Pink Purple Flower
PEN-F + M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8, 1/1600 sec, F1.8, ISO 200

Grab your camera gear and head outside! The flowers are blooming and they are beckoning you to photograph them. But why take a boring, simple flower photo when you can capture a stunning image that is beautiful enough to print large and hang on your wall? Check out these tips to master the art of macro flower photography.

1

USE THE PERFECT GEAR FOR THE JOB

My favorite combination to use is my OM-D E-M1 Mark II paired with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro lens. The 60mm an amazing lens that renders a 1:1 shooting ratio that’s perfect for macro photography. I have also used the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO telephoto lens with some astounding results. Both lenses give me a beautiful depth of field and offer the ability to get in close to my subject.

Another surprising addition to my favorite gear to use when photographing flowers is a Tough camera like the Tough TG-4 or Tough TG-5. These cameras have an amazing super macro mode that allows the user to get incredibly close to the subject. This works great for flowers!

Rainy flower
Tough TG-4, 1/250 sec, F3.6, ISO 250
2

FIND A UNIQUE FLOWER OR COLLECTION

I love to photograph a brightly colored flower or one that is sitting off by itself. Or sometimes I will find a flower that stands out in a sea of greenery. No matter subject gives you inspiration, go find it!

white flower green bg
OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/250 sec, F2.8, ISO 200
3

SIT AMONGST THE FLOWERS

When in nature, I do not like to disturb it. That being said, I like to become one with it. Find a comfy spot and place yourself in the middle of nature’s splendor. Immersing yourself in the beauty of nature will help bring your images to life.

Flower field
OM-D E-M1 Mark II + M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/250 sec, F2.8, ISO 320
4

FOCUS ON THE MOST INTERESTING PART

This could be the center of the flower. Or maybe it’s the soft petal. Or maybe it’s the back of the flower. Take your time to explore what you find interesting about your subject. Take pictures from multiple angles. Shoot from a higher perspective or shoot from a lower perspective. Don’t be afraid to takes lots of pictures from different angles. This is one of the many joys of digital photography. Shoot now, delete later!

Close Up
Tough TG-4, 1/250 sec, F4.0, ISO 100
side of flower
Tough TG-4, 1/160 sec, F2.3, ISO 100
Looking up at flower
OM-D E-M1 Mark II + M.Zuiko Digital 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO, 1/4000 sec, F4.0, ISO 200
5

SET YOUR APERTURE

Set your aperture to get YOUR desired results.

Some people like their macro image to be taken in the focus stacking mode with an aperture of f8 or higher to get the maximum amount of focus on their subject. Others prefer to have a softer feel by capturing a single image with a wider aperture like f2.8 or f4. No matter what your preference is, set your camera accordingly.

My preference is to generally shoot with a wide open aperture in order to isolate my subject. I love the feel of a soft photo and my imagery mimics this emotion.   

pink flower in focus
OM-D E-M1 Mark II + M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm F1.2 PRO, 1/4000 sec, F1.2, ISO 200
6

PHOTOGRAPH IN OPEN SHADE

My favorite type of light is the soft, diffused natural lighting that comes from the sun. I like to position myself to photograph in this type of lighting. It gives me the ability to open up my aperture and create some creamy backgrounds. 

Yellow flower in focus
OM-D E-M1 Mark II + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO, 1/1250 sec, F4.0, ISO 200
7

GET AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN

Macro photography is all about making a small object appear larger than life in your photograph. A lot of the time you have to get really close to your subject to make that happen. Get as close as you can to the flower you are photographing. Their beauty is evident the closer you get.

Pink close up
Tough TG-4, 1/200 sec, F3.2, ISO 500
8

USE THE IMAGE TO TELL A STORY

I love to create an image that tells a story about the subject. Maybe it’s capturing a lonely petal on a dying bud. Maybe it’s photographing a beautiful water lily in the midst of the pads around it. Maybe it’s just a flower’s colorful center that grabs my attention. Try to convey that feeling in your image in order to tell a beautiful story.

Flower by itself
OM-D E-M1 Mark II + M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/250 sec, F2.8, ISO 200
9

SHARE YOUR WORK

Be sure to share your work with others or on social (#getolympus or @getolympus). Enter contests. Join groups that will support you as you learn and excel. As photographers we thrive off of being inspired by the artistry of others, so put yourself out there to be inspired and inspire others!

CU side flower
PEN E-PL7 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro, 1/160 sec, F3.2, ISO 400

RECOMMENDED LENS

M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro
Reg. $499.99.

BUY NOW

ABOUT LAURA HICKS

Web: laurahicksphotography.com
Facebook: fb.com/LauraHicksOlympusTrailblazer

Laura Hicks is a professional portrait photographer with a personal passion for macro photography. Throughout her career, she has had the privilege of photographing hundreds of weddings and thousands of portrait sessions, and of being the official photographer for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” filmed in West Chester, Ohio.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LAURA

Find more tips for capturing fantastic flower photos in the Macro section of the Olympus Learn Center.