Garden Photography: 7 Steps for Taking Great Pictures

Garden Photography


My Photography Gear

I have started to get a lot of questions about my photography gear and how I shoot the garden photography on the blog. First of all, I am an amateur. In fact, all of my gear is considered “cheap” in the world of photography. I took a photography class in college many, many years ago (I shot film on a 35mm camera if that gives you an indication of exactly how long ago). Most of my knowledge of shooting in digital and photo editing has come from hands on experience.

First of all, let’s talk about my gear.

  1. My camera:  Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens. This is an older model in the series. I got this for a steal. I had full intention of buying the D3200 but I couldn’t pass on the deal. I have been very happy with the performance of this camera. I would love a full frame camera in the future, but for now I invest in prime lenses.
  2. My Lenses: The Nikon D3100 came with a 18-50mm Kit lens which I rarely use.  I purchased a Nikon 50mm f/1.8G prime lens as an add on. I LOVE this lens. It takes sharp pictures with beautiful bokeh (blurred background).
  3. Shutter Release Cable: I use this cable to shoot wildlife or pictures that require long shutter speeds.
  4. Tripod: This is an essential piece of photography gear that many people do not think about. Since I am the primary picture taker, I use my tripod to capture my crafting and cooking shots while I am creating.
  5. Reflector: I use a reflector when taking both indoor and outdoor shots. The reflector helps bounce light, especially if there are hard shadows.
  6. Olloclip iPhone 5/5s 4-IN-1 lens system: This is a fun little lens for an iPhone. It’s a Fisheye, Wide-Angle, 10x Macro and 15x Macro lens. It takes great pictures.
  7. iPhone 5: The best camera is the one you always have with you. Yep, my iPhone is always in my pocket or bag. I take tons of pictures with this baby.
  8. Photo Editing Software: Adobe Photoshop. This is my go to editing software. I love Photoshop.


Garden Photography

Tips on taking great garden pictures

I follow these 7 simple tips to get great pictures of my garden:

  1. Turn off the flash. I know it just pops up right? Don’t be afraid, turn it off. The on camera flash is too harsh and tends to wash out an image. Plus, you are outside for the most part when your photographing your garden, so the flash is not needed. If the picture looks too dark, no worries. You can fix it with an editing software. That is the beauty of digital.
  2. Take pictures of your garden in the early morning or late afternoon. If you take pictures in the middle of the day when the sun is overhead, you will get harsh shadows. I love to photograph in the morning when there is still dew on the plants. It gives the pictures a soft look. Photograph your garden at different times a day to see what pictures you like the best.
  3. Get close. Step up to that pansy! Unlike people, your garden plants won’t smack you for putting a camera in their face.  There are times when you want an overview shot of your garden, but when you want to focus on the beautiful beefsteak tomato, get right up next to it.
  4. Off center your main object. This is known as the rule of thirds in photography. Off centering your shot makes for a more interesting picture.
  5. Use Props. My favorite props are my kids 🙂 Try a still life with your flowers and veggies on a tray. Think outside of the “garden”.
  6. Edit your pictures. You do not need a fancy photo editing software like Photoshop. Your smart phone has on board editing capabilities that let you adjust brightness, sharpen the picture, and crop. There’s also free apps and online software like PicMonkey that are great. Use them!  A boring picture can become great with a little editing.
  7. Print them! The curse of the digital camera age is that those lovely pictures sit a SD card or on your phone. Make a photo book or display them. You will be glad you did in the dead of winter when you are anxiously awaiting spring!


Garden Photography

Show me your stuff!

If you are an Instagram user, tag your garden pictures with #theprudentgarden so I can see what’s growing in your garden. Or shoot me an email at with your lovely pics attached and I will feature a roundup of garden pics on the blog.  Happy Photographing!

Garden Photography

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One thought on “Garden Photography: 7 Steps for Taking Great Pictures

  1. I can tell by the few pictures in your post that your photography skills are AMAZING! I’m a novice at photography and gardening, but I am always striving to learn more. I’m definitely going to explore your beautiful blog. I co-host a link party on Fridays called “Pin Your Friday Favorite,” an we would be honored to have you stop by sometime. Thanks for the great tips!

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