Tips for flower photography
I am a photographer at a wedding and events florist based in south London. My job involves taking beautiful photographs of the stunning flower displays that are created by the florists on a daily basis, in a nutshell flower photography. The flower arrangements can vary tremendously, from weddings bouquets and intricate buttonholes to grand vibrant displays for high profile events; each flower arrangement is unique and is designed to absolute perfection.
There are a lot of factors to consider in flower photography, for instance; the London florist don’t only deal with corporates, weddings and events, but they also have a sister site which is an online gift shop, selling everything from beautiful bouquets and hand-ties to plants, baby gifts and gift baskets, which means that my photos need to be versatile enough to be used on both websites.
Use the right equipment
For product photography I use a Canon 550D DSLR and a Canon 50mm f2.8 macro lens, the camera has a CMOS cropped sensor (22.3 x 14.9mm) and has an impressive live view option which is fantastic when shooting at tricky angles. The Canon 50mm 2.8 macro lens is one of my favourites, versatile, light and high quality, the lens picks up incredible details when shooting close-ups of the flower heads. The studio framework is very simple, a 3-point lighting set-up and a white paper backdrop, I find that this is all that is needed for my product photography; the rest is creativity and attention to detail.
Study the Florists Design
When photographing a flower arrangement, the photographer needs to understand the florist’s design: Is it front facing or all around? Is the arrangement to be seen from above or the side? What is the arrangement for? Where will the arrangement be placed at the venue? These factors need to be considered before shooting, the purpose of the photograph is to show the design as an impressive floral master piece that will fit with our brimming portfolio and represent the website.
Pre-shoot touches and preperations
As a photographer I intend to get the photograph correct first time in-camera, this means I do not have to rely on Photoshop to pick up the pieces by altering the image afterwards; I instead use Photoshop only to enhance colours, levels and cropping (if needed).
Understanding lighting is a necessity for achieving the perfect photograph. Before shooting; experiment with the lights, make sure ghastly shadows are not cast over some parts of the arrangements, the 3-point lighting may be simple but each arrangement will need to have the lighting altered to achieve perfect results.
As a photographer in this industry I have to be very careful and fast, There is only one opportunity to take the photograph as it is highly unlikely you will photograph the same style of arrangement twice, The main key is to prepare before each shoot, if you spend too long planning whilst the arrangement is sat placed under the lights, the flowers will start to crease and wilt in an instant.
If an arrangement or bouquet is unique enough then it will be made into a product as a gift on our sister site, so as a general I leave a lot of negative space in the images to allow cropping into a square format for the gift shop.
In short, to be a studio flower photographer there is a lot more than meets the eye, understanding the camera functions, flower design and lighting is essential, and it is key to achieve the highest quality images in a small amount of time.
Working in a London florist means that my job is different every day, from photographing new arrangements that will eventually be gifts on our online gift shop, to photographing a bride’s special bouquet , overall it ties in both floristry and photography and is a job that I truly enjoy.
This post is written by Todich Floral Design Photographer Annalie Kaufman