Considering my photography style is a bit out there, I never thought I’d ever be asked for tips on how I take my flatlays, but recently I’ve been asked multiple times (can you tell I am surprised?) how I take them and also how to make them so bright and fun. Although, I can’t say I’ve ever felt completely confident in my flatlays as I’ve seen some other bloggers create them and their monochrome grids look amazing, but nonetheless, as requested by you, here are my tips for creating the perfect flatlay.
The background is part of the set up:
Pick your background around the items you are looking to photograph, weirdly I’ve found that background inspiration comes from the strangest of places. I know sometimes bloggers use wallpaper samples for photos and cute rugs and things. But after 6 years as a blogger, I’ve only recently started to figure out what makes really my photos pop. Although I like to use a variety of duvet covers in my Instagram photos, on my blog I love to use laminate wood flooring not only does it look great in your house but it makes a great photo background too. It is usually a flat service where you are able to create balance things well and also to stand high enough to take a fab picture. Whether you buy a piece of laminate for your photos or have recently redone your kitchen, I’d totally recommend it.
Without light, there’s always going to be shadow:
You can line up the best shot, with the perfect props and background but without light, your photo is not likely to look how you want it to. In the day, sunlight can work well. But lamps and ceiling lights don’t give the crisp effect you want from your photos. Overcast days can also be hard to take photos in. With bad lighting comes shadows unfortunately and they’re pretty hard to remove from a photo. I have some studio lights which I think are fantastic and cost me around £40 from Amazon. You will instantly notice a difference in your photos and it will make the whole process easier when it comes to editing.
Props are your best friend:
I can’t say this enough, using props in your photos make for a perfect flatlay, I love to use sweets, colourful books, things I’ve recently bought, postcards and tons more. Putting these into your background can build the effect up and give you more an interesting picture. Don’t overdo it though as being able to see the background looks good too. I say pick 3-4 props to use in your photo, lay them out in different ways as changing them and then taking a picture until you’re happy with it. Make sure the frame is good when you’ve taken the photo as I haven’t too many times and ended up trying to fix it and it doesn’t really work.
Take the photo from above:
It sounds obvious but unless your photo is directly above it can create a weird looking angle in the photo. If you’re wanting to be in the photo (I always put my hands in photos, mostly to show off my nails) having someone to take this photo for you is ideal as it allows them to be able to see what it looks like from above. However, if you’re taking this yourself just make sure you’re much higher than the objects to get the perfect frame.