You'd think this was just a simple thing to do, and I suppose it really is. But there's more to it than a setting on your camera.
You can create a shallow depth of field by raising your aperture to a 1.4 or somewhere around there.
You can also show depth of field by adding objects either at the front or the back of the pieces that you have in focus.
In this image to the left, I created a shallow depth of field with my camera, setting the aperture at f1.4. And then I put my focus on the flower at the front.
In the first image I took, it was just blurred flowers and a blurred lantern. It needed more, so I added a candle into the lantern and lit it. And still, felt like it needed a little something more, so I added another lit candle and placed it so that it was semi-close to the lantern.
You can just barely see the second candle, but it's there and it creates depth ... further back than just the flowers and the lantern. It gives you a sense of space and life.
Take a look at the three images below and notice the way depth is shown differently in each.
Depth is created with this container of flowers by holding the camera low to the surface so I get some blur on the wood itself.
There is also a piece of white fabric laid at the very back of my space right in front of my white backdrop. The fabric creates a softness that wouldn't be there without it.
Depth is created here by using several things ... two containers of flowers, some baby's breath laid right at the front of the image and a piece of fabric draped from the front to back of the props.
The focal point is more towards the front of the props, but there's just that little bit of blur created by the baby's breath.
In this image, I've used bottles half full with water and white fabric to help show the depth of this image. I try to always have water in my bottles as it adds to the image, showing depth as well as interest.
The stacked books and flowers are at pretty much on the same plane, so they are both in focus.
Does this help? Let me know in the comment section below. Or maybe you have some tricks you use to create depth in your images. I'd love to hear. 🙂