Flowers are so cliche when it comes to photography… but that doesn’t stop most of us from shooting them! Heck, some photographers even specialize in flower photography and they do a darn good job of it. If you’re getting bored with your current bag-o-tricks for photographing flowers, scan through these tips and get inspired to try something different.

1. DITCH THE COLOR

Flower photos are generally full of vibrant colors, but that’s not the only way to do it. Black and white flower photos can bring much needed attention to details and textures that would otherwise be masked by the blinding colors.

let's craft the only thing we know into surprise
Creative Commons License photo credit: linh.ngân

2. USE AS A FOREGROUND

The flowers don’t always need to be the center of attention. Use them as a foreground or background to lay down some color for your main subject. Bonus points for using complimentary colors in your composition.

Blessed
Creative Commons License photo credit: creativesam

3. LOOK INDOORS

Flowers are inside too! Not every flower photo needs to be 100% “natural” — try your hand at some still life.

3 sisters
Creative Commons License photo credit: mamako7070

4. DOUBLE EXPOSE

Flowers can make for pretty cool double exposures. Experiment with combinations of up-close and far-off shots of the same flowers.

Diana+
Creative Commons License photo credit: Maco@Sky Walker

5. GO ABSTRACT

Flowers have great curves — so use that to your advantage. A good macro setup will allow you to capture abstract images of the colors, curves, and textures.

monstera deliciosa flower
Creative Commons License photo credit: nothing

6. REFLECT WITH WATER

Reflection can be a powerful composition technique, and flower photography is no exception.

Balboa Pond Lily part deux.
Creative Commons License photo credit: peasap

7. FOCUS ON SYMMETRY

Reflections are a type of symmetry, but flowers often exhibit another type of symmetry: radial. Use the radial symmetry of most flowers to create a strong composition.

Gazania
Creative Commons License photo credit: josef.stuefer

8. PAINT YOUR OWN FLOWER

Light painting is another interesting style of photography, so why not mix it up with flower photography?

Night Flower
Creative Commons License photo credit: Brian Auer

9. CATCH A BUG

That’s right, catch a bug in your frame. Those little insects can often add a lot to your image by catching the eye of the viewer. Anything unexpected will generate interest.

ladybug on gerbera
Creative Commons License photo credit: Vanessa Pike-Russell

10. BE A SMURF

Sometimes you have to get a little dirty to get the shot. Macro photographers will often wear grungy clothes for nature outings (or bring a blanket/tarp) because they know they’ll be laying on the ground at some point. Get down there and see how the world looks from the perspective of your feet.

Under the Tulips
Creative Commons License photo credit: ♥siebe ©

11. FIND URBAN FLOWERS

Flowers grow in cities too! Next time you’re in an urban environment, keep your eyes peeled for flowers growing naturally or even landscaped flowers.

urban life
Creative Commons License photo credit: Pedro Moura Pinheiro

12. DO THE DEWDROP TRICK

Most of us have seen these types of photos with the flower inside the dewdrop. Still, it’s a pretty cool trick and you can do it with more than just flowers.

Day 45/365 : All the world in a little droplet
Creative Commons License photo credit: ~jjjohn~

13. USE AS A PROP

If you’re doing people shots or portrait photography, try adding flowers as a secondary subject or background.

Boy taking a rest. (DGM)
Creative Commons License photo credit: Simon Pais-Thomas

Do you have any flower photography tips or examples? If so, leave them in the comments below!

18 responses


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oh, I like that Be a Smurf photo, very neat!
I think ditching the colours for flowers works best with the close-up ones, though as usual nothing beats a great b&w photo ;)

August 18, 2009 10:54 pm

I’ve already tried some of these, especially black&white and abstract photos. You gave me some more ideas, thank you.

PS: The second photo is stunning.

August 19, 2009 2:30 am

Here’s some flower shots I’ve taken that fit some of the examples given: http://hollysissonphotography.com/blog/category/the-natural-world/page/3/

August 19, 2009 9:13 am


great ideas. need to take my camera with me more often when I go out to water my garden!

August 26, 2009 10:27 am

I take a lot of flower photos and one of the best ever was with a bug. I also play around with effects, which can transform poor photos into really interesting pictures and patterns.

August 26, 2009 10:47 am

I love that “Be s smurf” shot :)

August 30, 2009 5:09 pm

Use flowers to contrast with your background

1.
3315619966_10d37eec15.jpg

2.
3315803564_50657df4e2.jpg

Or just enjoy the bright colors!!

3302056178_eaae9d27a7.jpg

August 30, 2009 6:28 pm

Awwww, so beautiful examples. so inspiring and so superb quality!
I have tried some of these tips, they are very effective.
Personally,I find the bug thing and the ground point of view the most rewarding, as well as the macro abstract.
Here are my examples:
3611767112_528a5b359c_m.jpg
3574322524_3283d18e04_m.jpg
3488400025_c9cc6fe2df_m.jpg

September 2, 2009 12:38 pm

Beautiful shots, I really like the second one! not a fun of flower theme but this is great work!

September 3, 2009 7:29 am

That’s cool. I want to try these now.

bowling news

September 7, 2009 9:56 pm


I did try ditching the colour with the flowers in my garden last winter….
and then I created a collage with four different flowers…. trying to keep the composition flowing…

i want to know how is the dew drop trick done… is it just a macro shot or some post processing.?

November 28, 2009 1:00 am

The only way I know to do those dew drops is to use a macro or super-macro setup (with reversal rings and whatnot). Otherwise, you just can’t get close enough to get high quality images.

November 28, 2009 1:17 am

This blog really rocks. I am a junior budding photographer and I think your work is just stunning.

January 11, 2010 9:20 am

excellent work..drawn to these pictures..Ditch the colour and focus on the symmetry have brilliant examples..also loved the tutorial..

January 16, 2010 5:10 am

Hi Brian,

A really nice piece, thanks for writing it. I especially love the reflection image, not really because of the reflection, just for its beautiful isolation. Also the ‘Be a Smurf’ image really shows how position and perspective can create tremendous photographs.

Many thanks

Col :-)

February 19, 2010 10:15 am


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