Q&A :: Photographing Floral Designs

The Question:

I’m fairly new to the professional floral industry and have recently joined forces with a shop that has been going strong since the mid-eighties. With my background and experience in marketing I’ve been working hard to bring this veteran shop up to speed with the online world.

A huge part of this industry depends on photographed images of past and present designs, as you well know.
Any tips on staging our arrangements and designs so as to look more professional and advertise our work better? We’re currently having to use photoshop to clean up our make-shift backdrops, etc. Too much work…
Designer in Washington

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The Answers:

Good for you! I’d try to dedicate a well-lit spot to photographing the arrangements and make your backgrounds a little less makeshift. At the very least, make yourself a portable standard backdrop to match your brand that you use for all your images so they are consistent. Turn off the flash and just use natural light, but avoid super-bright outside sunshine. If you have a DSLR camera, a 50mm lens is definitely worth the investment. That thing has completely leveled up my pictures.

anastasia ehlers, Oregon

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I’ve been struggling with staging photos because of limited space. Recently, a middle of the night thought came and awoke me from my sleep. I have limited space, but LOVE the natural light my back yard brings. I have a bland back yard. And don’t want to add staging areas that are permanent. I am making 3’x’3′ backdrop boards of thin plywood. Attaching things like textured wallpaper, tile, whitewash, etc. Something different for both sides. I’ll bring in things like limestone rocks, an old stump or log, pretty flower pot, etc to aid in the propping of the bouquets. Easy, simple & inexpensive. I’m in the process of making props now…and would be happy to share the finished product later. Always look for natural light & use that to your advantage. And most importantly, invest in a good camera and photography class.

Jessica of Blooms ‘n Blossoms, Kentucky

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Carve out a space in the shop/studio that can be exclusively for taking photograph’s of your work. Make sure the space has a good light source (natural lighting would be ideal). Paint the wall a nice neutral color so you have a clean, consistent backdrop for the images. An exposed brick or painted brick wall would be great too! Use a prop of some kind if needed for photographing hand tied bouquets. Incorporate taking a picture of each arrangement and/or bouquet as part of the design process. Once the design is made it goes to the photographing space for a picture and then into the cooler or out for delivery. At the end of each day or week review all the images and select the ones you feel best reflect your work and upload them to your website or other social media platform. This could become a weekly blog post or a separate tab showing your clients what you’ve been up to that day or week. Showcase a new style or design that you’d like to start selling. Having a camera mounted on a tripod may also be helpful so it’s already set and ready to go and you just have to turn it on!

Alicia of Alicia Jayne Florals, Maryland

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If you are working with everyday designs especially for website ordering, then purchase a light cube. They are easy to set-up and will do wonders for highlighting your gorgeous designs! And, if you are near a well-light window giving you a plethora of natural light you won’t have to invest in the lighting. Just a few tweaks in photoshop and it will be fab!

Christi of Bergeron’s Florist, Virginia

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Very simple to handle image taking…..you don’t even have to have an expensive camera! Set up an area in the shop where you can hang a white back round (even a sheet works). Make sure it covers the back area, then flows underneath where the design will be placed. Natural light is always the best, but you can buy a great set of lighted photo umbrellas from Amazon for about $60.00. Or you can purchase inexpensive flood light clip on lights. Just remember to use at least two angled up and to the sides of the area, facing towards the design. Lighting and back round are crucial so the color and texture of the design is the best it can be, and having the least shadows is important as well. You can also use a stone wall, or outdoor area that has good, natural lighting. Some brick walls look great as well. With the white back round, the goal is for the white to face out and the beauty of the design to show up. The best place to see great images and back rounds is on Pinterest. Once you start doing it, you’ll be addicted! Now go create and have fun…..

Flowers by Joe Guggia, California

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The simplest things I can suggest would be a smooth heavy canvas drop cloth or a large chalkboard hanging on a north wall with a pedestal or table underneath. A great stone wall in my mind would be really great. Make it plenty large so that you are not limited by size.

Laurie of Fleurie, California

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Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com

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Comments

  1. Hi there, this is wonderful to hear. All power to local florists of the world!

    I recently had images done for my florist shop in Toowoomba, Australia. For months I laboured over whether to do a photo shoot in someone’s house, well my own, or have the photos taken, given to a graphic designer, and then uploaded to me website. The question was; ‘lifestyle’ versus ‘look’ product photographs?

    In the end I chose to go for ‘look’ over ‘lifestyle’ photography. I feel that ‘lifestyle’ photography has its benefits, that is, it allows a potential customer to see how the flower may look when sitting on a table in a home.

    Also beware of the costs, they can be crippling. However, if you plan to have your website for 5 or more years, you should easily make it a profitable decision.

    I feel like I have made the right decision for my business and I am really happy with the results, but understand that it may not suit everyone.

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