Selling Flower Photography – Tips for Taking Pictures That Sell Quickly

Flowers are a perfect subject to photograph. The depth and variety of colours, shapes and contrasts are all there for the budding photographer to capture forever. However, what flower or flower arrangement are you going to choose for your subject? Do you choose a single sunflower against a contrasting background or is your choice more towards an artfully arranged bouquet of country garden flowers? Rather than an artificial studio setting, you may feel that an early morning outside shot with dewy flowers would do justice to your work. Whatever you choose, there are few simple measures you can adopt to give you that WOW shot that is going to sell quickly.

Getting that perfect shot

Camera equipment

When it comes to camera equipment, I would recommend a DSLR camera so that you can use a wide angle lens for glorious floral landscapes, then change to a standard 50mm lens for really sharp shots, or being able to change to a macro lens which gives spectacularly close up photos. A tripod is necessary in a lot of instances when you photograph flowers, either because of wide aperture, low shutter speed shots or when shooting with a macro lens. A tripod also gives you time to compose your photo, and if you choose a tripod with splayed legs, you can shoot really close to ground level for different perspective shots. Adding a reflector can enhance those outdoor shots where a little more detail is required in the shadows. In the studio, using moderated lighting such as with soft boxes to provide a softer more diffused lighting as opposed to stark, direct flash light.

Camera settings

Set ISO to the lowest setting of 100 or 200 to reduce noise elements in your photo. Shoot in RAW as opposed to a JPEG format so that you have the maximum amount of picture information to work with. Set White Balance to auto or use a grey card to determine the correct white balance. Use small apertures to maximize depth of field, and use wide apertures to blur a background, allowing your image to really stand out.

Composition

Use the rule of thirds to produce a professional looking photograph, as opposed to having your subject in the centre of the photo which can make the result look boring. Use both horizontal and vertical formats when composing your shot. Tall plants look great in a vertical format while wide plants are more suited to a horizontal view. It’s worth noting that there are more vertical shots in magazines, so be prepared to use both formats. While not strictly a factor in composition, adding a few drops of water from a spray bottle gives that morning dew freshness look to your photo.

Focus

As in all forms of photography, sharp focus is the key to achieving great results. In macro photography of flowers, because the depth of field is so small, one or two millimeters can make all the difference as to whether your flower subject is completely in focus or only part of it. If outside, choose early morning, not only for the “golden hour” but also because there are fewer breezes at this time of day to spoil your ability to achieve pin point focus. If you want to avoid the possibility of wind movement spoiling your shot, then consider a studio shot where you can control the environment. I often choose manual focus with live view, using the zoom control to close right in on the detail and of course, with the camera on a tripod. With autofocus, there is a tendency for the camera to “hunt’ and you may have difficulty finding a focus point. I regularly use an adapter rail between the tripod and the camera where I can use two sliders to provide fine movement control in two planes. Sometimes an abstract quality can be produced by going in really close and focusing on say the stamens or the texture or pattern of the flower. With your camera mounted on a tripod you should then attach a cable release or use a remote shutter release. This enables you to fire the shutter without risking camera movement as a result of you pressing down on the shutter release button.

Angle of view

Some flowers are much more interesting from a different angle of view than the typical straight on view, because of their size, shape, colours and patterns. Whatever makes the shot more interesting will dictate at what angle to shoot from. Try shooting from below for a change.

Selling your photos to stock photo sites

Selling your photos involves a few factors that you need to take into consideration. First of all, research the stock photo sites to gauge what photo subjects are in demand and also what the rate of payment is per image downloaded.

Which Stock photo sites?

Here are some of the more popular stock photo agency sites for you to consider. Dreamstime pays out on average $1 per image, depending on the size of the image that is downloaded. You can also make an extra 10% if you choose to sell any images exclusively through Dreamstime. There is also the Shutterstock site which only pays out about 25 cents per download, but it does have a large member base. IStockphoto is also a very popular stock photo agency with a lot of website traffic. Submitting your image to BigStockPhoto can make between 50 cents to $3 per download. There are some conditions to be met with some of these agencies, so it is as well to be prepared.

Submitting images to these sites

Here are some tips you might find useful when submitting you images to stock photo web sites:

  1. Find out the scientific or Latin name of the flower, as well as its common name. Include the name in keywords to assist with searches. This helps if you want your images in magazines or books.
  2. Check out an agency’s list of image requirements. There is usually a link on their site.
  3. Stock photo agency sites want clean and simple images and no artwork, unless required.
  4. Shoot lots of images of different flowers. The more you submit to agencies, the more chance you have of making money. You can submit the same image to more than one agency because they have different customer bases and one agency may accept your image, while other agencies may not.
  5. Shoot images in as high a resolution as possible. Agencies are often looking for images as large as 5 – 10 Megapixels.
  6. Set your ISO to the lowest number when taking the image to avoid noise. Any noise in the photo will cause the agency to reject your photo.
  7. When taking your shot, allow some space around the subject so that agencies can add text if they wish.
  8. Don’t get put off by rejections. Often the agencies will provide you with a reason for the rejection, e.g. they have enough of this type of image.

Flower Photography – How To Take Good Natural Flower Photos (Pt 2)

Flowers are a popular subject for photographs, but how can you take good photos that really show off the beauty of a flower? Continuing on from part 1, this article covers several more tips to help you take amazing flower photos. The tips cover photographing flowers in their natural surroundings, rather than photographing flowers in a vase or a flower arrangement, which is quite a different affair.

Use a reflector or flash to fill in shadows and help light the flower

If you are photographing a flower where the front of the flower isn’t directly lit by sunlight, you can use a reflector or a small amount of fill-flash to help light the flower. You can purchase commercially made reflectors, or make your own by sticking a large sheet of kitchen foil to a piece of cardboard.

Place the reflector so that it reflects light back onto the flower. As well as helping to light the flower, since the light will be reflected from a different direction to the main light, it can help fill in harsh shadows on the flower.

As an alternative to a reflector, or in addition, you may also consider using fill-flash to help light the flower and fill in dark shadows. Make sure you have your flash set at low power, as you only want the flash to contribute a small amount of light to the scene, not become the main light source.

Get in close

If your camera has a macro mode, or you have a DSLR with a macro lens, try getting in close and filling the frame with the flower. And then try getting even closer to isolate just part of the flower. You can find some great abstract compositions when focusing on only a very small part of a flower.

When taking close-ups or macro photographs of flowers, you may need to use flash or long shutter speeds to illuminate the flower. At these very close distances, flash will usually appear relatively soft, and more like natural light.

Prevent the wind ruining your photo

A big problem when taking photos of flowers is that they blow about in the wind. This can cause problems in composing your photo if the flower is constantly moving about. And it will also result in a blurry photo if your shutter speed is not high enough to freeze the motion of the flower.

One thing you can do is to set up a wind break between the flower and the wind. You don’t need to lug a full size wind break around with you though. If you have a tripod and diffuser or reflector with you, you can place the tripod between the flower and the wind, and then rest the diffuser or reflector up against the tripod’s legs. So long as you’re not photographing a tall flower, this should act as a decent windbreak.

Another thing you can do is to secure the flower using an accessory known as a plamp (short for plant clamp). This is a small bendable arm with clamps on both ends. One end clamps to your tripod leg, and the other end clamps onto the flower. This stops the flower blowing about in the wind.

Use backlighting to your advantage

The large majority of flowers have relatively thin petals, and so can make a great photo when backlit. The light shines through the petals, giving them quite a different look to a standard photo.

Look at the flower condition and remove any distractions

There are exceptions to everything, but in the large majority of cases, a photo of an undamaged flower will look nicer than that of a damaged one. If you are in an area with lots of the same flowers, take your time to look at a few of the flowers and try to find the one that is in the best condition.

Pay attention also to what is surrounding the flower, and try to avoid including other elements (such as a random blade of grass) that distract from the flower. Sometimes you may be able to change the angle you are photographing at to remove the distracting elements.

Other times you may need to squash down or remove the distracting elements. If you are photographing outside of your garden, be careful what you are removing though.

Isolate the flower from its surroundings

Set your camera / lens to use a large aperture (e.g. f/2.8) when photographing the flower to help throw the background out of focus. If the space permits, also try using a lens with a longer focal length or zooming in on your camera, and taking the photo from further away. This change in perspective helps to isolate the flower from the rest of the scene.

Flower Photos

Whether it’s summer or the middle of the winter, beautiful flower photos are always appreciated because they are inspiring and they are expressing the beauty of nature, with their rich colours and various shapes and forms. Flowers bring joy and happiness and they make perfect photographic subjects because of their wide variety and accessibility, since you can find them anywhere.

There are so many types of flowers that they can’t even be enumerated. Nevertheless, flower photos with roses, lilies, orchids, tulips, daisies, pansies or sunflowers are one the most popular ones. Everyone loves flowers because their beautiful simplicity and the emotions they are conveying. Just looking at flower photos, you can brighten up your day in just a few moments and this is because their miraculous benefits to mind relaxation.

Flowers are an essential part of our spiritual growth and an inspiration for millions of people. They bring enlightenment and self realization in our lives in all their amazing forms and with their wonderful scents. So whenever you feel the need of inspiration and relaxation, you can take a few moments of your time and start browsing for flower photos. You will be amazed how many can be out there on the internet. If you want the sight to last longer, you can opt for downloading them into your computer or to decorate your display with amazing flower wallpapers. They come in many sizes and resolutions to fit any screen, wide or standard.

If you’re a photography passionate and you like taking shots of flowers, than you should know that they are an infinite subject. You can upload your photos on many websites to share that wonderful experience with all those flower lovers all around the world. And you can do that by signing up for a premium account on different websites with photos and wallpapers that offer this opportunity. The advantages of such a premium membership are several. You can upload all the photos you want without worrying about space limitations because with a premium account you have unlimited storage space. Furthermore, as a premium member you can get access to many features like access to many high definition pictures or photo editing effects. And all these at a very low cost that will certainly be worthy. So what are you waiting for? Start uploading your amazing flower photos and let other people relax and enjoy that stunning beauty.

At the sight of a flower, anyone’s heart is touch in a different way. People search on the internet for flower photos because they can cheer a gloomy face, lift a depressed heart or make the love flourish. Either professional or amateur, each photographer captures flowers in his unique way. But whatever the way they are being taken, flower photos provide a source of peace and calm with their bright and colourful shapes. The beauty of flowers can be uplifting and they can have a different impact on each person. So if you’re looking for an amazing visual experience, try searching for flower photos to make your day.