Visual Essay 10 by Charlotte Bland

Spring’s welcomed arrival is the ideal time to share our latest visual essay by London-based photographer, Charlotte Bland. Charlotte’s concept celebrates early Spring afternoon teas with cherry blossom lit by the returning sun.

The images possess a warm glow, whilst the pink blossoms evoke an optimism to gently lift your spirits.

Taking photos is the only thing I ever wanted to do. I grew up by the sea and the light and shadows I captured there as a child shaped my future work. I did a history of art degree which helped hone how I see and cemented an instinctive feel for composition.

Where do you call home?

I live in Dulwich in south east London, in a little house on a leafy street with a cherry tree outside my bedroom window. It’s a really nice place to live. There’s lots of green space, and it’s close to my favourite lido but is not far from central London.

What is the significance of Cherry Blossom to you/Londoners?

The cherry blossom season really is the best few weeks of the year to live in London. It marks a significant moment in London life, with the return of the light and everything waking up. The mornings are misty, the air smells different and the light which, let’s face it, in the UK hides behind rain much of the time, is suddenly back. The blossom emerging, the light returning and the days getting longer all at once is the perfect, joyful storm.

Your photography imbues a sense of serenity, simplicity and joy – are these feelings that you mindfully aim to evoke in your audience?

I think they’re things I’m instinctively drawn to. It’s hard to explain when a photo, a moment just works but it’s a great feeling when it does. I love calm, simple settings with strong sunlight and shadows and the mood that the light inspires.

Your subjects often include fresh, raw, seasonal produce – is there an importance of seasonality and honesty in your work?

Yes, absolutely. That and I love fruit! I love the shapes and forms of good produce, the leaves and mud and imperfections. I love to capture the process of cooking, the behind the scenes images that tell a bit of a story and working with seasonal produce is a lovely way to do this. As is working with natural light as the angles and intensity changes throughout the year so it is a natural way to track the seasons.