A few weeks back, Hallmark Photo Stylist Andy N., our resident flower guru (among other things!), shared some easy tips for creating simple floral arrangements for gifts (or just for fun). And now we’re sharing the other half of the workshop, where he gave a quick lesson on how to photograph flowers. Because if you take a picture, he says, it lasts longer! (Wink.)
Since I’m a photo stylist here at Hallmark, I’m always looking for unique ways to capture the spirit of the things we make. I thought it would be fun to make our floral arrangements the centerpiece of a photograph. It’s always a creative challenge for me to style a photo with just the right background and just the right elements.
This gave our workshop students the opportunity to take a few floral arrangements home and get some beautiful photographs to keep. And I’m betting some of the photos are frameable!
We spent the first half of the workshop making our simple floral arrangements. Then we had to break for lunch and carb up, because the afternoon was going to get crazy. I had everyone get their phones and cameras out and prepare to take lots of pictures.
Thank goodness I was thinking ahead and invited some of my photo stylist friends from Union Hill Photo Studio to join us. They helped each workshopper find the perfect backdrop for their creation. Everyone was free to explore my entire house to find a “mini set” for their flower arrangement. 1, 2, 3, GO!
Everyone was running around my house looking for just the right spot—a dramatic corner with the right backdrop, a table with the perfect prop, a windowsill with a dapple of light. Furniture was rearranged, artwork taken off the walls, stacks of books unstacked—you get the picture. Pandemonium! So fun!
So. Here are five tips to think about when you want to photograph flowers.
Andy’s tips for how to photograph flowers
It’s all about play
Experiment! Move around. Change the light. Use different angles. Play with the different options on your phone: portrait mode, exposure options, shutter speed. Take as many pictures as you want—you can delete and edit later. Often, the best shot is the one you least expected to turn out.
Making a color statement
If your floral arrangement is colorful, why not play that up? It’s fun to go bold and play off the colors of the flowers. If you have pink flowers, go strong on the pink. Stack them on top of pink books or a pink table runner. Overdo the pink! Be loud!
Setting the mood
Want to take a quiet, more subtle approach to photographing flowers? Play off the muted tones in your arrangement. Find a backdrop that has muted, softer colors and let your arrangement rest in its environment.
Dance with the light
Want to be a little more dramatic? (Sure you do!) Use a translucent container so that it reflects the light. Capture a sliver of light “kissing your arrangement” to give your photo just the right amount of sparkle.
Off-center is A-OK
When taking pictures of your floral arrangement, don’t always place it in the middle of the shot. In fact, it’s often more interesting if your centerpiece isn’t exactly centered. To give yourself some extra wiggle room, leave wide margins: You can always play with cropping later to offset your subject matter.
It’s always fun to experiment and a good idea to capture your creativity in a photo. Plus, we know flowers don’t last forever—but pictures do. (And the best thing is you don’t have to water them.)
Interviewed by Marn J.
Dying to make you own arrangements just like these? Get the scoop in the first half of Andy’s flower arranging workshop. Then share your pics with us on Facebook or tag @think.make.share on Instagram!