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Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: No. 56

Feb 4, 2015

The Question:

I know how important it is to have professional images in my website portfolio, but I am struggling to get them from the photographers who photograph my weddings. Do you only put professional images on your website? If so, how do you go about getting them and do you pay for them? If not, do you have any tips for taking your own photos?

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The Answers:

I have both professional photographer photos and photos I’ve taken myself on my site. First and foremost, regardless of who took the photos, they are ALL high-quality, crisp (not blurry) and focused on the flowers. Do not put mediocre photos on your site. It is better to have 10 really fantastic shots than 100 so-so shots.I bought a DSLR and taught myself how to take good pictures so I would be sure I had great images to use for marketing (not just website, but also social media on a daily basis). If you’re creative enough to work with flowers, there’s a good chance you can be a good photographer with some training. There is a great online course called Eyes Wide Open that you can take to help learn some key pointers, but it is ultimately about lots of practice.
Of course, having pictures from professional photographers that show your flowers “in action” are the best. I make a point to ask each couple for their photographer’s name and contact info before the wedding. Then I make sure to introduce myself at the wedding during set-up. After the wedding, usually about a week later, I send a short and polite email to the photographer saying how much I enjoyed meeting and working with them. I ask if they would mind sharing 3-4 shots of the flowers whenever they have them ready. Usually they email back and say absolutely and then later send many more than the 3 or 4 I requested. At the end of one wedding season a few years back, I ran a photo contest on Facebook with my couples from that season. Couples submitted their favorite professional photos (showing the flowers) and then I posted them on Facebook for fans to vote on which was their favorite. The favorite won a prize (a floral iPhone case). It didn’t cost me much, but got me great photos for my site and also encouraged more engagement on my Facebook page. Reminds me that I should do that again… 🙂

Jennie Love (Love ‘n Fresh Flowers)

As a photographer/floral designer I have a few tips regarding taking your own photos, but it might be to long for this post?


Emelie Ekborg (Svenska Blomsterbloggar and Flora Inspiro)

NOTE: Look for Emelie’s photography how-to advice in next week’s Working Designer Wednesday post! She has a lot to share with us!

My current website shows photos which were taken mostly by myself and my team. However I am currently working on a brand new website and this time round I will include as many professional photos as possible. In today’s social media perfect world I think it’s important to present as professional an image as possible. I do not plan on paying for the photos but instead will work with the photographers we know well that have photographed our weddings and make sure they are always credited and that blog posts, mentions etc. are linked through to their websites and social media pages. It’s always a good idea to introduce yourself to the photographer when you are delivering/setting up the wedding flowers and let them know you would love to feature their photos on your blog etc. (with proper credit given). Also at the consultation stage always ask your bride who her photographer will be. I will also continue to use some of our own photos – the better ones. My advice is to buy the best camera you can afford and invest in a one day or online photography course.

Nick Priestly (Mood Flowers)

I think several Floral Designers will relate to this. Whilst most photographers are just as excited to be sharing the images.. Some are not and are equally fussy about who shares them. I always credit where credit is due. Try to build up good relations with photographers.. I know it’s difficult to do this with all..

So.. to be sure, I take my own photographs too.. Sometimes I prefer these too.. I’m happy to use my images on my website.

When taking my own shots.. I use a couple of preferred areas in which to do so.. That have a beautiful light filtering through. Think about the area in which you are photographing .. The back drop etc, also .. When on site, take lots of shots from different angles ~ you are bound to get one good shot.

Jo Rodwell (Jo Flowers)

I do only use professional images on my site and those images must be non watermarked. In the beginning I realize this can be a big struggle. I would make a point to reach out to all of the photographers you have worked with this year and try to develop relationships with them. It’s important that as a florist you remember to always give credit to the photographers, remember to make referrals to the photographers you love, and develop relationships that are mutually beneficial. I do suggest getting a good camera and using that for blogging. The more you blog and the more good attention you bring to your local wedding market the more people will want to work with you.  I would also suggest organizing a photo shoot of your work. Hopefully a good photographer would be interested in this partnership. If not it may be worth the investment. Also finding new and up and coming photographers can be helpful.

Holly Chapple (Holly Heider Chapple Flowers)

My blog shows both professional photos and pictures I take by myself. Most of the times, when the couples come with a positive feedback, I take advantage of that moment to ask kindly if I can get the images from the photographer. Most of the time, they say yes 🙂 I am always very clear in my demand: Is it ok to publish this picture on my website, on social medias or just keep them private and show them to prospects? If you want professional pictures, you might as well want to organize photoshoot sessions, whether to show your own work, or contact wedding planners and see if someone is organizing a full wedding inspiration photoshoot and is interested in having your flowers on the shoot.

Anyway, my experience shows that even if the couples are ok to give the pictures or if you are on a photoshoot, you are never sure to get the picture of the exact bouquet you love so much and you are so happy about. So I use to take pictures as well and learned over the time to style my flowers and take pictures by myself. I am very lucky to share my life with someone that understands photography and has helped me to progress, select the right material and so on. It takes some time to get to a good level of images and tame the light. I am not a professional photographer, but my pictures are now sometimes published in magazines and on other blogs than mine, so it is certainly possible to get there with some determination and work 😉

Laetitia Mayor (Floresie)

For my website I only use professional photographs; for my blog and social media I often use images that I took with my Iphone. I always have made it a point to contact the photographer a week before the wedding to introduce myself and to ask if they could take detail pictures of the flowers. I had very good luck with this system til the recession hit – when so many brides had friends photograph their weddings. The quality of the flower pictures went downhill very fast. Over the years I have become good friends with 3 photographers who have come to the studio many times to take pictures. We do a trade, but never exchange $. My husband bought a good camera and takes a lot of detail pictures before we go deliver. Before the digital age many photographers would charge for the images; the last 10 years photographers have sent the images at no cost. Usually they send them via dropbox.

Francoise Weeks (Francoise Weeks)

I try to use mostly professional photographs on my website unless I took a great photo myself or if I made something I truly love that the photographer didn’t capture. For Facebook and Instagram I share my own photos of my work. If I see the photographer on-site while setting up an event I try to introduce myself or say a quick hello and then follow up sending the photographer an email a couple months after the wedding to request their photos for my website/blog.  (I usually email them in the winter during everyone’s slower season) Usually a gallery of photos is emailed to me and they are happy to provide them as long as they are given proper credit on my website, blog or wherever the image is used.

Elisabeth Zemetis (Blush Floral Design)

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10896925_10152421934287581_456895615474455984_n ashley fox designs and david grube photo bout ashley fox designs and Andrew Vick Photography 1794654_10152388814397581_8133640328107492063_n

Floral Designs in today’s post: Ashley Fox Designs

Photos: (1) Ash and James Photography (2) Erin Bell Photography (3) David Grube Photography (4) Andrew Vick Photography

  1. Becky says:

    A really interesting read and massively helpful to someone just starting out, thankyou! Off to sort out my online gallery now, I never seem to have the time to take images of my work myself when working on a wedding but agree when the professional shots do come through, they aren’t necessarily the shot you would take yourself, however I am going to make sure I take a note of the professional photographers details for each of my weddings in the future plus I am redecorating my house with a dedicated area for floral photography in mind!

  2. Jody says:

    Jennie – what a clever idea!!

    One thing that has worked well in Houston is a wedding industry mingle group a few of us started. We’ve only had a few, but it gives florists, wedding planners, photographers, musicians, bakers, etc a chance to hang out over a cup of coffee and donuts and get to know one another. That way, not only did referrals happen more and photoshoots, but there would be a very good chance I’d know the photographer going into the wedding. That of course makes it easier to get photos after the wedding. Plus….sending home some flowers after the wedding with the photographer always helps.(-:

  3. Ashley says:

    Some of my favorite images x A.

  4. It’s, in a way, a funny question.
    I am a professional photographer, and i admit that there is some very good photographer specialized in flowers. They will play with the composition of the bouquet, they will add some flowers , or cut a leaf, etc. But this is fact the role of a good florist.

    I have seen on the wedding, some florist (who also make the decoration), who took some amazing pictures. How ? Because they know how to look. They know what they want their flowers to look like, what spirit to give.

    Taking flowers in the picture do not require special camera. Almost every camera can do that. I think it’s more a question of what feeling you wan to give. So, of course, the good photographer will manage to do that, but good florist do that also. So the question should be more : « is the picture good or not » ? And not « who took the picture » ?


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