Still life photography with plants around the home

Create The Space

I see decorating like a big Ikebana. Size, shape texture and colour to be balanced. Arrangements tell are story or are harmonious.

Found objects and vase of poppies
Found objects and vase of poppies
Succulents in pots and old timber board
Succulents in pots and old timber board

I’m going to show you how I decorate and photograph flowers and plants.

Poppies in vintage bottles with linen and birds nest
Poppies in vintage bottles with linen and birds nest
Succulent collection
Succulent collection

Since I started taking more more photos of flowers, I have discovered the true value of having them around the house. Not only bringing beauty inside, but colour and scent too. 

Pot plants, succulents in jars, bonsais, a few flowers picked, from the garden or a bunch from the markets. Everything comes in.

Our house is very neutral-toned, so it’s a perfect canvas for the explosion of colour a vase of pink lilies or poppies bring. Even just foliage brings warmth and charm to the house. 

Succulents wrapped in Japanese news paper on old stool
Succulents wrapped in Japanese news paper on old stool
Simple arrangement
Simple arrangement

It’s so nice to bring nature indoors, especially in winter, when you don’t get to sit in the garden. I’ll just drag plants indoors for a week and rotate them around the house. Instead of planting, I’m moving towards more potted plants just for the convenience of bringing them inside.

As an added bonus is, when plants are in pots, my dog can’t dig them up. Bruce!

I love collecting old bottles and props (although I have to move something out of the house if something comes in– it’s our minimalist rule!) so I put everything in old pots and bottles now. If something is just in a plastic pot, I stick the whole pot in a old paper bag, or wrap Japanese newspaper around the pot and tie it with some string. Super simple and effective.

Lilies in a simple glass vase
Lilies in a simple glass vase

Photographing Plants Indoors

  1. All photos here were taken in natural light. Find the best part of the day to shoot in each room of your house. For me, it is morning in the lounge room, lunchtime in the kitchen and late afternoon for the bathroom.
  2. Take your time to arrange all your items, pots and vases
  3. By deciding on the time of day, you can then know if you are going to shoot dark and moody or bright and fresh.
  4. Use a slower shutter speed or just ramp up the ISO. Most cameras will not introduce noticeable noise until you get to ISO 8000.
  5. Use a cable release and a longer shutter speed. It is also handy when you are arranging items and don’t have to move behind the camera for every shot.
  6. Think like an home/ lifestyle magazine photographer or a set decorator.

I hope you have enjoyed having a look at our cute home and given you some ideas for decorating and photographing flowers and plants. 

Get those plants inside!

Thanks for joining me and best wishes until next time.

Don

Just Make The (Photographic) Effort!

My partner and I are on holidays on the South Coast- three hours south of Sydney in the sleepy town of Culburra Beach. It has become a twice-yearly ritual to get away from the city and relax.

Bruce gets to bark at the birds, we get to make a roaring open fire and eat hot chips and drink champagne. 

It is also a wonderful opportunity to photograph the beautiful landscape and spectacular sunsets. Even more amazingly, I videoed the process too- please check out the video. This  is my first video. 

In the video I touch on making the effort to just go out and shoot. But really, that principle could apply to one hundred different things. I have a list (on Asana-a great app) and the thing at the top of the list that I don’t do is usually the most important thing to do. 

Moving To WordPress

Thanks for joining me!

Moving to WordPress from Format for several reasons. WordPress has better templates (even this free one is better than the Format one), WordPress is 1/4 of the price, I have more control over the layout with WordPress, the widgets and embedding tools are way better and WordPress has better SEO integration. Another reason, and this is important, is my partner uses WordPress. We can now share knowledge. If you want to know what a cake-eating Clairvoyant does, check out her page here: Denise Litchfield.

Here is what to expect: Bi-monthly photography blog posts with tips and budget-pinching techniques, inspiration and motivation stories and ideas, creativity tips and a few good rants thrown in.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Don

Welcome to my new blog! Why I moved away from Format web-builder.
Kings Cross, Sydney.