french blooms: shooting photos for a book

by Sharon Santoni

I’m excited to tell you about a new book, called French Blooms, published by my dear friend, Sandra Sigman.

French Blooms

French Blooms shares Sandra’s love of flowers, and illustrates her inspiration that comes largely from the time she spent living in France. Creating a book is an adventure. From outlining the concept to the writing, the photography, and then of course finding a publisher, it feels like running a marathon.

I was privileged to run part of the race with Sandra when she visited me a couple of years ago. Sandra stayed with me here in Normandy, along with another friend, the über gifted photographer KIndra Clineff. They came to shoot for the book, and also shoot my garden for a magazine, and I honestly think that on that trip, Kindra took the best pictures I have ever had of our garden. Sandra also invited me to write the foreword for French Blooms, and that was fun to do.

French Blooms

Sadly, dear Kindra has left us. But I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her.

If you’ve never been part of a photo shoot, let me tell you how it works. A shoot is a happy collision of good ideas, talent, styling, and the right weather. Oh yes, and when they happen here, a couple of dogs! And, invariably, something will go wrong in the middle of it all.

French Blooms

Kindra was one of those photographers who were willing to get up at dawn to catch the light. So, our working days lasted from 6 am through till after dinner at midnight. We styled, we picked flowers, we chased light and shadows all day long and it was all worthwhile.

Sandra worked her magic with the flowers, Kindra kept her eye on the light and shot thousands of images, I gave a hand in the background and the dogs popped up in quite a few shots, as they believe that it’s their job to pose for photos.

For French Blooms, Sandra took many other photos as well. But I am proud that so many were kept from our photo session together.

French Blooms

In a few days, I’ll be in the South of France on tour with Sandra. We’ll also be joined by another talented floral designer, Lucy Hunter. I’m really looking forward to our creative time together, and to share our joy of flowers with our guests in Provence.

You may like to know that we have both of their books available in the MFCH Boutique, here.

French Blooms
All photos by Kindra Clineff


Yvonne April 5, 2023 - 10:03 pm

Yes, lovely book ! I am one town over from Les Fleur and stop in often. Sandra’s shop has many French-inspired items that has intrigued the American culture.

Kathryn Gauci April 5, 2023 - 11:09 pm

I am sure this is a wonderful book. The way you use flowers – colours and textures – inspires me greatly. Congratulations.

franki Parde April 6, 2023 - 2:51 am

Received mine yesterday!! franki

Jeanne Henriques April 6, 2023 - 6:36 am

Sharon, I love the special connection between you and Sandra…and seeing your beautiful home and gardens featured as well. It is a beautiful book, one I am slowly reading and taking notes. Would love to have both you and Sandra visit Tahilla Farm one day for a meeting of the minds. How fabulous would that be!! Best wishes Sharon, to both of you, I am sure you will have a blast!

Naturally dyed Easter eggs, the Coronation invitation, French Blooms and more on weekend meanderings.  - Pinecones and Acorns April 8, 2023 - 1:00 pm

[…] of my favorite bloggers, Sharon Santoni and Bettie Pardee wrote posts this week sharing this beautiful book by Sandra Sigman. In fact many […]

jestworry June 28, 2023 - 5:25 am

I’m really happy for you and Sandra, dordle and I’m also in awe of your beautiful house and yard. I’m taking my time reading it and jotting down notes since it’s such a lovely book.

LoganMoore1 July 27, 2023 - 12:21 pm

I had an excellent experience with speaker form! They delivered my essay promptly, and the quality was impressive. Highly recommended!

Gabi Goslar August 17, 2023 - 12:22 am

These beautiful photos take me back to Provence, where I spent my, fruits, wine, great people, the sea, and the hotel belvedere furka pass with its majestic views.

Fred Mike February 9, 2024 - 10:58 am

The dedication and passion poured into French Blooms are truly inspiring. It is heartwarming to read about the teamwork, early morning shoots and the magic that happens behind the scenes
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