8 Tips for Still Life Photography on an iPhone or Camera

Use a tripod. Light can be weak and hand-held photography produces blurry photos.

Use indirect light. The result will be soft and even lighting.

Choose objects that fit the mood of your still life. Then choose objects that convey that feeling.

Composition is probably the most important component of a still life image. Start by choosing an object/flower as the main focus of your still life – something that draws the eye. Place the object in the frame. It can be off-center, or if you want a more symmetrical composition, place it in the center and build around the object/flower. You want the viewer’s eye to move around the frame.

Use the rule of odds. Make sure all items in your still life come in odds. There is one exception to this rule: twos. If you have leaves, arrange in groups of 2, 3 or 5. If you have flowers, make sure there are 3,5 or 7, not 6. Also make sure the number of groups in the photo are odd as well. But never have 4 or 6. Also try to create a triangle.

Use negative space to create pleasing compositions. Negative space helps a still life breathe. It gives a feeling of calmness to the composition. All of your images should have at least some negative space.

Choose a backdrop that fits the mood of the photo. If you have a dark, moody still life, a black background might be the best, whereas you might use a white background for an upbeat summer still life. Fabrics or paper with patterns can also be used as a background.

Finally, use colors of flowers or objects to enhance your still life. Check the color wheel and use it as you would in making an arrangement of flowers. Every color evokes certain emotions. Blues give a sense of calm. Reds give a sense of agitation. Greens give a sense of spring. You shouldn’t use 2 opposite colors in large doses.

Have fun!