One of my favourite lessons as a Japanese exchange student was IKEBANA the traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging.

Along with tea ceremony and calligraphy, ikebana was one of the arts in which women were traditionally schooled in preparation for marriage. Today, flower arrangement is venerated as one of the traditional arts in Japan.

In contrast to the decorative form of flower arranging in western countries, I love how the Japanese flower arrangement creates a harmony of linear construction, rhythm, and color.

While westerners tend to emphasize the quantity and colors of the flowers, devoting their attention to the beauty of the blossoms, the Japanese emphasize the linear aspects of the arrangement.

The Japanese have developed the art to include the vase, stems, leaves, and branches, as well as the flowers.

The entire structure of a Japanese flower arrangement is based on three main points that symbolize heaven, earth, and humankind.

I try to keep these essential principles in mind when arranging and photographing flowers and designing in general.