You probably know that houseplants are becoming increasingly popular, but you probably didn’t know how easy plant photography on your phone is. It’s a niche worth working in! In fact, there’s an entire massive Instagram community for indoor plant lovers.
But maybe you prefer your plants outdoors. Perhaps the wildflowers you see growing along the trail on your weekend hike inspire your creativity, but you feel a pang of disappointment. Plant photography is something that can only be done by DSLR photographers, right?
Whether you’re a longtime plant lover or simply looking for a new subject, plant photography is a great way to sharpen your mobile phone photography skills.
With the right accessories and techniques, you can take stunning plant photos with your smartphone. No expensive camera required!
The Importance of Lighting When Photographing Plants With Your Phone
Good lighting can make or break your plant photos, but the challenges you face here will depend on the location of your subjects. If you’re using your mobile phone to photograph plants outdoors, you’ll need to work with mother nature to get the right lighting. Beautiful photos of indoor houseplants may require a little more effort.
For outdoor plant photography, avoid taking photos in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest point. The lighting at this point of the day tends to be too harsh for good photos, and your photo may appear washed out. Getting a decent photo without severe shadows can also be a challenge in the midday sun.
Instead, try to schedule your plant photography sessions during the golden hour, around sunset or sunrise. The light at these times will be softer and warmer, which can enhance the colors of your plants. The enhancement of color is especially true if you’re photographing orange, yellow, or red plants and flowers.
Just because it’s overcast doesn’t mean you can’t photograph your favorite plants! A little cloud cover might just create the perfect lighting, especially for cooler colored flowers or plants.
Of course, if the outdoor plants you’re trying to photograph with your smartphone are planted in pots, you can simply move them around your outdoor space to get the perfect lighting.
If your goal is to capture beautiful images of your indoor jungle, you may need to add a little light. Obviously, having bright natural light in your space is beneficial to both your plants and your photography, but a little fill light may be necessary.
Recommended Gear for Photographing Plants With a Phone
If you’re ready to step up your smartphone plant photography game, one of your first steps should be investing in lenses. Sure, the lens on your phone’s camera will take great pictures, but you can do so much more by using a clip-on lens.
One lens, in particular, you might consider for plant photography is the macro lens. You may have noticed that your images tend to be a bit blurry if you get too close to your subject. But with a high-quality macro lens, such as what you can get in this lens kit from Olloclip, you can be sure your close-ups are always in focus.
If you’re photographing indoor plants with your mobile phone, you may need to add a little extra light. Instead of using the harsh flash on your phone’s camera, consider an external light source such as a ring light.
This ring light by UBeesize is an excellent option as it combines a light source with a tripod, which means you’ll have less gear to haul around your garden.
When it comes to smartphone plant photography, you want the sharpest photos possible. To accomplish this, most experts recommend using a tripod to eliminate camera shake. If you’ve never used a tripod with your mobile phone before, here’s why you should invest in one.
Using a tripod to keep your plant photos sharp is excellent, but if you’re using your finger to press the shutter on your phone, you’re putting your perfect plant photo at risk. Using a shutter remote will keep your hands off your smartphone so you can take flawless pictures of your favorite plants.
All the options in the link above include a phone shutter remote, but if you’re interested in a higher-tech option, then check this out!
Tips And Techniques For Plant Photography With A Phone
Don’t be afraid to get close to your plants, especially if you’re doing macro phone photography a macro lens. Whether you’re photographing succulents or flower gardens, plants abound with distinctive colors, textures, and patterns. Getting up close and personal with your plants will allow you to capture the details that make each species unique.
As you’re taking your photos, don’t forget about your backdrop. You don’t want to capture the perfect flower photo only to discover later that you left your gardening tools out. Try taking a photo or two and then taking a quick look at them to make sure your backdrop isn’t too cluttered or distracting (this idea also works for phone food photography by the way).
If you’re photographing potted plants, try moving them around to different areas. By experimenting with various backdrops or lighting, you might find a way to see everyday plants in a new light.
While you’re experimenting, try taking photos with different depths of field. Use a wider aperture to soften a distracting background and bring the focus on a single plant. Or take a few pictures at f/22 to keep the focus on the entire plant or group of plants. Just remember, the sharpest area in your photo will be what viewers focus on, so make it count!
One of the best ways to ensure you get a good photo of your plants is to take plenty of pictures. Try experimenting with different angles. The more pictures you take now, the more you’ll have to choose from later.
To get the most out of your smartphone’s photography capabilities, consider using a third-party camera app, rather than the one that comes on your phone. Many third-party camera apps give you nearly as much control over your photos as with a DSLR, so they can really take your mobile phone photography to the next level.
Once you’ve captured the perfect image, you’ll want to really make those plants pop by downloading an editing app. Here are some of the best apps for editing your photos. Sometimes just a subtle adjustment in exposure or contrast is enough to make your already stunning image even better.