Try These 10 Macro Photo Ideas at Home
No matter how much you love photographing landscapes or staging elaborately styled fashion or portrait photography shoots, there’s something undeniably special about macro photography. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s a lot to be said about slowing down, focusing on the small things, and celebrating the little details that make everyday scenes and items extraordinary.
The good news? Whether you shoot on a DSLR or mirrorless camera - or even on your smartphone - it’s fairly easy to start taking macro photos: All you need is a macro lens. Once you’ve got the right lens, it’s a question of finding a subject, setting up your shot, and experimenting until you’re happy with the results. Read on to discover our top creative macro photography ideas to try at home and start snapping today!
1. Insects or bugs
Macro bug photography has been popular amongst photographers for years, and with good reason. From butterflies to beetles, many bugs have plenty of delightful, distinctive details that show up well on camera, including colourful markings and textures. The best part is, you won’t need to travel far to find a whole ecosystem of willing models - you just need to step out into your backyard.
Top Tip: To maximise sharpness and ensure you capture the details of the bug’s legs or wings, keep your camera still and secure by using a tripod.
2. Flowers & foliage
Macro plant photography is another fan favourite, and can give you vibrant, colourful images that are full of great details. One of the best things about photographing plants is that they evolve throughout the year, and have different visual characteristics depending on when you choose to shoot them.
During spring, for example, you can capture the colours of flowers in bloom, while in autumn you can photograph dramatic, shadowy bare branches and falling leaves.
A great option for anyone interested in teaching photography to kids, setting up a photoshoot with toys guarantees fun for the whole family. Using a macro lens to shoot figurines, soft toys, and other beloved items from the toy box is a fantastic way to capture their colour, detail, and texture. Encourage little ones to get inventive with posing their favourite toys, and help them develop their own budding love of photography.
Top Tip: Remember that still life photography often requires a mini studio setup, and consider using a backdrop and lighting tools for consistent results.
Shaking up your portrait photography with a macro lens can help you get striking, unique results you wouldn’t otherwise capture. Thanks to their sharp optics, long focal lengths, and bright maximum apertures, macro lenses allow you to take well-lit photos with incredibly accurate details and colours.
5. Rain drops
Who doesn’t love a bit of good rain drop photography? If you’re stuck indoors due to inclement weather during winter, try to think about the falling rain as a creative opportunity, rather than a barrier. Use the conditions to your advantage: Mount a macro lens to the front of your camera and position it up against a window that’s being hit by rain. Then, challenge yourself to photograph the still drops on the pane and the trails of drops on the move.
After the rain has passed, head outdoors and photograph droplets that have gathered on leaves, grass, and other surfaces.
6. Food & drink
By now, there’s no doubting that food photography is one photography trend that isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Use your camera macro lens to photograph your meals and beverages and call attention to the colours, textures, and other fine details.
Often the simplest subjects can give you stunning results, so keep an eye out the next time you sit down at the dinner table. Bubbles rising in a glass of soft drink, for example, make a good subject and can help you develop your macro photography skills. Just remember to use a faster shutter speed to capture the bubbles as they rise.
7. Details on fabrics
Add your own fresh twist to fashion photography by focusing on the textures and patterns of your favourite fabrics. A macro lens can help you really hone in on the things that make different fabrics interesting and unique, and can give you incredible results.
Top Tip: Drape your fabrics with care so that you can shoot them from a slight angle and capture shadows between the folds.
8. Textures around the home
If you have an older home or have antiques, collectibles, or family heirlooms laying about the house, take the opportunity to document them with a photography session. Macro lenses are the perfect tool for capturing these items and telling an evocative story about the passage of time and its effect on all objects.
Pay close attention to elements such as peeling paint, rust, wood chips, and unevenness in your object’s surface. Photographing these can help open up your eyes to recognise the beauty in things not typically considered beautiful.
9. Product photography
While some people find product photography somewhat uninspiring, it’s actually a fairly complex photography technique that’s well worth mastering. If you have small objects such as jewellery around the house, set up a backdrop, some studio lighting, and use your macro lens to start snapping away.
Photographing rings and other jewellery is an opportunity to experiment with very shallow depths of field and bokeh, or background blur. To maximise bokeh, shoot with your lens at its brightest aperture.
Feathers are unique photographic subjects in that they’re interesting both artistically and scientifically. In an artistic sense, they’re a good chance to experiment with composition and develop your texture photography skills. Scientifically, they’re rife with intricate details and small variations that make every single feather unique.
The next time you see a feather on the ground (or coming out of a down-stuffed jacket, couch, or cushion!), pick it up and try capturing its character with a macro lens.
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Focus on the small things with macro photography
Particularly if you’re spending more time indoors than usual during the winter months, macro photography is a fantastic way to sharpen your photography skills. With a macro lens in hand, even the most basic everyday items can be elevated to interesting subjects worthy of attention in their own right.
Ready to try your hand at taking macro photos? Try our macro photography ideas for yourself today, or visit our blog for more handy photography tips and tricks!
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