Flower photography: How to take natural looking flower photographs indoors

By Geoff Harris

daisies 2

Outdoor flower photography is very weather dependent. The ideal conditions are a bright but diffused light, and no wind – and needless to say this doesn’t happen very often! We flower photographers are very hard to please – we’re usually complaining that it’s too sunny, or too dull, or too windy – and I won’t even mention the days when it rains or hails!

But one of the joys of flower photography is that unlike so many other genres – landscape, travel, or sports to name but a few – it can also be done indoors. All you really need is a flower or two, and a bit of natural light from a window.

However, if you want a natural looking photograph of a flower, and don’t want to use an artificial backdrop such as cardboard or fabric, things get a little more difficult. So here are a few photos I took earlier this year to illustrate a technique I like to use.

daisies in pots

This first pic shows two little pots of daisies, bought at my local market, and still covered with raindrops (it was pouring when I bought them!). As you can see, some of the leaves are looking a bit battered, and the pots are splattered with mud. I’ve put them on a plastic fold-out table in my small conservatory.

It’s not looking too good at this stage!

But the reason I bought two pots is that it gives me much more flexibility with creating a background. I can focus on one of the daisies in one pot, and then move the other pot around behind it to fill in any gaps in the background, which would otherwise contain bits of window or wall.

daisies 1

Using my macro lens, I was then able to take various different shots of the daisies, which look as if they could have been taken outside in natural growing conditions.

If you’d like to learn more about photographing flowers, you might like to consider taking my course Creative Flower Photography

Geoff Harris

I am a journalist and photographer and currently work as the Deputy Editor of Amateur Photographer (AP) the oldest weekly photographic magazine in the world. Before that I served as the editor of Digital Camera, Britain's best-selling photography magazine, for five years. During my time as editor it became the UK's top selling photo monthly and won Print Publication of the Year at the 2013 British Media Awards. As well as being lucky enough to get paid to write about photography, I've been fortunate to interview some of the greatest photographers in the world, including Elliott Erwitt, Don McCullin, Martin Parr, Terry O'Neill and Steve McCurry. This has been a wonderful learning experience and very influential on my photography. Beyond writing, I am a professional portrait, travel and documentary photographer, and reached the finals of the 2016 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and hope to take my Associateship whenever I can find the time. In addition I write about well being/personal development and antiques collecting for a range of other titles, including BlueWings, the in-flight magazine of Finn Air.

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