25 flower photography tips for beginners

How to set up your pictures of flowers: step 6

16 Choose the best viewpoint

Portraits of people and animals often look more impressive when they've been taken from eye-level to the subject. The same can be applied to flower photography to great effect.

SEE MORE: Camera angles - 5 ways to make more dramatic images by changing your perspective

17 Kneesy does it

Because shooting flowers outdoors involves spending a lot of time on your knees and elbows, a gardener's mat becomes an essential piece of kit. If you plan on spending a lot of time taking flower pictures, it may end up being the best £5 you've ever spent.

18 Watch your backgrounds

The background that you choose to photograph a flower against can either make or break the final image. A plant photographed with a soft, uncluttered background can stand out; a distracting, messy background can easily ruin what could have been a great shot if you'd thought a bit more. Use longer lenses and wider focal lengths to minimise any distractions.

SEE MORE: What your camera captures at every lens' focal length (free cheat sheet)

The still life photographer's guide to lighting flowers: setup

19 Behind the scenes

If you can't isolate a plant from background clutter, an easy solution is to place a sheet of card behind your subject: white will give it a botanical feel, while coloured sheets can be used to complement its colours.

20 Gardening tools

When photographing plants, you need to remove distractions to improve the final shot, but you won't be very popular if you start breaking plant stems or pulling flowers up. Clothes pegs or twine can be used to hold plants out of a shot without damaging them. Tweezers can also be useful for removing small, distracting items from your subject or the background.

21 Composing flower photos

Placing the subject slap-bang in the middle of the frame rarely works well and can result in a flat, boring image. Composing with the subject off-centre according to the rule of thirds can instantly give your images a professional look. Many beginners to flower photography tend to compose shots horizontally.

This may be because it's easier to hold and use the camera when held this way rather than turning it on its side to produce a vertical composition. However, more vertical images are used in magazines and books than horizontal ones so you should make the effort to shoot both formats if you'd like to see your efforts published!

You may be able to tell just by looking at your subject which composition will work best. As a rough guide, plants that are wider than they are tall will work as horizontal shots and those that are taller than they are wide will work as vertical shots. This is a rough guide - keep looking through the viewfinder as you move the camera to find the best shot.

SEE MORE: The 10 Rules of Photo Composition (and why they work)

Creative flash photography ideas: get artistic with your flower photos

22 Plant portraits

Consider cropping right in on a plant to isolate details. Look for colour and detail and what it is that makes each subject unique: only by focusing on a plant's character - the sweep of a leaf, say, or the point of a petal - you'll be able to create an image that's more of a portrait of the plant than a standard shot.

SEE MORE: Focus stacking - how to extend depth of field when shooting close-up

23 Be wary of wind

A strong wind can be the flower photographer's worst enemy. Even a gentle breeze can cause long-stemmed plants to bob about, resulting in blurred images that are no use to anyone. You can use a strong wind to your advantage and record the movements of flowers and leaves to produce an artistic image but, generally, it's best to venture out when it's calm. Early mornings are usually better - and try using a clamp on long-stemmed plants to steady them between gusts.

24 Move indoors

If you don't have the luxury of being able to wait for a bright, overcast day with no wind, then you can always photograph indoors. Shooting indoors enables you to really concentrate on photography without worrying about your subject moving.

SEE MORE: DIY Photography Hacks - how to make a lightbox using a window and some paper

25 Just add water

It's possible to recreate the look of a dew-covered flower by careful use of a water spray. Adding a few drops of water can really help to bring your flower photographs to life.


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