Through the years I've always photographed flowers, but the photo marketing books always told me that photos of flowers were not high in demand. Since in my early years I shot film and found the costs prohibitive to just photograph things for my own enjoyment, I never fully explored the subject.
Once I went digital and was no longer restricted by film and processing costs, I felt free to shoot more experimentally. It started simple enough, capturing images of wildflowers and potted plants in front of restaurants and homes that I may pass by. But then with the encouragement of my husband, I started buying potted plants. Tulips and hyacinths were first. A few weeks later I bought some more plants: gaillardias, begonias, petunias, & osteospermum daisies. More, more, more please. Geraniums, sunflowers, portulacas, impatiens. Oh, never enough flowers. Give me more! The colors, shapes and scents, I love them!
Three years later, I not only fill my porch with annual potted plants, but thanks to my wonderful husband I now have a garden filled with perennial flowers that come back to visit me every year. I admit it, gardening is not my thing. My husband does most of the work. But I totally reap the benefits.
And you know what? Those photo marketing books forgot to mention one thing: photos that you are truly passionate about will sell if you market them correctly. I have a passion for flowers!
In future blog posts I will share many of my favorite tips on photographing flowers. I have many! So many, that I am putting the final touches on a book that I am currently seeking a publisher for. But in the meantime, here are five of my favorite tips to get you started.
1. Pay attention to your backgrounds.
Yes, my number one tip and one that I learned the hard way. After spending many hours retouching distracting backgrounds and deleting weak images flawed by poor backgrounds, I quickly learned to pay more attention to the background before pressing the shutter button. Seek out plain, simple backgrounds. Avoid backgrounds with light or bright distractions. Branches, stems and fences can also create unwanted distraction. Move around the flower to find the best possible background option.
For this image of a beautiful yellow Dahlia flower, I chose to use a complimentary background consisting of blue sky mixed with green trees. A wide aperture assured that they would be out of focus and that all focus would be on the beautiful flower.
I got close to this stunning Dahlia flower and used the widest aperture on my telephoto lens to render the distant trees completely out of focus resulting in a smooth and complimentary green background.
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