The photography of roses is summed up beautifully in the words of fashion designer and photographer Karl Lagerfeld:   

“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”

Photographing roses can be challenging at times, especially for amateur photographers, so today I am delighted to introduce to you Tina Lovvorn VanCleave, a passionate rose lover and fabulous rose photographer from Alabama.  

Tina is going to share with you all of her special tips for capturing the perfect rose image including the best time of day to take your pictures.










The first question I have to ask you is what do use to take your photos?

I use an iphone 5s.  Many people will baulk at this or even laugh, but cellphone technology has advanced to the point you can capture awesome images on this device.

And what time of day do you think is best for rose photography?

I photograph roses very early in the morning before the sun is overhead or late in the afternoon after the sun has gone down.  Roses photographed when the sun is high overhead are likely not to look their best.  The blooms will be distressed from the heat of the day and the light conditions are not ideal for rose photography.

What are your favourite types and colors of roses to photograph?

I love white roses and multi colored roses. The delicate bloom of a white rose is something to be admired.
Multi colored roses are easily captured and the variation in colors adds interest to your photo.

The way you compose your photos is so beautiful.  Any tips for setting up the shots?

I always try to get on the roses level. Just like any subject you might photograph, roses have a good and bad side.  One angle is more attractive than another. I often shoot multiple photos of the same rose from different angles.  You’ll come up with one that pleases you.

What do you prefer, up close and personal or photos which capture the full bloom?

I prefer to capture the rose in its most perfect state.  While I prefer an entire bloom shot, sometimes the best shot is a macro.

I know everyone is going to want to know the answer to this question, red roses, the most difficult of all to photograph, what recommendations can you give us for photographing red roses?

Red roses are indeed a challenge.  Taking photos early in the morning or on a overcast or foggy day will help.  What I cannot capture with settings on my phone to get just the perfect red, I edit in a photography app to achieve the perfect color balance.

The lighting on your shots is just exquisite, what should we be taking into consideration when it comes to lighting?

Low light is best for roses.  Bright light will distort your images.  I look for shots that will capture the perfect light.
And finally is there anything I’ve missed that you would like to share?

With digital photography, you don’t have to worry about the expense of film.  Take lots of pictures!  The more you take the better you will become at capturing that perfect image.  Seek out the unusual.  Odd shaped blooms, bright yellow stamens, critters on roses.  Also look for opportunities to photograph people and roses.  Roses are here for our enjoyment and pleasure, why not capture a shot of your grandmother surprised with a rose from your garden?

As my husband, the Redneck Rosarian says “everybody knows somebody who needs a rose”.  Share your blooms and photos of roses with the world!

Thank you so much Tina.  I’m sure everyone, myself included, is going to be rushing out to the rose gardens to take some beautiful photos now.

Here’s a photo of Tina out in her beautiful rose garden.