Image editing a bouquet with roses

Photograph of a bouquet of red roses laid out on paper - before photo manipulation

Many people associate image editing with a process of turning natural beauty into an artificial look with all blemishes removed. While photoshop can be used for this, the program can also be a useful tool in a variety of different applications. Many of these applications are purposeful and do not alter beauty in this way. This case study serves as a prime example.


The Challenge

I have been employed at the flower company Interflora for around two years. During my time there, we would typically have two peak periods: Christmas and Valentine’s Day. As you can imagine, the demand for roses, specifically red roses, would rise. We were constantly updating the website and the products as bouquets would sell out and get replaced with others. One of the sub-brands I was working for at the time, Flowers Direct, had one very popular bouquet. It was composed of high quality red roses and was available in different sizes. The bouquet started with a dozen red roses and was available in larger sizes as well. We were using high quality product photography. These photographs were taken in the months leading up to Valentines and planned well in advance. They required a lot of time and preparation.

We were days away from Valentine’s Day, in the middle of our peak period, when one of my colleagues made an unfortunate discovery. The product imagery we had been using was showing one rose too many in each of the photographs. This needed to be rectified to show a realistic representation of the product they would receive. But there was no time to organise a new shoot, as the pictures for this would not be complete until Valentines Day had gone past. We opted for a different solution, and decided to use image editing to take out one rose in the shots we were using.



Each bouquet size was using two shots: one spread out on brown paperĀ  and one from the top down in an arrangement. You can see these two shots of the middle size (most popular) in the attached photographs.

My first step was to analysed the image itself. I needed to determine which rose could be removed without impacting the layout and the look and feel of the image. Each bouquet has certain ‘center pieces’ that bring the image together and define the overall shape. The center pieces had to remain part of the image. Because of this, I selected flowers that were shown in the background and pressed between other flowers.

The top shot was relatively straightforward. As the flower was shown behind other flowers, I did not impact the other flower heads and simply had to be removed. I took away the flower and filled the empty shape with a neutral background. Additionally, I added in a leaf to match the overall arrangement used everywhere else.

The shot of the roses laid down was slightly more advanced, since the flower I was removing covered part of another flower. After removing the flower head from the image, I started by filling in the missing parts of the flower below it. When this flower was fully recovered, I filled in the remaining empty space with leaves to create a natural look.

The team was pleased with the result when the image editing was complete. We immediately published the new images on the website. The bouquet remained one of our top sellers and sold out before Valentine’s Day was over.


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