While usually even the most beautiful flowers can only last a few days, Lewis Miller—the celebrated Manhattan event designer and high-end floral genius—has found a way to make some of his favorite arrangements last more than a decade: He started photographing them. In 2002, Miller teamed up with photographer Don Freeman to document the arrangements that have landed him on speed dial for some of the world’s most discriminating hosts, from Michael Bloomberg to Carolina Herrera. Now, the pair is releasing a book of the beautiful photos, Styling Nature: A Masterful Approach to Floral Arrangements, to celebrate the work that Miller has done throughout his glittering career. And despite the years over which the photo shoots were spread out, Miller says the book offers a strong look at what is considered to be some of his best work.
“I feel like there’s definitely a consistency,” Miller says, sitting in his East Village atelier. “What I find is interesting when looking at it, is just what the floral atmosphere was at the time. When we started this book, this was back when everything was still very much a tight ball of flowers—that was the epitome of good flower-arranging for the fashion industry—and now it’s interesting seeing the pendulum swing to now have everything being foraged and very much loosened up.”
Miller’s style, which is neither fussy nor overly bohemian, is on display in every one of the book’s images, though he’s hesitant to single out a favorite photo. “What I didn’t want was a book where the best image was the cover, and then you open it up and it just looks like a bunch of rushed content,” the California native says. “Many other books that I’ve seen have an amazing cover, and then you’re like, what is this. You spend 10 minutes looking at it after getting home, and then you’re dusting it for the rest of your life.”
And while Miller’s noticeably proud to be an author, he says his Manhattan shop—which can go through up to 60,000 flowers a week—will remain his top priority. “I’ve always stayed under the radar, but there have been many people who I know who have had books out now for years,” he says. “But I like to be heavily involved in all the aspects of my business, and while in the last couple of years we’ve grown our numbers, I don’t want to be a factory. I like to keep things personal.” Considering how beautiful Miller’s work is, we wouldn’t have it any other way.