AD/PR → This is a brand collaboration. While I have been compensated my opinions are mine and always true to my experience. ♥ Bee
Flower portrait photography is some of my favourite type of photography. It’s so creative, diverse and beautiful and however or whatever you do floral portraits always end up looking stunning. But it’s often hard to know where to start or what to do as the options are so endless. In this article, I’m going to walk you through some ideas and some tips and tricks for flower portrait photography so you can get the best out of any flower portrait photoshoot you do.
What is flower portrait photography?
Quite simply it’s a picture of a person with flowers in. It’s normally their face but it doesn’t have to be it; could be an arm or leg. It’s generally a close-up photo with the emphasis on the flowers rather than the person. The flowers are the real star in these floral portraits with the person merely the prop.
Flower portraits are different than a picture of a person in say a field of flowers; these would be classed more as a landscape or travel photography. The difference is that the star of the show is a person, whereas a flower portrait is something else.
What I love about flower portrait photography
For me what I love most is that each flower has a different vibe, each flower or bunch of flowers give a photo a different identity. You can very quickly produce something amazing with very little effort and the options are endless.
You can go bright, dark, soft or hard; there really is a flower for every type of situation, vibe and feel that you want to portray.
Different types of flower portrait photography
Below I have listed some of the different types of floral portraits I have tried and a few I haven’t. It is not an exhaustive list by any means and if you take a look at this Pinterest board you will see how many options there are. In this article, I will not be going over milk bath photography as I have covered that in another article. And if you are stuck here are some tips on getting creative.
Types of flower portrait photography.
This is probably one of the easiest flower portraits to do. You simply buy a beautiful bouquet of flowers and hold it. It’s as simple as it sounds. The way you hold it is entirely up to you. I’ve held mine in front of my face and to the side. These are always striking photos and the better the bunch of flowers and the more colour, the better. If the colours contrast and match your clothing, even better. And for some added oomph you could stand in front of a coloured wall or backdrop.
What I found while taking these photos is that the flower bunch tends to need to be big and beautiful, so while these may be the easiest to do they can also be the most expensive.
You see a lot of these types of portraits, some are close up and some are far away, some have the flowers blurred, some not. They can be tricky to get right and often I Photoshop these, but with a few tries you can get them.
The good thing about these pictures is that you can use any flowers, so if the cost is an issue these photos might be the ones for you.
You will need a friend or a tripod and a timer. Then you just throw the flowers and snap away. Try and throw them up and towards the camera, if that makes sense, but you also want to make sure they are not covering your face. This is why they can be tricky to get right. People will often use several photos put together in Photoshop to get the desired effect.
You can also have someone hold a few flowers around the camera lens for a great effect.
You will need a bit of time to get these ones right and I tend to get so frustrated that I stay away from these. However, done well they are very stunning.
I have done a few of these and while they are beautiful for me they are just not creative enough. However, if beauty skips creativity in your book then these are for you.
I’ve done these several ways. I have done them with a flower crown that was made for me; yes, this was expensive but it was for an ad paid for by the brand.
I have done one by literally just pinning and trying flowers onto my head. It was tricky but we got the picture quickly so they didn’t have time to fall off.
I’ve also seen people use fake flower crowns too.
These photos look stunning but it’s quite hard to make them not look like you are a bridesmaid.
Again I’ve done a lot of this and while they are often very uncomfortable they always look incredible.
The most popular is flowers in the boots, somewhat of a trend on Instagram. They always look great and do well.
I’ve also done it several times by putting them down the front of my trousers, which is as uncomfortable as it sounds. The flowers end up looking like a top and the effect is very eye-catching.
I’ve also lain in bed with a bunch of flowers or on a bed of books. These photos look stunning and the idea is to make people look twice as the flowers are where they are not supposed to be.
You might see this when people use flowers walls and they really do look beautiful, but let’s face it, we don’t all have a flower wall to hand.
I’ve achieved a similar effect by creating almost a bed of flowers and laying on it. This sounded easy and was way harder than we thought it would be, probably the longest picture to set up we have ever taken and it ended up super-expensive.
Also, I have made a petal bed on books like the iconic picture from American Beauty. This again took ages and needed three people to create so to say these are not easy would be an understatement.
If you have the time, money and patience though these are beautiful and do look very dramatic.
I tend to not do this a lot, mainly because I don’t have a lot of fake flowers. However, we did recreate a famous vogue cover once, all achieved with fake flowers and it ended up looking amazing.
The good thing about fake flowers is that you can bend them and make them form shapes easier than real ones. The one you see here was achieved with wire, clips and lots of fake flowers. We never manage to untangle it though and it sits in a bag today, so it ended up being an expensive lesson.
However, if you are more careful than me the good thing is that you can use the flowers again.
There are as many ways to do this as your imagination will allow.
There are some on my Pinterest board, but essentially what they involve is sticking petals or flowers to your face somehow.
I haven’t done these yet but if I was going to I’d use something like a Pritt stick, I’ve used that a lot to stick book pages on so I’m assuming it would work with these too. I’ll have to try it and update this article.
There are probably many more flower portraits photography ideas but these I feel are the main ones. Like I’ve said, you are only really stopped by your imagination.
Things I’ve learnt that will help with your flower photography photoshoot.
- The fresher the flowers, the better the photograph.
- We always try and come up with a few ideas at the same time so we get the use out of the flowers and if you put the flowers in some water in the fridge they will last much longer. Flowers can be expensive so make sure you get as much use out of them as possible.
- They always take longer than you think. Flowers tend to not do as they are told so you always need longer.
- Pick your flowers carefully; a fun flower with a dreamy pose just won’t work. The pose needs to match the type of flower so think about the feeling you are trying to create and the pose before you pick your flowers.
- The more unusual the flower the better the effect, this goes without saying really but the big, bold, unusual flowers make an amazing picture.
- Think about where the flower looks most beautiful from. I know this is a strange thing to do but there are many times we have bought amazing flowers and they don’t photograph well from the side, only from above. You need to think about this before you take the picture.
- Think about your clothing and how it complements the flowers; this can really make a photo pop.
- Think colour; from my experience the coloured flowers end up photographing much better, the deeper the colour often the better the photo. Obviously this depends on the look you are going for but make sure you pick colours carefully.
- I love posing with flowers as they provide so much interest. You’ll notice that in most of my flower photos, I hardly ever look at the camera. This is intentional. This gives photos are dream-like feel and makes you wonder what the person in the photo is looking at.
- In terms of the editing, the aim is to always make the flowers stand out, so I’ll edit to make the flowers pop. A lot of the time, this means upping the saturation.
I hope I’ve convinced you to have a go at flower portrait photography. I’d love to see your creations, so please tag me on Instagram and use the hashtag #beemademedoit so I can take a look.
If you have any questions on flower portrait photography then please do not hesitate to ask below.