Apple explains how to take flower photos with iPhone 12

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Apple has released a long guide explaining how to best take floral photos using the iPhone 12 Pro.

In postHow to capture beautiful floral photos with iPhone 12 Pro“, Photographer Nathan Underwood, an expert in floral images, has written a series of tips for all those who want to take perfect pictures of flowers.

Nathan Underwood of Tulipina (@tulipinadesign), one of the world’s leading floral design studios, says the advanced camera systems on the iPhone 12 Pro models have helped bring even more quality to its floral photos.

In his own words, here’s Nathan’s approach to photography of floral compositions, from setting up and framing to using Portrait, ProRAW, and editing modes.


It all starts with enlightenment. Look for diffused natural light, ideally coming from the side. If you are indoors, it is usually enough to install the iPhone about 0.5-1 meter from a window. If outdoors, find a space with even light, avoiding hot spots and shadows. Often this means looking for a spot with a consistent shadow.

The next component is the background – just find a neutral background (grays and blues work great) with a minimal pattern. Avoid bricks, stripes, dots, and other distracting patterns. The subject should really appear in the photo, and this combination of lighting and background does most of the work.


For still lifes, framing the subject well is essential. While you can crop the photo later, getting a correctly framed shot from the right angle and perspective is key to making sure you have the best photo to work with. With iPhone, I almost always choose the lens with the closest focal distance. On iPhone 12 Pro models, this is the telephoto camera.

When framing a flower arrangement, place the subject in the center and make sure the frame is filled evenly. I tend to hold the cameras, including the iPhone, and use a slight downward angle (only a few degrees) to the subject. This ensures you can see the vase, but also get great depth and dimensionality from the flowers, which are the stars of the photo.

The telephoto camera offers 2x optical zoom range on iPhone 12 Pro and 2.5x on iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Portrait mode

For shots ranging from camera to editing to upload, I love Portrait mode, as seen in the photo below.

photo flowers

Portrait mode captures an incredible sense of depth that can be manipulated while editing in the Photos app, allowing for an amazing range of creativity. This is especially useful when shooting flower arrangements, given their complexity and dimensionality. If you’re new to still life photography, Portrait mode is your best friend.

Edit in the Photos app

There are some edits I apply to 99 percent of the images I take, all done in the Photos app. These are personal preferences; you should experiment to find your own style. For example, I like to focus on crop or aspect ratio, exposure, saturation and warmth.

Crop the photo as needed so that the flowers fill the entire frame, making them as “in your face” as possible.

Small increases in exposure brighten the frame and improve the layout, especially on a mobile screen. For floral arrangements and other colored still lifes, increasing the saturation by a small amount (less than 10) makes the colors stand out even more.

Finally, adjust the heat of the photo. Generally this means cooling the image slightly for an elegant calming effect that is also very true to life.

While all of these tweaks are simple, they are very significant in producing a great final image ready to be shared.

Apple ProRAW

Something very exciting for me is the introduction of Apple ProRAW on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, which provides the absolute maximum amount of image information to apply deeper edits. This means that you can now natively capture and export RAW images with iPhone, allowing for new creative possibilities and, personally, I can now easily embed iPhone photos into my regular professional post-production workflow alongside my DSLR. Just remember to enable Apple ProRAW on your iPhone 12 Pro model.

To get the most out of Apple ProRAW, I like to edit the image in Adobe Lightroom. In Lightroom, I generally make the same changes I would in the Photos app – crop or aspect ratio, exposure, saturation, and warmth – but for floral still lifes, in particular, I like having the ability to enhance particular flowers using the tool Radial filter, which allows me to select a small area in which to make specific changes. This could mean increasing the exposure on a single flower hidden in the arrangement, a detail that could be seen with the naked eye but could be difficult for any camera to capture.

Ready to take lots of floral photos?


Source: iPhone Italia by

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