There’s a lot to love about flower photography. First of all, if you’re a gardener or nature lover, taking photos of your own gardens or wildflowers makes the experience all the more rewarding. If you create or appreciate bouquets, then a photo will only make it last longer. Flower photography is easy to get started with but a bit more difficult to master, making it the perfect photography genre for those who want to improve their skills. If you’ve ever wondered how to photograph flowers like a professional, but without a professional camera, read on. This article will talk about equipment, settings, and tips for taking beautiful flower photos with your iPhone.
What iPhone lens is best for flower photos?
When photographing flowers, it’s all about the details, so getting as close as possible to your arrangement or garden will make a huge difference. If you are using an iPhone with a telephoto lens, that’s a great choice for minimizing the background and maximizing your flowers. Telephoto cameras come on the iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Another great option for any iPhone model is to invest in a macro lens for crisp detail shots of your flowers. The Xenvo Pro Lens Kit for iPhone comes with two clip-on lenses: a macro and a wide-angle lens. This is an affordable way to improve your close-up flower photos.
How different is macro flower photography?
Macro flower photography will allow you to capture the most intricate details of flowers, sometimes details that you can’t even see with the naked eye. The results are often stunning, artistic creations that you would never be able to capture without a macro lens. Another benefit of using a macro lens is that it adds a soft blur to the background, making your flowers stand out.
Flower photography tips: Lighting and posing a bouquet
There isn’t much that can compare with a beautifully arranged bouquet of flowers — unless, of course, it’s a beautifully captured photo of that same bouquet. Whether you’re indoors or out, these tips will help you take incredible frame-worthy flower photos.
Tip 1: Keep your background as simple as possible
With flower photography, less is definitely more. Flowers are full of interesting details — colors, textures, and shapes. To highlight the beauty of your bouquet or arrangement, opt for a simple background, either a plain wall in a muted color or another background that won’t distract from the flowers in your photo.
Tip 2: Use a diffuser for softer light
Soft light is the best light for flower photography, so what do you do when the sun is creating harsh shadows on your petals and leaves? Use a diffuser! A diffuser is used in photography to create a soft, muted light source. To put this into practice, set up your bouquet near a sunny window. Now, use a diffuser in front of the window to make that bright light work for you. You can buy a small portable diffuser, or you can get creative with a DIY version. A piece of white paper, a cloth, or a curtain will work as a store-bought option to diffuse light in front of a window.
Tip 3: Shoot toward the sky
If you want your flower photos to stand out from the thousands of others you’re likely to come across, you have to get creative with your camera angles. There are lots of different angles you can try, but one of the most interesting is to get down low and point your camera up toward the sky. Not only will you capture a side of the flower that you don’t normally see, but the sun will also shine through the petals for a nice transparent effect. A diffuser may come in handy for this type of shot, too!
Tip 4: Fill the frame with blooms
Ready to make a bold statement with your flower photography? Get in close so that your flower or bouquet of flowers fills the entire frame. Instead of worrying about the placement of the flowers or trying to include negative space, get right in there so all your viewer can see is the beautiful blooms you are capturing. This technique is great for minimizing distractions when you don’t have a simple background to work with.
Tip 5: Use the rule of thirds
The rule of thirds is one of the most common guidelines in photography. To use it, simply compose your shot so that your main subject (in this case, flowers) is off-center. You can use a grid on your iPhone camera to make it easier. Just go to your Settings, then tap Camera and toggle on the Grid feature. Your screen will now be overlaid with lines dividing it into thirds. Place your flowers on the gridlines and snap your photo. You’ve just used the rule of thirds!
Tip 6: Spray water on the blooms for interesting flower photos
Want to add interest to your flower photos? Introduce water droplets before capturing them with a macro lens. You can certainly head outdoors on a dewy morning or after a rain, but an easier method is to use a spray bottle with water. Give your flowers a light misting before taking a photo. This is great practice for improving your photography, and you’ll love how your flowers look when kissed by the rain.
Tip 7: Capture flower photos during the golden hour
The golden hour is the period just after sunrise or just before sunset when the sun gives everything a warm glow. It’s the perfect time to take flower photos, whether you’re indoors or out. Shoot bouquets in front of a sunny window, or head outdoors. During the golden hour, you can shoot with the sun behind you or from the side for soft light without a lot of shadows. For some unique and unexpected results, shoot into the sun. Your flowers will be lit with beautiful backlight, and some may create a silhouette.
Tip 8: Shoot bouquets from above for a more interesting composition
Here’s another interesting composition idea for flower photography that you don’t see very often. Arrange a bouquet of flowers in a short vase. Place the vase on a low table, or even the floor, and then stand on a chair to capture the whole thing from above. This removes most of the vase from the photo, so your camera captures the top of the bouquet and whatever it’s sitting on. It makes for a lovely, out-of-the-ordinary arrangement.
Tip 9: Use the rule of odds for flower photography
Here’s another “rule” that photographers use when shooting flower photos. The rule of odds suggests that an odd number of objects makes for more interesting photography and will keep your viewer’s eye in the frame. To try this rule out, shoot flower arrangements with 1, 3, 5, or 7 blooms. Any more than 7, and it won’t matter much, but for capturing a smaller number of blooms, this really does make a difference.
Tip 10: Capture only part of a single flower
If you want to capture a single beautiful bloom, you have plenty of composition options. We’ve already discussed the rule of thirds and filling the frame, which both work great for single flowers. But another option is to photograph the flower so that only part of it is in the frame, adding interest to your composition. You can achieve the same effect by cropping the flower with your favorite editing app.
How to photograph flowers at night
Flower photography becomes more challenging when the sun goes down, but it also provides additional opportunities for beautiful captures. Here are some flower photography tips for shooting in the garden at night.
Tip 11: Don’t use your flash for flower photography
A sure-fire way to ruin a potentially great photo is to use the flash on your iPhone. The flash will introduce harsh, unnatural lighting that no amount of editing will be able to correct. Before you begin a flower photoshoot in low light, make sure your flash is turned off. The flash icon in the upper-right corner of your camera screen should have a line through it. Keep reading to learn how to light up the scene without using your flash.
Tip 12: Use Night mode to add brightness to your photos
iPhone introduced Night mode to its lineup starting with iPhone 11. If you are fortunate enough to have this feature on your phone, don’t be afraid to experiment with it. Night mode will turn on automatically in low-light situations — you’ll see a moon icon in the upper corner of your screen with an exposure time next to it. iPhone will automatically set the amount of time the camera needs to let light in before it snaps a photo, but you can adjust the timer manually as well. You will need a steady hand or a tripod to effectively use Night mode for flower photography, but the results are worth the extra effort.
Tip 13: Use a steady artificial light source
Any source of light will be helpful in highlighting the flowers you are photographing at night. The light should be steady and can come from a lamp, a flashlight, or lights created specifically for photography. The most natural lighting for night photography will come from the side. Set your light up on a tripod and point it at your flower arrangement, or recruit a helper to hold the light for you.
Tip 14: Use a tripod for flower photos at night
A tripod is an essential piece of equipment for nighttime flower photography. Without one, your photos will almost certainly be out of focus due to camera shake. With a tripod, you can set a longer exposure in Night mode, ensuring that your flowers are well-lit even with a small light source. A pocket-size tripod is useful for many different types of iPhone photography and is certainly worth the investment.
Tip 15: Use the Auto Focus/Auto Exposure feature to get the look you want
When taking photos of flowers, it’s important to ensure proper focus because the details are so important. This becomes even more critical at night when low-light situations have the potential to make your shots appear blurry or out of focus. When framing your shot with your iPhone, the first thing you want to do is hold down your finger on the screen where you want the camera to focus. You will also see a sun next to the focus box. You can slide this sun up or down to increase or decrease the brightness of your photo.
Ready to start experimenting with flower photography on your iPhone? This is such a fun and rewarding type of photography, and it’s great practice, whether you’re a novice or an experienced photographer.