Pre-tip #A: These tips don't just apply to flowers, but to many, many photography subjects. And also, I don't have any idea what I'm doing, so you should probably ignore me a find a real photographer's blog to learn anything worthwhile.
Tip #1: Take lots, and lots, and lots of pictures. Just keep clicking. Once you know your digital camera well enough to take a non-blurry photo about 75% of the time, you can just go to town. Take several shots of each subject, and consider trying photographs at different times during the day. High noon can be lovely, but so can eight in the evening. And morning sunshine in May is a whole nother thing than you recall, I bet. I will often take 100 pictures in an average day, and cut down to 60 just by reviewing in the camera (though if there's any doubt, wait and look at them on a larger screen!). Then I often end up with around 30 or 40 after viewng them on the laptop. If I'm recording an event, like a birthday party, I often don't cut that many, because I want to make sure I have some photos of everyone. But with flowers? You get one or two great shots of a flower, you're probably good. If you want more, go ahead. I won't mutter about your obsessive tendencies behind your back. Much.
Anyhoo, my point is, you can always delete the ones that don't work, but if you took only 6 photos and none of them are fantastic, well, you're pretty much screwed. The joy of digital is deleting the stupid pictures.
Tip #2: Try different angles! This is true of all subjects. Many people just take photos from wherever their point of view is: this gives us nearly aerial views of kids and dogs and anything shorter than the photographer. And upsettingly nasal views of Uncle Roger, if the photographer is shorter than him.
Tip #3: Fill your frame! If you're taking a photo of a tulip, make sure the tulip is CLEARLY the subject. If you take a photo of a tulip and twelve dandelions, you can't expect your viewers to know what you're getting at. When photographing flowers, I like to get as close as my camera will let me without getting blurry, which is pretty close.
Tip #4: Don't be afraid to crop! Since you've filled your frame, you have even more to work with. You can save the original as a separate file, if you're nervous like that, but especially if you have one of those newer type digital cameras, you've got enough megapixels for major croppage.
Even if you'd never seen a purple-black tulip in person, this photo lets you see the very texture of the petals! I'm impressed with myself, even. (This is a crop of the first photo in the post, under Tip #2)
or to illustrate the feather-like translucency of flower petals. This was shot from below, on macro, and cropped down. Plus, I turned this one on its side, because I like that it's framed by mostly sky and a little tree, and looks like it just poked in from the right.
Be adventurous in your cropping. Maybe you wanted a photo of a tulip, but it turns out the sky is way prettier. Crop that pesky tulip out! Or leave in just a little. Or whatever. Cropping is fun for young and old!
Tip #5: Mind the riff-raff. We've all had great photos ruined by some weird Anderson kid who pops up in the background at the last minute and you don't realize it until you get your film developed. But he's not the riff-raff I'm talking about here. I mean the stuff in the background we tend to ignore: the neighbor's can collection, the wires in the backyard, the peeling paint on the northeast corner of the house. They may be ignorable in real life, but in photos, they are less so. Case in point:
Did I know those wires were there? Sure. Do I want them in my photo? Nope. The thing is, when I shoot from below, I sometimes do it blind (so as not to get ants and twigs in my hair) and just take a bunch and check them later. Had I just shot from the other side of these tulips, those wires would never have been in the background. But I didn't, and I was lazy, and now I have this lovely, translucent tulip shot full of ugly wires in the background. That'll teach me. (Well, not really. But maybe it'll teach you).
There you have it, folks. Languishing's first 5 tips to Flower Photos of which to be Proud. "First five?" the voices are asking Yes, voices, there are more. You'll just have to stay tuned to find out.