How To Flat Lay Photography

How to create an amazing flat lay

Flat lay photography is a great way to get the most out of displaying stock with only minimal space required. This is perfect for those of you with jam packed retail spaces who don’t have room to create style shots for your Instagram or website content. The basic idea behind flat lay photography is take a photo from bird’s eye view with little to no angle at all. Flat lay photography can elevate the look of items without giving too much away and entice customers to take a closer look at your website. It can make your product photography look very clean and professional and help take the look of your Instagram or website to the next level. Flat lay photography has become an extremely popular way to display products and while it looks like an easy set up, it can prove to be quite difficult if you have never done it before. We have put together a list of fool proof tips and key points to help you create effective and aesthetic flat lays:

  1. Choose your background - A plain white background is great to use if you are just starting out with flat lay photography. Keeping it simple can help keep the focus on the items being photographed. Once you feel as though you have the hang of it a little more you can venture out and use floorboards, marble, textured papers or contrasting coloured backgrounds to create more visual interest. Hot Tip: Keeping consistent with which background you choose can help tie together your flat lays throughout your Instagram feed. It keeps a similarity between them when using different products for each.
  2. Lighting - Use natural light when possible. This is important as it will help keep the colours of the products as true as possible. Take your flat lays in a well-lit space such as near windows or even head outside. Keep in mind the direction of the light as this will cause shadowing. For minimal flat lays that use few products, shadowing can be used to your advantage to create depth and visual interest. For flat lays that are more jam packed with product, it is best to use direct light with minimal shadowing to keep the focus on the products.
  3. Colour - If you have a particular theme for your Instagram or website, consider your colour scheme. Choose items that fit in with your colour scheme to create an aesthetic flow and a uniform look. You can also stick to one colour per flat lay such as green and display products in all different green tones to create a colour theme. Go for colour themes that are on trend such as sage green, terracotta and baby blue.
  4. Texture! - Adding in different elements of texture to your flat lay photography can be a great way to create visual interest and depth in an image. Use different textures such as Wood, Glass, Cotton, Stone, Rattan, Bamboo, Leather and Linen. This is a good tool for grouping together completely different products and showcasing to customers how well they can work together. This can be extremely beneficial to you as a retailer as it encourages customers to purchase products that they may not have thought would work together. You are creating the inspiration here! Hot Tip: Layering different placemats on top of each other is a great way to create texture in your flat lays.
  5. Utilise the alive! - It is a great idea to add in flowers, plants or even food to your flat lays. This can take your photo to the next level and bring the products to life! Sometimes just having some flowers or leaves in the corners of your frame is enough to create this look. Utilising flowers, plants and food is also great for creating season looks. Make products look ‘Christmassy’ by adding in candy canes and holly. For Autumn add in pumpkins and orange coloured Autumn leaves.
  6. Contrast - Contrast is an important element in any style of photography. Create contrast with elements such as shapes, textures, positioning, patterns and lighting. Mixing different items with different elements can add so much visual interest to your photos and excite your audience.
  7. Balance - Create balance in your photos to ensure your images are as effective as possible. Keep balance by using large items for your subject matter such as lamps, cushions or books. You can then use smaller items such as our hanging hearts, soap boxes, coasters and magnets to create borders around the subject matter and fill the space around it. This helps disperse the weight of the image evenly.
  8. Shooting your shot - If you are taking your image with an iPhone for Instagram, it is best to use the square setting on your camera. This allows for you to set up and take the image exactly as it would post to Instagram without having to go back and crop out any essential items from your shot. If you need, you can step up on a ladder to get that crisp birds eye shot or alternatively it is helpful to set your flat lays up on the ground so you are able to take your image from above easily. Make sure to keep checking the images you have just taken and don’t be afraid to move or tweak your set up as you think necessary. Keep in mind that things can look very different through the lens compared to your own eyes. Take your time with perfecting the placement of the items.
  9. Dictate your theme and stick to it! To keep your website or Instagram feed flowing and clean, keep your theme consistent. When editing your flat lay images, use the same techniques you would use for your regular images. If you don’t have a theme and are looking to create a more uniform look, it is a great idea to choose a filter or preset and use that for every photo you post. This will create a polished profile and help create your specific look.

And that’s it! Your Instagram and website are now going to look next level luxurious with the help of these flat lay tips and tricks. We would love to see how creative you get so tag us in your flat lays on Instagram @lavida_trading so we can show some love!

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