Although house indoor house plants have been popular for hundreds of years, the whole urban jungle trend has really taken it to the next level and taken off over the last decade or so. With the explosion of blogging and Instagram, a large number of people like to take the best possible photographs of their indoor plants to share them with the world.
Every single month we see more and more people reaching out and asking questions based on “how do you take pictures of indoor plants?” so we have decided to dedicate this article to the subject. Our hope is that we will be able to help you get the best possible photographs of your indoor plants and that it won’t matter if you are using the camera on your smartphone or a high-end professional DSLR.
In fact, some of our favorite photographs of house plants have been captured using a smartphone camera so with a little patience, you really can get some great pictures. We have tried to include as many general photographs as possible in an attempt to ensure that we are able to help as many of our readers as possible.
That said, some of them are a little more specific than others so remember to factor in your own goals when you are capturing your photographs of your indoor plants. Only implement our tips and tricks that are directly applicable to you and dont worry about wasting excessive time for that extra little thing that may only make a small improvement to the photograph.
We have found that as with most things in life, you can get eighty percent of the results within twenty percent of the time and plant photography is no different. Although if you are a professional blogger or Instagrammer, it may be worth taking the time to get that extra twenty percent of image quality, in our experience, it usually takes around eight percent of the time and is not worth it for most people.
Lighting Lighting Lighting
As you can probably guess, the most important thing that you are able to do to improve your image quality for your photographs of your indoor plants is to ensure that you are getting the best lighting possible. In our opinion, this will definitely offer you the most bang for your buck, especially if you are using your smartphone to capture the photograph as smartphones can have a hard time in low light.
Now, we arnt recommending that you go out and get yourself a professional lighting rig, doing something as simple as placing your indoor plant in direct sunlight from the window or moving anything that maybe casting a shadow on it will do. If you do have decent overhead lighting in some of the rooms in your house that sits well on something that you can rest your indoor plants on like a niche table then even better.
This only takes you a second and even though this may not be where you will usually keep your plant, it can work wonders when it comes to the lighting and ensuring that you get the best photograph possible. Many people think that using their flash will help with this situation but a sudden, high burst of light for plants can often spoil your photograph. Don’t get us wrong, try a few photographs with your camera flash but usually, you will be much better without it.
Get A Suitable Lens
Although you are able to get some great removable smartphone lenses for cheap these days that can really help improve the photographs that you are able to capture with your smartphone, they are usually only really worth doing for anyone who needs high quality photographs of their indoor plants. The majority of our readers can probably do without unless you plan to use the lenses in other photography niches with your smartphone too.
If you are using a point and shoot camera then you are pretty much stuck due to the perminantley mounted lens but if you are using a mirrorless or DSLR then you have options. That said though, a variable zoom lens will probably be your best option as it will let you capture different types of photographs of your indoor plants.
If you are wanting extreme close ups that show great detail then a macro lens for your camera or smartphone is the obvious option though but it is a bit niche and can be expensive. A wider angle lens is usually the best option in our opinion though so you can capture the surroundings in your house and use the lens in more situations.
Next up we have positioning and although we kind of touched on it a little above, this can also make a surprising difference when it comes to the quality of your photographs of your indoor plants. Thankfully, just like the lighting, this one is free, quick, and easy to do too!
As we mentioned above, try to ensure that you remove anything that may cast a shadow onto your plants prior to taking the photograph. There are also other things that you can do like remove anything that may either draw the eye away from your plants or lower the tone of the photograph too.
For example, if you have young children in the house, you may randomly find lego or other small toys in your plant pots so have a quick look before capturing your photograph. Try to rotate the position of your plants too when taking your photographs to try different angles as the light can hit them in different ways totally changing the way that they look too.
Pose Your Plants
This is another one that is free, quick, and easy yet often overlooked but offers a solid benefit for your photograph making it well worth doing. Take the photograph above for example, those plants have been specifically posed in that way to mix the various colours and plant types to mix it up a little.
You are able to get really creative when it comes to posing your indoor plants for your photography sessions if you think outside of the box too. Depending on what you have at hand, there is often other household items that some people add to the photograph for effect too.
For example, there was a trend where people would put a cup of fancy coffee inside the doughnut style plant pots with the hole in the middle for a few months but that seems to have slowed down as its not as popular on social media these days. Although we have seen some people add glitter and other “accessories” to their indoor plants, we would not recommend this as it may harm your plants or cause issues with their soil.
Prune Your Plants
Again, this is another free, fast, and easy thing that you are able to do to improve the photographs that you are able to capture but take a minute or two to prune your indoor plants prior to photographing them. Removing dead leaves, flowers, and petals can really help to bring everything togeather.
Additionally, even petals or leaves that are starting to turn brown or fade can sometimes be removed too as they can draw the eye and end up spoiling your otherwise perfect photograph.
Check Your Focus
This is actually a really common problem as many people who we see looking for advice on capturing better photographs of their indoor plants are not professional photographers. If you are using your smartphone to capture your indoor plant photographs then at last make sure you give your auto focus system a few seconds to focus in correctly.
Modern smartphones actually have some excellent camera technology on them and the auto focus systems on from the last few years can pretty much match a point and shoot camera with ease. That said, people tend to be a little too keen to capture that photograph and can end up with a few blurred photographs when initially setting up for their photography session. Try to get into the habit of waiting a few seconds each time to let your auto focus do its thing as it will improve your image quality.
On the flip side of this though, if you are using a mirrorless camera or a DSLR then try using your manual focus when taking the photographs of your indoor plants. Our regular readers know we are huge fans of using manual focus and it can end up letting you play around with things such as bokeh or just let you get a sharper photograph.
Tweak Your Camera Settings
Although you are pretty limited in what you are able to do when it comes to a smartphone, there are some decent photography apps that you can download that offer great custom control of your smartphone camera. If you are using a point and shoot, mirrorless, or DSLR camera body then they offer some excellent custom control of their settings right out the box.
We would highly recommend that you play around with your camera settings when you get a chance as even a slight change can result in a vast change in the actual photograph. In addition to this, Sony, Nikon, and Canon all have slightly different color replication just like Apple and Samsung do too.
As we mentioned back at the start of the article though, this is one of those things where the majority of our readers can probably do without as it can take a fair amount of time. That said though, if you are a blogger or an Instagrammer then this is well worth doing as knowing what even the slightest tweak to your camera settings can do will be helpful in many photography niches.
Follow The Rule Of Thirds
The rule of thirds can be incorporated into your photographs of your indoor plants in a number of different ways and it is quick and easy to do. All modern smartphones, point and shoot, mirrorless, and DSLR cameras offer a grid overlay that you are able to turn on to use the rule of thirds too.
That said though, rathe than go into it more in this article when there are literally hundreds of full guides on it online, we will just recommend that you do a quick Google search for the rule of thirds if you are not familiar with it. Although you will probably have another five minutes or so of reading, it really can be worth it if you are planning to be taking photographs of your indoor plants on a regular basis.