Have you ever looked at your favorite instagrammer and wondered how they capture such perfect shots of their house plants for us?
It can be discouraging to look back at your own drab surroundings and lose heart.
Especially if you have a fiddle leaf fig, the most photogenic plant ever (sure, you can fact check me on that).
Well, good news: Those photographers don’t have anything you don’t have in your own tool bag.
Here are 7 tips on how to stage and post your fiddle leaf fig and take your fiddle photography from “meh” to “yas!”
This photo looks like my house is impeccable.
The truth, however, is that we had just moved into this new build, and to get the shot, I had to move about 40 boxes to the space just behind me. Thankfully, the work was totally worth it.
The number one thing you can do to ensure your praiseworthy plant is posed perfectly is to simply move distractions out of the frame.
#2. Brighten up your space
I have a confession to make: I lighten my photos even when they’re already bright. In fact, the lighter they are, the better they look edited for more luminosity.
Not a photoshop whiz? No problem.
Most Android and iOS devices let you adjust the light exposure of a shot you took in about 10 seconds. Simply open the file in your photos app, and choose “edit.” One of the options that appears will be “light.” Select that and slide to adjust your brightness. Like so:
Have you ever noticed the rarity of a beautiful houseplant photo taken at night? I have.
Showstoppers are always taken in the daytime. For some reason, plants look happiest bathed in sunshine. Maybe it’s because they actually are happier when it’s sunny.
#3. Embrace the rule of threes
I promise this is easier to grasp than most photogs try to make it. First, check out this shot.
Straight out of a home design magazine, right? No way. This is just the rule of threes at play. Here’s how it works.
First, hold up your camera to position your plant directly in the center of the frame. Now, move your camera slightly to the left so your plant is off-center. Next, move it either up or down so it’s both off center and higher or lower than the midline. Like this.
As you see, a tic-tac-toe grid has been overlaid onto my shot.
The intersection of each line is what psychologists called the “Power Points.” The best photographs always have an interesting subject at a “power point.”
Why is the Rule of Thirds so powerful?
“The human mind doesn’t particularly like disorder and chaos,” writes John Suler in Photographic Psychology. “It naturally seeks out patterns and quickly detects their presence, often on an involuntary, subconscious level. The three part geometry of the Rule of Thirds is particularly catchy to the eye. It feels interesting, dynamic. It conveys tension and energy, especially at the power points.”
The best photographers add oomph to their composition by doing this, and now, so can you.
#4. Add a furbaby
This is a cheap trick to pull, because it’s easy and guaranteed to tug heartstrings. Simply include your lazy cat or goofy dog in a shot with a fiddle leaf fig plant, and the internet will thank you. Every time.
#5. Pair plants of varied heights
In this corner, I had to resist the temptation to put the smaller plant in the higher planter pot.
As you see, the shorter fiddle is in the shorter pot. That’s to emphasize their difference instead of somehow trying to diminish their variety.
#6. Make it a #shelfie
Along the same lines as tip #5 above, include interest-adding items to your picture.
Your larger fiddle looks striking on its own, yes, but juvenile plants look lonely. Involve a stack of books, antique radio (or clock or typewriter or medicine bottle or… you get the vintage idea), a mirror, bowl of fruit, framed photo, or kazoo.
Arrange your fascinating finds and fiddle on a shelf for a serenity-inducing scene.
#7. Try to include a “before” shot
I know, this is impossible in most cases. However, a before/after combo tells the whole story. This is especially appropriate if your fiddle has recently had a shower, survived a “traumatic” move to a new home, sprouted fresh growth, begun thriving after being fertilized, or otherwise made a dramatic change.
Did you know we are hosting a fiddle leaf fig photo contest on fiddleleaffigplant.com?
Enter your fiddle leaf fig photo today for a chance to win. And don’t forget to vote for your own favorites. Good luck!