Professional Photographer Shares Tips on Capturing Perfect Floral Photos With iPhone 12

Looking to shoot better floral photos with your iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro Max?

In a new Apple press release, Nathan Underwood of Tulipina, one of the world’s leading floral design studios, has shared a number of tips on how he’s able to incorporate the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max into his professional workflow capturing incredible floral photographs at home.

First, Underwood notes that one of the most important steps in taking great flower photos is the setup, a combination of lighting and background:

Everything begins with lighting. Look for diffused natural light, ideally coming from the side. If indoors, this typically comes by setting up about 0.5 to 1 meter from a window. If outdoors, find a space with even light, avoiding hotspots and shadows. Often this means looking for a spot with consistent shade.

The next component is the background, which is as simple as finding a neutral background (grays and blues work great) with minimal pattern. Avoid brick, stripes, dots, and other distracting patterns. The subject should really pop, and this combination of lighting and background does the trick.

The photographer goes on to explain that in order to capture a really stunning photograph, framing is crucial:

For still lifes, framing the shot is key. While you can crop later, getting a correctly framed shot from the right angle and perspective is critical for ensuring that you have the best photo to work with. With iPhone, I nearly always choose the lens with the closest focal distance. On iPhone 12 Pro models, this is the Telephoto camera.

When framing a floral arrangement, place the subject in the center and make sure that the frame is evenly filled. I tend to handhold cameras, including iPhone, and use a slight downward angle (just a few degrees) from head-on with my subject. This ensures that you can see the vase, but also get great depth and dimensionality from the flowers, which are the stars.

One of the iPhone’s coolest and most useful photography tool is Portrait Mode, and Underwood explains why the feature is perfect for capturing floral pictures:

For shots that are going from camera to edit to upload, I love Portrait mode, as seen in the photo below, which is available on all iPhone 12 models. Portrait mode captures an incredible sense of depth that can be manipulated when editing in the Photos app, allowing for an amazing array of creativity. This is especially useful when shooting floral arrangements, given their complexity and dimensionality. If you are new to photographing still lifes, Portrait mode is your best friend.

The final step, Underwood explains, is editing the photo after it’s captured, and he gives a number of tips on how to make that good photograph great:

To find these tools in the Edit workflow in Photos, tap a photo to view it in full screen and then tap the dial icon on the bottom and swipe through all the various options.
  • Crop the photo as needed so that the flowers are filling the entire frame, making them as “in your face” as possible.
  • Small increases in exposure brighten the frame and allow the arrangement to pop, especially on a mobile screen.
  • For floral arrangements and other colorful still lifes, bumping the saturation a small amount (less than 10) further pops the colors and allows them to stand out.
  • Finally, adjust the warmth of the photo. Generally this means cooling down the image just slightly for an elegant calming effect that’s also still very true true to life.

Have any photography tips for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max users? Let us know in the comments below.