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Smartphone Flower Photography

Get ready to take better photos with expert Louise Mills

The good news is that you don’t need a high end camera to take great images to post online! There’s so much that you can do with the camera on your phone (or tablet), and following a few simple guidelines will instantly improve how your photos look: so grab a quick coffee and read on........

Composition

The rule of thirds. Our brains love it when things aren’t always in the middle so imagine splitting your photo into a noughts and crosses board. You can bring up the thirds grid on most phones if you go into Settings, then Photos & Camera, find Grid and you can switch it on so that you can see it when you take photos.

Some photos will work with your flowers in the middle, but try putting something on one of the lines so that it’s off to one side and not quite in the middle. We love to see key parts of the image where the lines intersect; maybe an open flower or the centre of a tied ribbon?

Think about whether you take your photo as a landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) orientation or whether it would look better as a square. If you have time, take all three and you can decide later. Tall arrangements can look better as a portrait orientated photo rather than landscape and arrangements with anything trailing can look nicer as a landscape shot.

Make sure that you don’t chop any bits off in your photo! If your arrangement is very tall make sure the top of it is in the shot and the same goes for any lovely trailing pieces.

Think about the angle from where you take your photos. Don’t always take the photo standing up, bring your phone down to the same level as the flowers so that it’s 90 degrees to them and keep an eye on any vertical or horizontal lines in the background to make sure they are nice and straight

Take photos over the top, take the whole arrangement and take close ups of the flowers too.

As a customer, it’s nice to see the whole thing, but it’s also nice to see different angles and close ups of the flowers.

Think about the Light

Natural light always works best as the lights inside a shop can sometimes be very yellow and distort colours.


You might be lucky and have an outside space where you can take photos; a shaded area is best rather than in full sun, as it creates less shadows.

Try to find somewhere within your shop where there is natural light and if possible, switch any shop lights off. Window light works incredibly well; if you have a window on one side of the flowers and when you take the photo, the side next to the window looks great but the other side is in shadow, buy a big piece of white card, place it on the side of the flowers where there’s no window and it will reflect some light from the window back onto the flowers, making that side less shadowy.


Beware of shadows cast by your phone onto the flowers! Try not to use the flash on your phone. Not only does it change the colours, but it can also create horrible bright spots!


Using your Phone

On most phones, you can touch the screen and the phone will focus on the point that you touch.

You can usually brighten or darken the photo before you take it; when you touch the screen a scale will appear either in the form of a sun on an iPhone or as a sliding scale. If you touch the screen and slide your finger either up or down on left or right, it will darken or brighten the image. If the colours in your photo are looking washed out, try darkening a little and this will help to bring back the colours

Instagram is amazing! If you don’t already use it, download the app and start! There are lots of different filters you can apply to your photos and you have the ability to link it to your Facebook account so that you can post there at the same time.

If you do use Instagram, aim to stick to two or three different filters to help maintain consistency across your images

Background

Keep your backgrounds as clean and simple as possible so as not to detract from your bouquet or arrangement. The legs of a stool or other flowers popping out of your arrangement is distracting! If necessary crop the image on your phone.

If you can’t find anywhere with a plain background, buy a big piece of card and simply blu tack it to a wall, allowing it to curve down onto a table or wherever you’re putting the subject and secure it to that surface too. Don’t push the card back onto the wall, the aim is to create a lovely curved, plain background.


You can buy different colours of card to compliment your subjects and white will also reflect light back onto the subject.

 

LOUISE MILLS

Louise is a portrait and wedding photographer based in Nottingham. Equally happy working in her studio or the great outdoors. Louise has a keen eye for spotting the beautiful and interesting.

 

After more Marketing Tips? Check out Floristry Trade Club's other Marketing Series':


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