How To Take Insta-Worthy Shots Of Your House Plants

Move over, eggs benedict and rainbow-colored swimsuits — house plants are currently the reigning likebait on Instagram. The Internet’s love leafy shrubs, cute succulents, and towering cacti seems to know no bounds: Accounts like @boyswithplants and @plantsindecor have gained a considerable following in seemingly no time. For many millennials, plant porn is the new #foodporn.

No one is more qualified to chart the meteoric rise of greenery in the online space than Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff, the founders of Urban Jungle Blog, a global community about all things house plants. Since launching the site in 2013, the duo has garnered over half a million followers on Instagram, who fervently tagging their plant shots with #urbanjunglebloggers in hopes of getting regrammed. The pair recently released a book, Urban Jungle, dedicated to plant care and styling.

Inspired by Josifovic and de Graaff’s discerning eye, we asked them to share their top tips for taking a killer plant photo, paired with some of our favorite uploads from the collective. Click on for a photography masterclass to make your succulent stash look like a million bucks. Brace yourself for a ton of likes.

Mix & Match

A diverse portfolio of plants is the secret ingredient to a captivating shot: Leafy plants, hairy cacti, succulents, and vines look even more amazing when paired together in a space, with different shades of green adding to the visual dimension.

Other aspects you can play around with are the height and sizes of your plants. “When all your houseplants are the same height, it’s a bit boring,” says Josifovic. “Use plant stands to prop up your shorter plants.”

Repot Your Plants

The plastic grow pots your plants come with are not very photogenic. Josifovic and de Graff suggest repotting the plants to give them an aesthetic upgrade: Simple terracotta pots, ceramics planters, or metallic containers — anything that matches your interior style will work beautifully.

“If you prefer keeping the plants in their grow pots, place them on a saucer and cover them with a woven basket or wooden bowls,” says de Graaff.

Know Your Plants

Get to know the properties of your plants — and their preferences — to avoid putting them in an unsuitable spot.

“Stylistically, a plant may look good in that dark corner, but it will be depraved of natural light,” says Josifovic. “Get to know your plants and their needs, because nothing looks better than healthy, thriving plants.”

Make It Personal

Your house plants obviously play a starring role in the shot, but a support cast of personal ephemera brings out your personality.

Don’t know where to start? Josifovic and de Graff recommend incorporating items such as notebooks, travel souvenirs, books, candles, watering cans, or even personal jewelry.

Get Your Vine On

“Vines work really well in a photo,” says Josifovic. “By climbing on the walls and around beams, it creates a dynamic that makes the eye travel.”

The duo also favors monstera deliciosa, a tropical house plant with big, graphic leaves that gives an instant jungle vibe to a room. Strelitzia (bird of paradise), fiddle leaf figs, and banana trees are other highly photogenic plant stars worthy of investment.

Use Warm Background Colors

There’s a reason we go on and on about millennial pink: Josifovic and de Graff deems it the number-one background color to rack up likes on plant photos. (Well, that explains @plantsonpink ‘s popularity.)

Any accessories that give off a warm feeling works: Natural materials such as wooden cabinets or a vintage leather armchair make an enticing combo with your leafy greens. However, don’t bother fussing over your flatlays. “We notice that wider angle shots — showing an entire room — tend to get more likes, as well as beautifully styled plant shelfies,” says de Graff.

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