Let’s be real, flat lay photos are the kind of the most fun and best photos to take… especially if it’s for the ‘gram! After countless coffee shop trips, getting some aesthetically pleasing notebooks and props that we also utilize, and gathering up the courage to stand up on a chair to get the perfect shot… we like to think we have some tips up our sleeves to share.
We love natural lighting regardless, so always opt to take your flatlay photos when natural light is out! Lighting is everything, and we prefer it if we don’t have shadows in our shots just so everything looks clean and cohesive!
Having a clean background that doesn’t have a lot of noise will create the perfect backdrop for your props and what you plan to take a photo of. We like the look of wood, white tabletops, and marble (but who doesn’t?)! White backgrounds are the best for showing the true colors of the items you’re sharing, this is great for beauty products and jewelry! If you don’t have access to these types of backgrounds at home, head to a local coffee shop with nice tabletops or create a makeshift background using poster board or wrapping paper. Think outside of the box!
Our Creative Pro Tip: Fake it ’til you make it! With a makeshift background using a white poster board, tack on some marble contact paper and use it as a faux marble table top. One side is white, while the other is marble. It’s affordable AND it works wonders!
Invest in Props
Pens, notebooks, your phone… you name it! Practically anything you have can work as a prop! With your props, be mindful of spacing and proportions. Whether you’re going for a very structured look or a very casual laid out look, just be sure it looks pleasing to the eye without being too overwhelming or noisy (think of a specific theme). There’s a fine line between looking like you threw it all on a table and too posed, find a middle ground that works for you!
If you find yourself with empty space, don’t forget to utilize the tools you have already to fill empty space whether it’s with something as small as an accessory or stationary item. And don’t forget to add layers as well! We like stacking notebooks, and even adding plant elements or even a cup of coffee for more dimension.
Shoot from a Birds Eye View
This should be a no brainer, but we find that the best flatlay photos result from a birds eye view perspective. Whether it does require you standing on a chair behind your business bestie or laying items on the floor, you gotta do whatcha gotta do to get the perfect shot! Don’t be shy to stick your booty out to get the shot!
Finally, the editing. Overall, your flatlay should be great as is! Usually, it should also have a general theme around it. Beauty, fashion, and workspace are a few of our favorites. When editing, consider your brand and make sure that the photo you take ties in well with your overall core values and what you represent. It just makes sense!
No camera? No problem! We shoot most of our flatlay photos with our phone because it’s easy and we can edit it right away. We use apps like VSCO and Snapseed to adjust a few things like saturation, brightness, and contrast. Be mindful of the tones of your photos as well… maybe your page leans more towards warm tones or cool tones, definitely take that into consideration when shooting and editing!
Best of luck!