Grow it and show it — Tips for taking photos of your garden

Many locals will tell you that their garden is one of the best places to be on a sunny summer day.

Master Gardener and professional photographer, Marion Owen has some tips on how to preserve those special times with photographs.

She was our guest on this week’s Talk of the Rock program and spoke with KMXT’s Maggie Wall.


Click player to listen, or continue below to read story.



If you want to engage your viewer, get closer to your subject and place it off-center. Photo courtesy Marion Owen


Good garden photos are kind of like good gardens—if you want to succeed, you need to get down and dirty.


“Which is get down on the ground. And maybe look up through the daisies. Or look up through the fireweed. A bug’s eye view kind of thing. Or get a little closer.


Marion Owen is an award-winning photographer who spends a lot of time in her garden overlooking the channel.


“And sometimes it means, maybe just getting a little closer to it. But, getting a different perspective. Up. Looking down.  Looking low. Looking up through it. Will really give a different perspective to what is sort of normal, a normal view. So that’s always something to play with, yeah.”


She suggests that before you go snapping a million photos of all kinds of stuff, that you take a moment to think of the story.

People like hearing your stories so be sure your photos tell viewers what it is you want to share.


So no matter what you’re photographing. A bee or a flower or a broccoli head, or something, always ask yourself. What am I taking a picture of? What do I want to say here? You don’t have to get really theological about it, but just say: What am I trying to? Am I trying to show something? A bee or the entire garden?



A garden can be many things: a container of herbs by the front door or a corner of the yard to frame fishing boats going by. Most importantly, is to not be a slave to your garden. It takes work, but ultimately it’s to be enjoyed.
Photo Courtesy Marion Owen.


She recommends you spend time getting to know your garden and its many visitors. It’s good for your soul and it’s a great prelude to taking beautiful garden photos.

And don’t forget to take you cell phone with you. Phones take a good or even better photos than many consumer cameras. Plus, they do most of the work for you.


“Which means you as the photographer, your responsibility is to make sure its composed well. Because the smart phone does everything else for you. So really make it count.


Owen took up photography back when you loaded a roll of 24 or 36 exposures into your camera. If you wanted more photos, you had to pop out the roll and stick in another. And these photos had to be developed, which added more to the cost and hassle.

With digital cameras and cell phones, photographers can snap a crazy amount of photos before running out of space. That brings us to our next tip for getting great garden photos.


“Take lots. Experiment. Take lots. Take videos. Jazz them up. Have hands in there. Put people in there. You know, these things we all know, but we don’t always practice. We get in the moment, of say flying over to Katmai and seeing the bears. Well, it’s more than bears. It’s the wildflowers in the foreground. It’s the sedges that the bears are eating. It’s footsteps. Close ups of paws. So tell the whole story. It’s very rewarding, it really is.”


So there you go. Let’s recap. Get down and dirty. Take advantage of all the cool things you can do with your cell phone, including videos. Take tons of photos. And remember to tell a story.


Marion has a blog where she writes about gardening and photography.

You can also sign up for free tips on gardening.


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