March 06, 2015

Louie Schwartzberg + I are working on a special project together about the healing power of flowers. Yesterday we had an intimate conversation on film about our work + the motivations behind what we do.

We've been friends for several years + I’ve always known the obvious - that we’re both nature-lovers + we both want to save the planet. But yesterday I learned some new things about Louie.

Of course there are the fun similarities, like we’re both Pisces + we have the same favorite color: teal. In fact we both showed up wearing the same colors + had to adjust our outfits a bit so we didn’t look so matchy-matchy on film.

But I realized a more interesting commonality after we rapped for several hours: we’re both capturing + prolonging the healing power of flowers - simply through different mediums.

Louie’s medium is film - from short sweet time lapse shots on instagram to feature films with Disney (find it on Netflix), he’s capturing moments that touch people’s hearts. A flower may only bloom for several days and then die, but Louie is prolonging its healing effects by capturing it in a way his viewers can look at again + again. The flower lives on + the inspiration continues long after the flower is dead.

The University of Rochester did a study demonstrating that even simply by seeing an image of nature, it inspires more compassion + generosity, along with a sense of unity + community. And when you see flowers up close through Louie’s lens, you know that’s true. Louie says that the most common response to his work is tears + the most common remark people make is: “I’ll never look at a flower in the same way.”

And similarly, but differently, the medium I love to use to prolong flowers’ qualities is through flower elixirs, aka flower essences, capturing the consciousness or feeling of the flower into a remedy that can be used on a daily basis.

If you spend time around flowers you know they affect mood and enhance your state of mind in different ways, inspiring joy, compassion and gratitude. In our busy lives, flower elixirs enable us to experience those feelings even when we’re at work, in big cities or on our computers all day.

In the creation of flower essences, the consciousness of the plant lives on + channels itself through people using the flower elixirs, becoming a mutual, effortless spreading + sharing of good vibes around the planet.

So I suppose in a way, Louie + I are both doing something that modern-day business + social media whiz, Gary Vaynerchuk, refers to: we’re scaling the un-scaleable.

Yesterday I asked Louie a question, “Why flowers, when you could be filming something else?” But it wasn’t really what I wanted to say, because Louie does film other things besides flowers.

What I really meant to say was this:

In a world where the majority of all filmmakers focus their time-energy-money on fantasy + making up stories (many of which involve using violence + sex to sell), Louie is foregoing the fantasy for reality.

He’s shooting what’s real, what’s alive + well all around us: this magical paradise we live in.

He’s showing us the miraculousness of life itself. There’s no need to make up stories or live in fantasy, when what’s around us (nature, people, culture, cities, fungi, earth, sky, gratitude, laughter, what's possible) is so exquisite + mind-blowing.

Special thanks to Scott James, Louie’s partner, who’s been instrumental in orchestrating this collaboration.

Love + flower petals,

katie hess flower alchemist