I love Close-up or Macro Photography. You can do so much with it, and express your creativity. Macro in my opinion is not just about how we see the smaller objects but how we perceive them and display them, bringing new viewpoints, angles, and interpretations.
There are various things you can do Macro on, flowers, insects, abstract, and industrial to name a few. The sky is the limit for our imagination. You gotta be ready to crawl on your knees (with kneepads preferably) and get to the level of the subject. Any wind is your enemy. Even a 5 mph wind feels a lot more if you are trying to focus on your tiny objects. You need good Elbows (with padding) if you are shooting very low, which you are, with flash usually. For the sharpest result and gold standard, you need a tripod, Period!
Macro Photography has a very shallow depth of field. It is important that the backdrop does not interfere with the object you are trying to photograph. There are several things you can do to create a better backdrop if you don’t have any good backdrops behind the subject especially if you want to emphasize that exposure. You can find any flower in the garden and put a black cardboard behind it before you photograph that subject. This will bring out what you want to photograph. You can do the same if you have a studio-style backdrop at home to do Macro.
Some will use Macro Background cards and there are many of them to buy. I personally prefer a natural one but I do have black small cardboard with me if I am taking a trip to Botanic Gardens, which would be the place to start.
You want to photograph when early in the morning (without much wind) overcast if you are doing Macro and never on a bright sunny day as the harsh sunlight will ruin your photographs for sure. Make sure you set your “White Balance” in the camera for overcast. Cameras get the White Balance usually wrong (can be adjusted in Lightroom if you take RAW pics and save you extra steps in processing). Auto White Balance in Mirrorless and DSLR cameras don’t get things usually right in general.
Get Creative! Look at different angles. The best composition may not be the whole flower. You also need to spend time in post-processing after taking your Raw images. Things that will really help in postprocessing Lightroom touch up are to try to lift some shadows, adjust exposure and decrease the highlights.
There is so much to Macro Photography and so much to photograph out there, using a flash+ diffuser, etc. Just check out this video on one of the things one can do with that.
Everyone has to decide what they want to do in regards to Macro. I am more like the flower guy and like to put my twist on the flowers I see. I don’t use backdrops and flash a lot. Usually, I go with natural overcast light but Ring Flash is specially made for this, which I use occasionally. Below are some of my work.
Remember the sky is the limit and your imagination will take you to beautiful places, especially in Macro Photography.
P.S., there is absolutely NO WAY you can shoot anything in that category with a Smartphone. Just FYI!