Photographing flowers is an easy way to take fantastic pictures. Flowers are colorful and come in various shapes. Plus, you can find them everywhere.
13 Flower Photography Tips for More Creative Photos
You can try these tips over a few weeks or all in one go. You can even take a field trip to different locations to focus on a tip or two.
1. Try Indoor Flower Photography First
To make flower photography easier, try shooting indoors first. This way, you don’t have to deal with all the outdoor shooting variables.
Your house is perfect for practicing manual mode and experimenting with lighting. You can try different backgrounds and learn how to compose shots.
Buy some flowers at your local supermarket and put them in a vase. Depending on your preference, you can place them near a window or a lamp.
Or you can experiment with a color gel flash to achieve different colors and moods. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
You are in a controlled environment. So you can manipulate your lighting and your subject to create consistent results.
2. Photograph Flower Fields
The flower fields’ color, shape, and texture can elevate any landscape photo. And your images get an extra touch of nature when you shoot flower fields as foregrounds.
So how do you photograph a flower field? If you want your foreground to be as sharp as your background, you need a large depth of field.
So choose a small aperture in the range of f/11 and f/16. This way, you can get that ideal front-to-back sharpness.
3. Liven Up Photos With Butterflies, Bugs, or Water Droplets
It can sometimes be challenging to find insects interacting with flowers. Other times you get lucky and find bugs flying around flower beds.
Most of the time, there’s a good chance you won’t find any bugs. But you can always use bait to attract tiny critters to your garden.
One effective solution is to spray sugar water onto your plants. For a more organic approach, use smashed fruit instead.
Or if you don’t have time to get sugar water or fruit, try using perfume. The only downside is that this method also attracts mosquitoes. So use it with caution.
Don’t make drastic movements if you see an insect crawling on a flower. Walk up slowly without disturbing the creature.
When your camera is in position, use burst mode and shoot a sequence to ensure you get at least one good shot.
You can photograph flowers with water droplets if you don’t want to include insects. Take a picture of flowers right after a rain shower. Or spritz some water on the flowers yourself.
The water droplets on the flower petals or the leaves will add interesting details to your image.
Play around with the light a little bit. The droplets could create unique reflections. And you can get a nice sparkling effect.
4. Bring “Helping Hands”
You can use it as a stand for a small reflector to provide fill light in locations with poor lighting. Clip your reflector (in my case, a tiny flash reflector) to the Helping Hands. Then you have a light bouncer.
Ensure your setup is catching the sun at the right angle. You can move the adjustable arms until the light hits the right spot.
You can also use this Helping Hands tool to “pose” your flowers if they’re standing at a strange angle. But it’s best to prevent the clip’s sharp teeth from damaging the plant you want to shoot.
Wrap a paper towel around the stem and attach the Helping Hands to the paper. Then pull it toward your preferred position.
This technique is perfect for making withering plants stand more upright. It also works for isolating subjects from the background.
5. Keep the Background Classic or Make Your Own
When taking flower photos, you want your subject to stand out. So you need a simple, blurry background.
The easiest way to achieve this is to place your camera as far away from the background as possible. But a blurry background doesn’t mean you should ignore whatever is behind your subject.
People will still notice distracting visual elements if they’re in focus or not. So you might as well make sure it looks tidy.
An excellent backdrop is simple and should direct the viewer to the main subject. Try incorporating elements that give the viewer clues about where you took the shot.
Move around the flower to see how the background changes with different angles. If you’re shooting outdoors, include other plants or the sky in the background to add authenticity to the image.
When you’re outside, there’s a good chance you might find a good subject in a terrible location. Maybe it’s on the side of the road or even beside a trash bin.
If you find yourself in that situation, create a fake background. Use decorative paper or even just plain white or black cardboard.
The vivid colors will pop out from the dark background. Your picture will be very artistic!
6. Light Up Your Flower Photography With Fill Flash
The best time to take photos is before and after sunrise in the morning or around sunset time in the evening. This is when you can get the ideal light.
But when working outdoors, you won’t always have good lighting. If the location of the flowers is a little too dim, use an external flash to add light.
A built-in pop-up camera flash won’t work for macro photography. Besides blowing out your exposure, it doesn’t provide the best angle.
The best place for your flash is usually beside the subject, off-camera. If it can’t stand alone, put it on a mini tripod to keep it stable. And feel free to add a diffuser to make the light look less harsh.
All you have to do is attach the transmitter to your camera’s hot shoe. Then attach the receiver to your flash unit. Once installed, the flash will fire in sync with the camera.
7. Try Different Perspectives for More Unique Shots
Don’t just stick to eye-level shots. Strive to be unique and try different angles.
Think of a butterfly’s point of view and shoot from a higher angle. This is quite easy to execute since you’re taller than most flowers.
But do not use the same angle all the time. Looking down is a convenient perspective. But it can get boring.
Imagine an insect’s point of view and go lower. You’ll have to stay close to the ground. But the shots you get are worth it.
You might have to lie down on the ground or in the dirt. So wear appropriate clothing for flower photography. To help you stay clean, you can also bring a blanket or an old yoga mat you can lay on.
8. Compose Your Shots Like Portraits
Creative flower photography can be challenging when it comes to composition. Where do you place a single flower in your frame? How about a group of flowers or a flower field?
The secret is to try to think of the flowers as human heads. It will greatly help you with composition if you imagine them as portraits, not flower photos.
Like portrait photography, look for a flower’s unique features. Focus on the most beautiful parts of the flower, like the petals or the stamen. Doing so will make your viewers engage with your photo better.
You should also use composition guides such as the rule of thirds. You can turn on your camera’s grid lines. Then place your subject where any of those lines intersect. This makes images look balanced.
If you’re shooting indoors, you can experiment with floral flat lay photography.
9. Try to Minimize Shake
Photographing flowers using a shallow depth of field is not recommended when it’s windy. A small breeze could throw off your focus. So choose a place with calm weather.
Your slightest movements with your camera can also affect your flower photos. So keep your hands as steady as possible.
10. Learn How to Keep Your Subject in Focus
It can be challenging to keep flowers in focus because you have to take photos at close range for macro shots.
Select smaller apertures like f/5.6 or f/8. This creates a deeper depth of field but still keeps the background blurry enough.
You will have difficulty keeping your subject sharp if you select a wide aperture such as f/1.8 or f/2.8. The area in focus will be too narrow. And you won’t capture the full flower.
11. Use Single Point Focus for Sharper Photos
Focusing can be challenging due to the shallow depth of field produced by a macro lens. Even slow movements can throw it off.
Try using single-point focusing when taking flower photos. This allows you to pinpoint exactly which part of the subject you want to be in focus.
But this isn’t foolproof. There are times when your camera will struggle to focus. This is especially true when your subject moves too much.
Use your display’s zoom button to check whether your image is sharp. By looking closer at your subject on the screen, you can decide if it’s the best shot.
12. Use Focus Stacking for Your Flower Photography
Despite using a small aperture, your lens will still produce a relatively shallow depth of field. This is due to the close shooting distance. And it will lead to some blur in your image.
But what if you want your entire subject to be in focus? Then you’ll need a focus stack. It’s a technique that involves taking photos from different focus distances.
You then stack these images in post-production to create a single sharp image.
13. Use Bellows, Extention Tubes, and Reversing Rings
I took most of the flower photos for this article using a reversing ring made for Nikon. I bought it online for five dollars!
This accessory allows you to screw ordinary lenses on backward. Then you can take macro photos!
Conclusion: Flower Photography Tips
Capturing flowers isn’t difficult at all. Since they’re static subjects, you can always keep shooting if you’re unsatisfied with your images.
Try our flower photography tips for unique flower photos next time you go out. Have fun, and you may surprise yourself with the results.
If you want to learn how to take more stunning photos, check out our e-book, Photography Unlocked!