How To Photograph Plants

Whether you enjoy landscape photography or you are interested in intricate macro photography, plants are a fantastic subject to capture with your camera.

How To Photograph Plants

But how to photograph plants? One of the biggest benefits of taking pictures of plants is that they are static and don’t move. However, this doesn’t make beautiful flowers dull at all.

You can capture the stunning beauty of plants at any time of the year and day. From incredible colors to soft lighting, here are our top tips on how to snap breathtaking shots of plants.

1. Choose The Best Time Of Year

Spring and summer is the best time of year to shoot a variety of plants. Nature comes alive with the warm temperatures and you can see a lot of magnificent flowers blooming.

Spring is a great time to observe and capture the first buddings on plants and summer allows you to snap the variety of colors that our natural world has to offer.

Plus, insects, birds and other wildlife are also more active in the summer which is the perfect opportunity to enhance your plant images with a few interesting subjects.

2. Go Outdoors

The only way to create some fascinating plant snaps is by exploring the great outdoors. Whether this is a local woodland or your backyard, you can photograph plants almost anywhere.

If you have a specific plant in mind, then you can even visit a botanical garden that allows access to your chosen subject.

However, if you don’t have any outdoor space or you struggle to get outside, then you can also capture some snaps from your window at home.

3. Use Soft, Natural Light

Plants and flowers are delicate creatures and the best way to show their sensitive nature is through natural light.

The soft sunlight late afternoon or early morning is ideal for garden photography. You can also use backlighting that doesn’t directly shine onto the plant.

The subtle lighting will create a warm and golden glow around your desired object.

It is worth trying a few different lighting options around the day to see what works best for the shot you want to capture.

If you have an overcast day without the lovely sunlight, then it is a good idea to zoom into the plant and shoot details, such as the veins of the leaves or the bright colors.

4. Capture Colors

What makes plant photography so special is that plants are never dull and boring. They always vary in shape, size and color. 

Especially the coloration of a plant can change with the time of day and even the season.

If you want to capture a dramatic plant photo, then play around the color contrasts. For example, set vibrant reds next to lush greens and soft pinks.

Together with the many different shades of color, you can also hone in on the texture of the foliage and flowers.

These subtle contrasts will make your photograph more interesting and eye-catching. They also add more depth to the picture.

5. Get Up Close And Personal

Plants, trees and shrubs don’t just look beautiful from a distance but they reveal their true personality in the small details when you get close to them.

Practice some of your macro photography skills and grab some close-up shots of your favorite plants. This is also an opportunity to take pictures of your plants on the windowsill or in your backyard.

Even if you don’t have a macro lens, you can easily take some close-up plant photos. Simply use the smallest focal distance that your camera lens can focus on and then zoom into your subject.

6. Try Water

Water in itself is a fascinating subject to photograph but when it interacts with other objects, such as plants, then this can significantly improve the quality of your flower photos.

Get out early in the morning and capture the dew on the plants or catch a snapshot when someone is watering their plants.

The spraying mist also gives your photography a bit of texture that works well when you want to take photos of the whole plant.

7. Create A Pleasant Composition

Photography is all about creating a nice composition. In addition to the standard rule of thirds and lead-in lines to keep in mind, it isn’t difficult to whisk together a well-composed plant photo.

Simply off-set the flower to one side of the photo and leave it facing out into the frame. This makes your plant look like it is “looking” into a certain direction.

8. Capture The Plant’s Personality

Each plant has its own unique characteristics that make it interesting and worthwhile photographing. This could be shadows, light, shapes, textures, patterns or lines.

Things like veins in a leaf, flower petals or tree bark are fascinating elements to explore with your camera lens.

If the plant is surrounded by interesting objects, then you can also include them in your picture and use these objects to visually reinforce the character of your plant.

9. Avoid Distracting Backgrounds

A busy background behind your plant can take the attention away from your main subject. That’s why it is a good idea to use a wide aperture that helps you blur the background.

Alternatively, you can also zoom into individual areas of your subject as much as possible until the background disappears.

10. Use Both Landscape And Portrait

While most landscape photographers tend to use only the landscape format to capture a lot of ground in their photos, it is a good idea to use both landscape and portrait formats for your plant photography.

This allows you to catch the distinctive details of your chosen plant subject in a greater variety, so it is worth experimenting with different formats.

Final Thoughts

Plant photography is simple and great fun. You don’t even need a tripod or any special equipment to get outdoors and capture a few photos of your favorite flowers.

Get inspired by the natural beauty out in the wild and capture the variety of plants in your photos.

Laura McNeill
Scroll to Top