Still life painting is a centuries-old art technique practiced by famous by artists like Jean-Baptiste Chardin, Willem Kalf, Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse, to name a few. An exercise in composition, lighting, technique and storytelling, it gives the artist complete control over what subjects they use and how they want to portray them to create a story.

From the 19th century, photographers from William Henry Fox Talbot through to Irving Penn and more modern examples of Tessa Traeger and Bas Meeuws have drawn inspiration from this genre.

The genre brings to mind romantic, moody images of subjects like flowers, vases and fruits lit with soft directional light. While still life can be of any subject, these subjects are still popular today because of their photogenic qualities and easy portability. Whether you are using an iPhone or DSLR, these tips will get you started on your still life photography.

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