Whether you’re a product or service based business, you might be asking “How do I take gorgeous flatlays?”. It’s no lie that flatlays do SO well on Instagram and they’re such a versatile image that you can really promote ANYTHING with a flatlay.
Flatlays can help to stop the scroll and highlight the features and benefits of a product. But when it comes to creating your own, there are a couple of tips you might want to consider so you can take your photography to the next level and take amazing flatlays. Let’s go!
#1) Use a plain coloured background
White usually works best to help coloured objects stand out but don’t be afraid to use colour in your background! You can buy coloured pieces of cardboard that match your branding from your local craft store and this can really help to grab people’s attention.
Most often though, I actually use a white quilt cover for my flatlays. I love the texture it gives (the ripples in the fabric) and it actually helps with achieving that white and bright look!
#2) Find The Light!
Lighting is EVERYTHING! Find a place in your house where you’re able to get really nice lighting from at least 2 angles to help the light spread more evenly on the scene.
You’ll then want to use white boards (you can pick these up from your local craft store) to help reflect light back onto your flatlay which aids in reducing shadows. This is the one trick you ALWAYS want to use.
Determine as well the KIND of lighting you want for your flatlay. I actually LOVE the harsher sunlight affect where I do have shadowing on my flatlay, so this means I’ll shoot my product photography in the afternoon as opposed to the morning. Find out what style you like best and don’t ever be afraid to experiment with light!
#3) Plan Your Shoot
Planning is so crucial! You’ll want to give your flatlay shoot a purpose. What are you promoting? Is it for a sale? Are you launching a new service or product?
You’ll want to plan your props and make a list of what props you would ideally like to use in your flatlay. Make sure these props match your brand’s colour palette.
Some of my favourite props includes:
Magazines (I love Vogue for my flatlay shoots)
Jewellery (rings, necklaces, bangles)
Flowers (I always prefer fresh flowers as you CAN tell the difference between fake and real)
Items of clothing (I don’t use the whole piece of clothing but rather a corner of it)
Pens, notebooks, and boxes
Planning your shoot will help you stay focused and less stressed when it comes to photoshoot day. I’d highly recommend to plan either a day before or even a couple of days before to collate some inspiration!
When it does come to photoshoot day, collect all the props you have listed down on your props list and have them near you while styling. This prevents you from having to get up and go seek out props in the middle of styling.
#4) Look for Inspiration!
It’s ok to look at other people’s work and see how they’ve styled something. The important thing is you don’t straight out copy them but put your own eye onto the flatlay.
When styling, play around with your prop placement and experiment! If something doesn’t quite look right to the eye, it probably means you need to change something up.
I like to focus on these elements when building my flatlays:
Framing: – use props to frame your photo. This might be a pillow and a notebook jutting out from the corners of the flatlay. Put props around the edges of your flatlay to frame your photo
Volume: Props don’t have to be flat to be used on a flatlay. Give your flatlay some depth and volume by using a vase with flowers in it, boxes, anything to give it some depth.
Contrast: use darker objects (or lighter depending on your colour palette) to help provide contrast to your products and background. For example this might be a black makeup case, black lipstick on a white background
Layering: One of my favourite things to do! Layering helps to provide more interest to your flatlay. You can layer notebooks, magazines, flowers, anything!
#6) Pay CLOSE attention to your editing!
This is where most of the magic happens! The thing is, a lot of flatlays can come out with blue, yellow or green tints. It’s time to get rid of these colour casts and have gorgeous bright and white flaltays!
If you’re committing to taking your own photos. I HIGHLY recommend investing in Adobe Lightroom desktop version which is roughly $15 per month (and also gives you Photoshop).
When I first edit a photo, I always adjust my white balance which you can do with the eyedropper tool in Lightroom, and then de-saturate any blue or yellow colour casts that need to be removed from the photo. Lightroom has been an absolute game changer for me and if you really want to take your own photos to market your products and service, you NEED this program!
Flatlays aren’t as difficult as your head makes them out to be and they’r an INCREDIBLE marketing tool that always attracts the eye of scrolling Instagrammers. By following the steps above I’m confident you can increase your flatlay game and produce some gorgeous AF flatlays!
If you want a more in-depth look, make sure to check out Amanda’s Youtube Video on how to create flatlays here below: