6 Tips For Creating The Perfect Flat Lay
Ever wondered how to achieve the perfect Instagram-worthy flat lay?! We're here to help! Below are 6 tips for creating that perfect flat lay you've always wanted!
Find Your Inspiration
So you want to take a flat lay – but of what?? Do a little research into what inspires you. Pinterest boards are a great way to get visual inspiration into pattern play, the composition of props, color themes, etc. Take a look at some of our favorite creative boards here.
Props are the most important part of creating a flat lay. Think about the style of the photography you want to create and gather all of the items you’ll need to photograph. Try to select items or props that pair nicely together or compliment each other. If color is important to your feed, keep in mind the color of your props and how they will work within that color story.
A plain colored background is usually ideal as it doesn’t take away focus from any of your items or props. Don’t have a plain white table? No problem – poster paper works wonder and it comes in a variety of colors to match your idea! Remember, the background should enhance props and make them pop, rather than steal focus.
The key to a “perfect” flat lay is to make it look “perfectly imperfect.” You know that ‘just rolled out of bed, but incredibly put together look’ people aim for? Let’s say it’s the same for creating a flay lay. You want it to look like you effortlessly just laid all of the items down and they happened to form a picture-perfect composition – no one needs to know it actually took you 20 minutes and multiple variations to get that perfect shot. While we love to get creative and layer items and props together, don’t forget to leave a bit of “white” space between the props to help focus the composition. Adding a little “life” into the photo adds another element to any flat lay – whether it be a flower or succulent, a cup of coffee, or a hand reaching for something in the shot, it’s nice to add a personal touch to the frame.
Natural light is number one when shooting. A spot near the window either early in the morning or late afternoon will usually result in the best lighting without creating a lot of shadows within the frame. Always, always shoot from a birds-eye view. Sometimes this takes getting a little creative – standing on step stools or on chairs to achieve the perfect angle – but trust us, it’ll be worth it!
Last, but definitely, not least is editing and making sure that your flat lay fits in with your already curated and beautiful feed. Some of our favorite editing apps are VSCO, Lightroom, Facetune, AColorStory, and Snapseed. Sometimes just a few tweaks are all it takes to minimize shadows, sharpen edges, and adjust the color to make sure the photo matches your feed.
Header photo by @jcollinsphotog