Flower Photo Tips

I’m Henry Barbe and I’m retired which means that I spend my time mostly doing what I like. I’ve been a photography hobbyist since 1969 when I purchased my first 35 mm SLR. These days I shoot only with a digital SLR.

While I don’t consider myself an flower photography expert by any means, I have developed some tips which I think can help anyone take better, more dramatic flower photos.

First, decide what type of photo you want. By this I mean, do you want a group of flowers or a single flower.

The following photo is of a group of flowers where I narrowed focus to a few for effect.

Also, choose the desired camera angle in relationship to the flowers. Try getting low to shoot up at the flower(s) instead of using a typical straight on shot. For the following photo, I shot up to get the sky as the background for these wild flowers.

Look for or create unusual lighting situations. Try shooting with the flower between you and the light source, and/or shoot with the sun at low angles (morning and late afternoon) to obtain dramatic lighting contrasts. You can also use your flash during daytime to increase the contrast between the flower and the background.

The following photo was taken shooting into the sun with the flower in-between.

The following photo was taken late in the afternoon when the flower was in sunlight, while most other things were in shadow. This affect can sometimes be obtained by using a flash.

Pay attention to the background. This may require you to shift position either up, down, right, and/or left. You can also change to a different focal length lens. For example, standing further away with a telephoto lens may give the background you want.
For this picture, I positioned myself so that the background was where most of the snow was.

While this is usually most easily done with a SLR or a DSLR, it is still possible with some point and shoot cameras. A narrow field of focus will blur the background (and possibly the foreground) which can highlight the flower or object in focus.

The green background in this picture was achieved by having the grass in the background out of focus.

The bottom line is that being truly aware of everything in the cameras viewfinder is the best way to achieve better photographs. In any event, taking flower photos can be very rewarding. So, have fun, and take a camera where ever you go.


  1. Ann Abbott says

    Your tips and info on the perfect flower shot was super. I have always loved flower and always wanted to capture their beauty. I am not a painter or a florist but I can take a photograph. I made my first book this spring of just flowers. These tips have got me thinking about some new ways to look at a flower..for the shoot and in my photograph forever.

    Ann Abbott
    Shutterfly Gallery Guru

  2. Joanna T says

    Henry, I really look forward to your tips and am so glad you gave one about flowers, as it is now that time of year. I love to take photos of them and usually end up taking quite a lot just to get the right effect I was looking for. Some turn out blurry, so I keep on trying.
    Your flower photography is beautiful as are your books.
    Thanks for sharing these great tips.
    Shutterfly gallery Guru

  3. Tammy M. says

    Henry, these tips are great and the photos are amazing. I love to take flower photos but hardly any of them look magnificent but I do think I can use a couple of these, and actually remember them and try them out. I am glad to have read this and hopefully learn a new technique. Thanks for the great article.
    Shutterfly Gallery Guru

  4. BarbaraJ says

    You have really help me with my photography. I love taking pictures of flowers and your tips are important to me. bj

  5. shannonr says

    I love taking pictures of flowers, but god knows i have no clue what i am doing…LOL. I really enjoyed reading your article and is has given me a few tips i can go away with, thanks.

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