Flowers are my favorite subjects. They provide a variety of different perspectives and colors. Here are some tips to make your flower shots look like the pros -
Concentrate on the Background
I can’t emphasis this enough since it’s one of the most important things to making a flower photo look great. It’s also the thing most amateur photographers forget to check. Look back at all the great flower photographs that you’ve liked and check out their background. In all of them, the background will have great contrast to the subject and will be smooth and less distracting. You could pick a black background for a white flower or a white background for a red flower. This is achieved through a variety of techniques like holding a colored cloth behind them or using a shallow depth of field. These are explained in this post.
Notice how these photos by Sami Sieranoja use a distinct background to make the flowers stand out -
Make your own rain
Have you noticed how a lot of interesting flower pictures have rain or dew drops on them? It makes the photograph look different from every other flower photo. There is no harm in carrying a small spray bottle with water and spraying some on the flower.
Add an insect
It’s amazing how much difference a bee or ladybug can make in your photograph. Follow the bee or butterfly around and wait for it to settle on a flower. Remember, bigger insects tend to be less afraid and also move slower, so try to follow the bigger insects. Insects also tend to be less active during the early hours in winters when dew makes their wings heavy.
Block the Wind
While taking Macro shots of flower outdoors, you’ll often find that the flower keeps moving due to the wind. This makes keeping the flower in focus very difficult. You can wait for the wind to die down or try to have your assistant block the wind for you by standing in the way. If nothing works, try to set your camera to a high shutter speed and burst mode to take multiple shots. This should get you at least one stable shot of the flower. If nothing works, don’t despair, sometimes moving blurs makes photos interesting. Like this shot where the stem got blurred by movement -
Flower shots can be taken from many different perspectives. Be sure to explore them all. From the shooting from a distance, to taking a close up so that you can see individual petals, to extreme close up macros showing the flower’s stigma. Here are three photos of the same flowers from 3 different perspectives -