It seems that people are innately drawn to taking photos of flowers. I bet everyone and their mother has at least attempted to take a photo of a flower. Admit it. You have. But did you like it? Did it look like the images of flowers you’ve been drawn to in the past?
Want photos of flowers that actually make people “ooh” and “ahh”?
Change your angle.
Don’t just take a photo from where you’re standing when you see the pretty flower. Just like little kids, you need to shoot at their level. Unless you want to bore everyone. Then just shoot from where you stand – like a billion other people have.
To do this you can use a macro lens.
But don’t use your lack of a macro lens as an excuse. I’ve done it. But then I learned that I could still get amazing shots with a zoom lens. You can zoom in so the flower fills the frame and easily achieve a blurred background. Just open up as wide as you can and focus on the flower you want to stand out.
Another alternative is a Canon Close-up (real technical name). Don’t worry Nikon users – it’s a Canon product designed for Nikon camera’s too! Screw this small device onto your zoom lens and your zoom becomes a macro. Magic!
Choose a good time to photograph flowers.
Just like people, flowers look better in flattering light:
Overcast days make for soft shadows and more vibrant colors (since the sun isn’t washing them out).
After rain, while it’s still overcast, you get the benefits of no harsh sun along with raindrops on the petal – a great addition to your images.
If you must shoot on a sunny day, shoot when the sun is low (morning or late afternoon).
Shoot the flowers with the sun behind them, backlighting them. The sun shining through the petals is beautiful. For this to work, you need to follow the tip of getting down low and shooting up at the flowers or straight on.
Nature sometimes doesn’t know best.
You don’t always have to make due with a scene nature has provided.
There are simple ways you can “interfere” to create stunning images:
If you’re struggling to find gorgeous flowers to shoot, buy some! Then you can pick exactly the flowers you want.
No rain? Spray the flower with water using a spray bottle.
Put a black background behind the flower. You can use something as simple as a piece of clothing or carry around a piece of black velvet or velour. Put a few feet between the background and the flowers and have someone hold it or drape it over something.
Put a white background behind the flower. Just use some white mounting board from the office supply store. Use a reflector to bounce light back onto the white background to keep it from looking gray. Same drill as with black –prop your background or have someone hold it and leave about three feet between the flower and the background.
You can shoot flowers indoors. Shoot near a window that has non-direct sunlight coming in. Think direction – side lighting will add more dimension.
Once you have phenomenal flower photographs, you won’t be just one of the billions with photos of random flowers. You’ll have images people talk about and perhaps even purchase!