How to take photos of flowers

You've got some beautiful flowers, and all afternoon to take photos. But you're stuck for ideas after just 2 photos. Read on: I'll show you the tricks the pros use to get consistently great flower photos.

What's the secret? Treat your flowers as if they were a film star. 

Film directors have a limited bank of framing techniques they use when they're shooting people, and you should start by trying these. Then you can change one of just 4 aspects of the photograph to get an almost infinite mix of possibilities.

Start here: 

How to frame your photograph

Directors use full length shots, where you can see the whole person from their head to their toes. They come in a bit closer with a medium shot. This is roughly waist up. Then comes the close up, which is where we see just the actor's head. And getting in closer still gives you the very close up shot, where we are treated to a full frame intimate shot of part of the actor's face.

Start by copying these 4 shots:

variation 1

Next, try changing the background (this is a piece of white foamcore):

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Variation 2

Try changing your aperture. Here I moved from f2.8 to f11:


Variation 3

Change your viewpoint. The 3 main viewpoints to try are at "eye level" with the flowers, from slightly above the flowers, and from directly above:


Variation 4

Last of all, change your lens. All the shots so far were taken with my 100mm macro lens. These next ones were shot on my phone, which is a wider angle:

If you try all the different combinations of these 5 variations, that will give you over 1,000 possible shots. And that's before you've started to play with the lighting.


Behind the scenes

You don't need expensive backdrops - just unroll some wallpaper:

And don't forget to bounce some light back into your flower if you're using side light:

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