Tips for Photographing Orchids for Identification

When photographing an orchid in the field for identification purposes, it is helpful to take more than one picture. Consider taking the following photos:

  • Two of the whole plant; one with a scale object (a ruler or your hand) behind or beside it, and one without.
  • One of the inflorescence (flower head).
  • Three of the individual flower: front, side and back.
  • One close-up of the leaves and stem.
  • One close-up of the seed capsules, if available.
  • One or two of the habitat.

Make notes of the date, location, GPS coordinates if available, size of plant, size of flower, and any unusual features such as hairiness or shape of labellum (lip).

Photo by Eugene Reimer

Correct technique for photographing orchids (photo by Eugene Reimer).