in the in the fifties so yes, we're not a little country town that I was bored up in on saturdays they say at the wedding at the local church all the ladies used to come and check out the bride you know over the fence and they would have helped on and so in a tribute to little ladies we actually I can I think it's a long enough ago that I can consider this stall is hide ranges from gardens in a particular streets in generating in auckland you know what anyone is watching you? I knew it because hydrangeas were if they pick but they didn't have them in playoff stores I see hydrangeas influence stores now more often but as I was still in my mitsubishi van way too soon he she got around one afternoon in a midway if you're going to steal hydrangea us do it early afternoon midweek ok before the school pickup afghan? Yeah, and the lovely thing about hyde rangers like this straight into the ringing and I got the police will be after me now it's followed is my main if recent hydrangea gardens and people are just you drive up and everywhere at a certain time of year and hide rangers have these beautiful colors and it's all due to the acidity in the soil. And so we were we could hear the sprinklers killing you can measure sprinklers and we kind of driving up with the way they call them. What slippers clippers you know that you hydrangeas stands and we'd sort of go snip in the back drive on and I thought, oh my god, when down in the garden came out that some person who only makes hydrangeas this color would be going I know who did it better keep these away from you on the table there any ordinary train way put ruby sitting in a little part inside there with the hydrangea handle she was pretty stoic, you know, I think she had three older brothers or something so she was eastern getting on the things you do and the littlefield nice um, you know, I wanted them to look a ziff they were according the corner of a band you know having a snooze in the police big boot and you know, of course it was a search for the boots and we couldn't find them and so we had a shallow who made a last that was size twenty two I think you know with that michael jordan hey was in his heyday at the time you know, I think he had shoes that were kind of that's a place your people were I've got big feet but well that that's a message right and so we had someone make these boots and dawn who's very good at making new things will hold um yeah kind of you know, it was interesting that the child's went in separately the's kinds of twins and the little pansy candies were this is prior to the internet when we did a lot of research at the local library and don found these photographs of old james tim's you know that's what? They used to have jam you know usedto having in the teen and so she redid the labels around the tins yeah on the little pansy head so you know, just so much work went into all of it and in a labor of love you put some out text you know, the baby's kind of looking at each other and there are several sites right? Um yeah oh god the long days is well that's another another topic another epic experience you want done I actually went across the road to the park across from the studio and I gotta be grass and brought it back and said this was photographed in the studio with a little pot and the grass around it and the babies came in individually you can see in the in the out takes and we just pop them in there and as we got through there and further into the shoot, the grass was being plucked from around the whole you know, that's I was scorched earth policy on dh just put them all together and you think it kind of looks so it looks really sweet, you know, it looks like something a little child would tio putting, you know, you know, the games that you have a new little girls used to have some cardboard cutouts of dolls and put the dresses on, you know, you're too young, you used to do that paper, your paper dolls I go, it looks a little bit like they're you know, it's I think it's actually quite charming and the bars we had to have this farr's I can tell you that they don't make that this this big you can put a little love research, so we had to have this fast, especially blonde, and I think we had three girls and a boy in at the shoot and the little guy the little boy who ended up getting separately he's and he was in the main image crystal ball hey ended up as the main image in the calendar I wonder what he thought wearing a flower and so in a labor of love we'd put the other girls in and I mean it's it was a really nice line, you know, sometimes the best flowers arrived unexpectedly you mentioned earlier that you have a nice two babies all right all these different sketches but there so many different concepts in here where they always coming to you and you're joining them down was there a process that he went through or was it just they would they would like you said organically come teo I they organically come to may or sometimes we've sit around and, um just chat about things you know um the team of people that are weak with, um get all of that you know, dorn loves guns don't great gardener you know, she tells me a better god knew on skype you know, and kind of like they just around like whole foods you know, I think that you know and so people have gotten very in touch with the earth and everything that's, the weather systems and everything that's really, you know, getting their hands in the soil, you know, I mean I can live in an apartment in new york dorner's I cannot could not do that I need to be able to get my hands in the soil and so that's a lot of that charm with down in the garden sort of came through being around people like that you know when when I didn't know for instance about leaving the mill count and you know all of it and I thought, oh my god that's so charming that's just wonderful and so the images that seem to come from every way and you know, as a civilian I don't I can I can imagine anything I don't like sometimes it's challenging or it takes a little bit longer it's not challenge it takes a bit longer but I can do that is something that I can actually do I'm not going technology I'm not good at thanking voters on telephones are working computers or you know I can't even work the hot water to make a cup of tea here this morning on the hay you do that you know I thought if I just give it to me this country could I can I can I can imagine all right and two may l'm a goddess the greatest gift that is just the very secure because, um that's everything that I am you know it's it's just it's my whole being it's everything it's right in my core as an artist I can't imagine these things you know I can take you know talk to you about it later I can take fifteen children who have bean severely affected by meningococcal disease of lost limbs and aiken you know if you can think oh ok ok aiken imagine you know and it's such a gift to such a gift the people were great writers and hold great artists and you knew sort of genre you know it's just such a great gift to bring all of those things to life that you have and that you're imagining and it's a gift to the rest of the world and that's what's that's what's so it is that's what's so special yeah I mean that's it's wonderful to you are as an artist I thank you thank you it's wonderful too you know you come across people every day it happens to me they're like I love what you're doing. You know I loved your work when I was small or you know the premium babies was talking about that are photographed over the years you know, people coming to me and saying you have no idea what your images meant to me you know I had a creamy baby, for instance or um or I really wanted to have a baby and I could never have a baby and your images fill that void for me that sort of thing you know are as a teenager I had your images here they were inspirational and you know, it's the babies it's the babies you know, people are I had I had fathers like it it's interesting people but they have to be cooler and baby sometimes you know, a lot of guys do it that's really it's getting easier for guys these days, but I remember once I had a portrait sitting on her little six month old baby or around that night she was kind of sitting there and just kind of looking at me, you know, in the dead come in a lot in those early days, a lot of deads would come in, um, they leaving meeting at work or something to be in a certain time, you know, they're coming in, but I would just come toe watch, okay? And or I'm just kind of don't watch me, I'm fine, you know? And so I had this data was standing next to the camera and I've got the baby sitting over on this box um and I'm photographing the baby and we were trying to get her to smile in general are outside of the parents you know, water they like, you know, like singing or anything it's just going to be really with this is what I love and you're going to have any whispers in my ear she loves it if you pretend you're churches train and I said oh really thank you but I'm not well go here is actually that's what baby student people you know and those there so so important in so many ways you know they represent life they represent everything that we are human things um new beginnings that chance it redemption on and so you know, I just live in that world and that's the way I feel about them and so I think that's probably why I continue to involved them in my stories you know, so the combination of my um my imagination that gift that has been given to me and being able to involve them as well and and in a combination of that message of love and hope and joyfulness it's really incredible because as I hear you tell these stories I can feel what you're that you're passionate about it and it's it's an incredible thing to hear you feel those things again as you're as you're taking yourself back down memory lane and they're all so vivid for you it's incredible but it's just a lovely thing to go back and reminisce about you know how did you know when you were done with down in the garden means such an epic project over how many months eighteen, twenty four months I think it must have bean sort of yeah, well you know I don't think I was ever done but I think john and I just became we retired that's enough you know the's flowerpots you know in the parting shit yes the's flowerpots can you see you can see them here this is the flowerpot tennis storage area when I I started to write for a labor of love all of these parts have bean individually painted by artists who were studying in or clinton use eolas export all the slam part and I got all these young people in and said you know what go crazy this is what I'm doing and take a couple of pots and bring it back when you're ready you know on dh so that's what they did and a lot of them signed the pots and and all that something it it was just a really keep saying going back that were organic it was just everyone I was just involved and everyone was like here let's do it that such a cool idea you know? And whereas I don't know if it's so much like that these days it's very early crowd sourcing as we as we talked about today really sourcing on the internet put an idea out there and then people love to participate so it's true, isn't it you're telling people love to participate they like to feel as if departures something and I actually think this is nice about what I'm going to be doing here yeah, you know um just for me it's a it's a different but it's probably not in a way after we talked about this because you know it's just involving people in you know, coming to my world and see what it's like you know it's not it's, not a class, you know that's why you know so paranoid like I don't want to do a class I don't because I want to show people I'm not saying to people do this I'm saying coming to this world and be a part of it and I'm going to do your own thing you know? I don't think I could do it any other way, you know, it's not I'm not I don't think that I think of myself as a photographer, but I also think of myself as an advocate for babies and children on dh that's the great privilege that I've had over the years of becoming that you know, nothing's sort of the little things that you take for granted that I never take for granted it's like if you meet somebody and they go you're in getting you know, oh here's my baby oh cool, that is so cool, you know? I mean, you just couldn't you can't buy that, you know? Oh yeah um and this paper soaking me like watches yeah you I'm like I'm sorry that this is your mother you know let me introduce myself and and people thiss if anything people say to me um oh you're in getting you know I'm really lucky in that you know, people don't know what I look really done you know, they don't know some people actually I'm a person yeah it's kind of way interesting I'm getting you know when when my girls were little and down in the garden first came out I remember being at the school gate one day and they will standing there you know, waiting for mommy to come in picked him up in there like, oh, I get it said hello and get it you know, and goodies that was it was like I wasn't in order and getting I think, um and people often say to me, oh, I didn't think you'd look like that and when e o a flower pot, I think they over the years I kind of thought maybe they think I'm a cross between laura ashley and mother to raise up you know, that sort of I don't know that anyway, yeah it's really nice it's really nice the way that this scene is people people get you know what I'm doing, I get it it's the spirit of what I'm doing it's not just it's, not just a photograph of a baby