7 Tips For Improving Your Flower Photography


Flowers can be perfect photography subjects – they come in all shapes and sizes. In addition to that, their amazing colors can make images truly eye-catching and dramatic. Flower photography doesn’t have to include only flowers in bloom – you can photograph buds, twigs, stems, leaves, dry flowers and even insects.   

The following 7 tips will help you improve your flower photography and capture images that you’ll be proud to share!

1.Shoot Flowers On Cloudy Days

You might think that a sunny and cloudless day is the perfect occasion for shooting flowers, but it’s often not like that. Cloudless sky can make the available light harsh and emphasize shadows, which can be problematic.

On the other hand, soft and diffused light typical for overcast days will complement the delicate beauty of flowers.  There will be no harsh shadows and no bright spots, and it will be easier to get a perfect exposure.

Photo by Aaron Burden

2.Play With Backlight

Using backlight is a great way to introduce a dash of creativity to your flower photography.  It can make images more mysterious and more alluring.

Backlight happens when the sun is in front of your camera, and it lights the flower you’re shooting from behind. This kind of lighting works great with flowers because their petals are translucent, and they glow beautifully when illuminated from behind. You can try to capture backlit flowers during the golden hour to give your image a subtle warm glow.

Photo by Zoltan Tasi

3. Get Closer

Flowers are even more fascinating if you take a closer look at them. They consist of various tiny parts such as stamens, pistils or sepals. Each of these parts can be the main subject of your image.

To get closer to the flower you want to shoot, you can use a telephoto lens and zoom in to the flower. You can also use a macro lens which can focus on objects that are close to the lens.

One thing you need to be aware of when shooting close-ups of flowers is the minimum focusing distance of the lens. This distance is usually marked on the outside of the lens, and it means that the lens can’t focus on anything closer than the given distance.

Photo by V2osk

4. Use A Shallow Depth Of Field

Shallow depth of field will make your flower photographs soft and dreamlike – only the flower will be sharp, and the rest of the image will be out of focus, hopefully with creamy bokeh. You can achieve this by using a wide aperture such as f/1.8, f/2.8 or f/4.

Using a shallow depth of field can be quite helpful if the background of the flower appears busy – it will make it less cluttered.

Photo by Johannes Plenio

5. Change Your Perspective

Don’t always shoot flowers from above – try to change your perspective and offer your viewers something unexpected. Just like portraiture, flower photography can be quite engaging if you choose a creative approach.

You should move around and try various angles for more interesting images. For instance, you can photograph the flower from below. This point of view will be quite refreshing because we always see flowers from a standing perspective. You can also shoot flowers through their leaves – this will give a gorgeous ’’frame within a frame’’ to your images and make the composition stronger.

6. Try Single Point Focus For Sharper Images

In case you want to focus only on a specific part of the flower (such as a petal or pistil),  you should try single point focusing when taking flower photographs. This focusing option allows you to select precisely what part of flower you want in focus.

You should disable your camera’s autofocus and switch to manual focusing to experiment with this technique.

Photo by Nicole Corbin

7. Avoid Busy Backgrounds

Backgrounds always matter, and they can easily make or break your images. There is nothing as irritating as a great subject shot in front of a bad background.

In order to avoid such an unfortunate scenario, whenever you notice a busy background change your position so that there is nothing distracting behind your subject. You can also clean up a cluttered background in editing, but it’s best to save time and shoot it right.

Photo by John Wiesenfeld

Further Learning:

Flower photography is beautiful to behold, and one of the most wonderful flower photographers is Leanne Cleavely. Leanne has written a phenomenal guide Photographing Fabulous Flowers.

This guide explains clearly everything you need to know and is split into 5 easy to understand sections: gear, camera settings, natural and artificial light, composition and post-processing. Leanne has written the playbook with everything you need to take phenomenal photographs of flowers.


Also, if you want to read more about flower photography, check out the following links!

Further Resources:

  1. 8 Strategies To Improve Your Flower Photography
  2. So, I Went Back To Shooting Flowers
  3. 21 Beautiful Macro Photos Of Flowers
  4. Bite Size Tips: Why Not Photograph A Flower?
  5. How To Get Great Flower Photographs With A Telephoto Lens
  6. 25 Flower Photography Tutorials To Help You Perfect Your Floral Photography

About Author

Jasenka is a photographer with a background in web design. You can find out more about her on her website, see some of her newest images at 500px or get to know her better here.

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