Hi, everyone! It’s been raining off and on lately where I live, which means that the flowers are just beginning to bloom. And they are BEAUTIFUL. I missed their colors so much this past winter!
And today’s post is all about flowers! Or flower photography, more specifically. I’m hoping to take a bunch of pictures this weekend since the ones in my backyard are so pretty, and then I thought, “Maybe I should write a post about this.” Because I looooove photographing flowers.
I’ve been taking lots and lots of photos ever since I got a camera about six years ago, so what follows is a list of things I’ve learned just from messing around, experimenting, trying new techniques. Practicing.
Speaking of practice, I’ve illustrated this post with examples of my own flower photography over the past three or four years! Enjoy!
As you can see here – and elsewhere in this post – I love brightly-colored flowers! Solemn photos totally have their place, but sometimes you just want something different, right? So I take lots of pictures of candy-colored petals. They’re just plan FUN, and look amazing once they’ve been framed. (Nearly all of the non-snapshot framed photos in our house are mine? it’s pretty cool.) Basically I looooove taking photos of any obnoxiously colorful thingies.
But sometimes I take a break from all those colorful flowers and experiment with the black and white setting on my camera! I haven’t spent a ton of time on this aspect of flower photography but every time I’ve tried it, I’ve been very pleased with the results. The thing I love about photographing in black and white is that it forces you to notice the little details – things like texture, patterns, et cetera. Your eyes aren’t distracted by color, so you focus on other things instead. Things like the weird little delicate middle-y bits of flowers. (I forget what they are called. Pistils? Stamens? Something like that.)
EVERYONE takes pictures of tulips and daffodils, and with good reason – they’re gorgeous! But they also get a little, um, boring after a while, don’t they?! They’re a bit clichéd, so… I mean, if you really really love daffodils and tulips, then go take pictures of them. But don’t be afraid to take photos of other flowers that are just as pretty, if not nearly as recognizable! In fact, that’s one of my favorite parts of flower photography – finding weird flowers, or taking photos of the non-petal-y bits, just to mix things up a little.
And then people ask me, “Ooh, what’s THAT flower?” and I’m like, “I have literally no idea. Go ask my mom.” (She knows soooooo much about flowers and I’m pretty much just like… uh, this one has petals? And a stem?)
Continuing with the theme of “weird flowers,” here are some more ideas! Take photos of flowers that are just barely beginning to bloom. Take photos of flowers whose petals are starting to fall off. (Bonus points if you manage to capture an image of a falling petal!) Take pictures of flower buds that look like something you’d find on an alien planet.
Flowers need not always be the main attractions; sometimes I use them as decorations. If you’re looking for something to “dress up” a photo, try using some kind of vegetation. Just not too much of it – you don’t want to overwhelm your subject! If I’m doing this kind of photo I usually add only one or two flowers.
I’m really fond of taking super-close-up photos, ESPECIALLY when it comes to flowers. So that they have kind of a Georgia O’Keefe feel, I guess? FILL THE FRAME WITH YOUR SUBJECT. It lends incredible amounts of detail to your photos.
I mean, if you wake up very early, then you won’t have to fake it… but I don’t get out of bed early and although I love photography, even that can’t motivate me to start my day at the crack of dawn. So I cheat by using a spray bottle and misting the flowers until they look all dewy and awesome. The 4-H photography project leader showed me this trick and now I love it – its add so much detail (and SHININESS) to photos of flowers!
Do you love photography too?! Show me your own flower pictures, or any other spring-themed photos you’ve taken. Have an account on Instagram (or whatever)? I don’t, but if you send links to anyspring-y art you’ve posted there, I’ll be sure to check it out and ooh and aah at all your pictures!