How to Instagram Your Flowers Like a Pro

May 23, 2018

You've pulled off a gorg arrangement and now you to want to show it to the world. Flowers are prime bait for heart-eye emojis (so much so they should introduce a flower-eye emoji!), and mastering the floral-focused 'gram takes just a few easy steps (and some practice). From simple backgrounds to angle play, here's how turn your flower snaps into the likefest they deserve.

Chase the natural light.

Interior lights, whether task or overhead, cast a yucky (yes, we just said yucky) yellowish hue on a room touching everything in it, including that arrangement you’re so proud of. So turn off all the lights and shoot your arrangement during the day near a window. Play around with the curtain or shade until you get soft directional light that doesn’t cast a harsh shadow.

Stick with a simple backdrop.

Uncluttered images are the easiest for the casual scroller to visually “read.” (What makes a great photo doesn’t necessarily translate to Instagram success.) And flowers bring so much color and intricacy to the party that your background needs to be relatively bare—think a white wall and marble countertop—for your shot to rack up the likes.

Frame it up.

When snapping your blooms, consider where they’ll fall within the frame of your screen. Sure, you can point and shoot, lining ’em up right in the middle. Or you can play around with the fancy photographers’ rule of thirds. The Cliff Notes’ version: Imagine dividing up your image with two vertical lines and two horizontal lines into a grid of nine boxes, then position the most important elements of the shot (e.g. your flowers!) along those lines or where they intersect.

Introduce an overhead.

To mix things up, throw in the occasional shot from above. It could be a big bucket of blooms and the tips of your toes. And where would Instagram be if not for the flat lay? An exquisitely arranged bouquet laid out on graphic floor tiles, or a more casual process shot showing a workspace’s controlled chaos with stems, leaves, blooms, and shears scattered at random.

Show a hand or two.

A hand holding a vase, plucking a bud from an arrangement, or poised with shears at the ready can add interest to a flower photo (really, this goes for all shots of inanimate objects). And while there’s nothing like a good action shot, movement is a hard capture for newbies so ask your model to hold still. If you’re the model? Consider Amazoning a cheap phone tripod.

Consider your vessels.

We <3 all shapes and sizes of vessels—the pitchers, the Mason jars, the mint julep cups—but some are decidedly harder to shoot than others. Anything excessively reflective like shiny metal and glass will mirror other objects in the room including you. While reflections aren’t a problem IRL, they muddy up photos. As a fix, you can try some clever angle play, swap the vase out for one that’s more matte, or wrap some fabric or ribbon around it.

Celebrate the perfectly imperfect.

Flowers are full of lovely imperfections and so your shot should be whether it’s a leaf hanging low, a few fallen petals, or a spray of pollen. The only true no-no is dirty water, ’cause gross.

5 Flowerphile Instagrammers to Follow

New York-based florists @putnamflowers for intricate masterpieces; @farmgirlflowers for major arrangement inspo; San Francisco's @ampersand_sf for the cutest little flower shop you ever did see; destination-wedding florist @sarah_winward for ethereal wonderment; and, of course, us @alicestable!

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