Looking Back at Shoots for Eco Friendly Brand Seedlings

In this article we look back at our growing relationship with eco-friendly brand Seedlings Cards and Gifts. It was back in 2015 when we first produced an introductory sample shoot for designer Sarah-Jayne Mercer and have been creating imagery for them ever since.

Product photograph of greetings card featuring bee illustration and accompanying props

We like to use colour-coordinated props to pick out colours from the products and designs, even a small flash of colour can be used to good effect.

All of the products are inspired by nature, and as they say on their own website; “Our products have been designed with the act of ‘giving back’ in mind, from using recycled and biodegradable elements to sourcing local materials where possible.”


The Seedlings ethos was dreamt up over 10 years ago, when the idea of giving seeds sparked the formation of a card and gift company which wanted to give back to the environment and “do our bit whilst creating lasting sentiments.” These greeting cards, calendars, and homewares are really quite unique as they include a little pack of seeds for you to plant. The seeds they use are British seeds, and have been chosen to attract pollinators and help rebuild natural habitats. This is why we always show the little seed packet as well as the card.

It’s such a good idea to receive a card or gift that has a positive legacy beyond its initial use. Lets face it the majority of greeting cards don’t have a long life do they?


Drawing inspiration from the natural world their products also focus upon simpler times gone by. Embracing these sentiments we’ve chosen rustic and vintage props to style the shoots, as well as rusty gardening tools and other rustic industrial items. Digressing slightly, we do love rusty props here at Forever Creative and as an avid viewer of American Pickers this reminds Richard of their expression ‘Rusty Gold’.

“Being surrounded by nature we are constantly reminded of the importance of connecting with it. Learning as much as we can and taking steps to help to reverse the negative impact on the environment which running a company can cause.” The surface we use for nearly all of their shoots is actually one of the first we created, by dismantling several discarded shipping palettes and stripping them.

The charming illustrations, lovingly created by Sarah’s husband Joel, are printed upon high quality card stock with a traditional texture. Revealing this texture within the photography is so important online as it’s the only way of communicating a tactile feeling. This is why particular importance is placed upon the lighting and focus when setting up the scene for any greeting card photography setup.

As the condition of the natural world becomes more and more key to customers shopping choices products that embrace this are sure to do well. Plantable products. Which is why we have quite a stock of both rustic and organic props in. Richard loves to walk in the great outdoors and quite often can be found in local forests and woods gathering natural materials that can be used as props! We also have a selection of dried wildflowers in, and do encourage clients to send over fresh flowers to highlight their shoots.

After meeting on the Illustration M.A course at Falmouth College of Arts, Sarah-jayne and Joel have worked as both freelance artists and in-house designers and have then moved onto setting up their own business. We work with a lot of artists, illustrators and surface pattern designers, and who have setup their own businesses.


We light products with a consistent approach for each client. For this particular client the effect that we aim for is a subtle sunlight emulating effect. Graduated lighting with some highlights blown to give a warm feel. All produced in the studio where consistency and repeatability can be controlled.


Clients use their images for a variety of purposes, primarily focussing upon their own websits for use in banners and in product listing images.

They’re also useful to create montages and for use in online marketplaces, such as Not On The High Street. An image taken from Seedlings Not On The High Street’s page, showing some of our photographs in the wild, so to speak!

A screengrab from Seedling's Not On The High Street Page

Professional photography can help you get featured in various places, and they’ve even been featured in the Independent subscription gift guide…


Seedlings have been nominated and have received a number of awards and they were even finalists for the Henries Awards in 2020.


Seedlings Cards Finalist for the 2020 Henries Awards Instagram Post


They really are innovators within their field, this being one of their latest creations adding even more creative thinking to their range of products.

A studio styled photograph of a greeting card by Seedlings Designer


Investing in photography can be beneficial to reinforcing the concepts behind your brand and communicating this to the rest of the world. It can also bring different products together under one style. High resolution images that are sent to you can be cropped in a variety of ways to use on websites, online marketplaces and in-print too.

For more examples of gift photography, see the Homewares Gallery or for greetings cards see the Greetings Cards Gallery.