For today’s post I invited Erin Little, a professional editorial and lifestyle photographer based in Maine to share some flower photography tips along with information about her upcoming creative photography e-course.
Chris and I took Erin’s Eyes Open Photography E-Course years ago and it was a game changer for us. After years of struggling, we finally understood our digital camera, how to work with the light, how to tell our story visually and really how to take our images to a whole new level. If you’re a farmer wanting to share the beauty that’s coming out of your fields, or you’re a florist needing to capture your gorgeous work as it heads out the door, or you’re a stay at home mom wanting to document the precious fleeting moments with your children, or your a blogger needing better images, or you’re a small business owner trying to build a professional looking portfolio, you will love this course. Read on for a few of Erin’s flower photography tips plus get a chance (well, 5 chances actually!) to win a free seat in her next course which begins May 15.
Hi Erin and everyone! I’m delighted to share with you a few little tips to help you capture some amazing shots of floral arrangements:
One of the best things you can do for your business is to have quality photos for advertisements, social media, and your own portfolio online. Instagram especially is such an amazing way to connect and for clients to find you, but you want your work to be presented in a professional way. I know that often, if you are in the wedding business, you can sometimes rely on the photographers to share pictures with you, but it doesn’t always happen. So this course will help you feel confident enough to capture your work by yourself.
Taking the time to set up a shot by finding some nice natural light either outside in the shade or inside by a window, and really thinking about what is part of that shot is important. You may be so focused on your floral arrangement that you fail to notice the clutter on the table, or the things hanging on the wall behind it that distract the viewer from really focusing on what you want them to. Become your own stylist! It’s fun and allows for some extra creativity. Go to a home goods store and stock up on some nice table linens and little objects that you can add into the frame to tell more of a story. Think about the surfaces you are shooting on. You can get creative and make some simple surfaces out of wood, or find a marble slab to work with. Table tops are great, as well as natural elements found outside like rocks and moss.
A lot of people focus on the end results: the beautiful arrangement and forget about the interesting things behind the scenes. Clients would probably love to see photos of your flower farm or workspace because it adds some personality and visual diversity. Or even if you stop to capture some beautiful wild flowers on the side of the road…all those things just add a different element. Don’t be afraid to add in people to your shots to show some action!
When it comes time to capture arrangements, the trickiest part is deciding where your focal point should be. If you are using settings (which we learn in this course) to capture a focal point and have the rest kind of blur away, you need to be very intentional with what you choose to focus on.
My general rule of thumb is to position the arrangement in a way that showcases the biggest or brightest or most unusual part, and put your focus on that. If your natural eye goes towards one part of the arrangement first, that’s usually where your focus should be.
Simple is sometimes best! Don’t make things too complicated. A few buds in a vase at your dinner table is a sweet little Instagram post. And always think about your intention when shooting: surfaces, depth of field, and objects in your frame all matter!
I designed an e-course course for people like myself, who learn better by seeing than doing. An overload of information is not helpful, and stripping it all down to what you really need to know in a simplistic way allows for easy learning. Much of photography ends up being intuitive, but a strong grasp of the basic technical components is essential to the ease in which you can let your artistic intuition eventually take over. And how does that happen? Practice. A lot of practice! During this 6-week course, photo challenges accompany each lesson to help you work towards mastering these fundamentals.You can learn much more in the 6 week Eyes Open course that starts on May 15th! A mini floral lesson booklet is also included.
Thanks for all the great tips, Erin!
Floret readers can take $25 off using the coupon code “floretmay17” when registering for the class. And between now and midnight PST Tuesday May 9, you can enter to win one of FIVE free spots in the class. To enter, simply post a comment below with your favorite photography subject.
Photos (c) Erin Little Photography