Flat lays are a fairly new thing in blogging, since the rise in Instagram usage. It’s where you arrange items in a particular way and then take a photo of it from overhead. Of course, bloggers were doing this before Instagram took over our lives but Instagram made it ubiquitous.
Start from the back
The background, that is. White or light backgrounds are popular because they help the items on top stand out. They’re also surprisingly easy to find around your home – you probably have a bit of floor in the house that’s light coloured! You could also buy a large piece of art board and use our little secret about how to get a marble background. Even a duvet cover or a scarf can make a good background, but try not to let them be too busy or they can distract from the actual items in the pic.
Light it up up up
As any blogger knows, natural light is your best friend when shooting photos for your blog and that’s still true when looking at flay lays because of the shadows that would be cast over your products – at the very least, the shadow of your camera!
Look it over
This might sound a bit obvious, but flat items like magazines and photos (have you tried out the Instax printer yet?) and smaller items like lipsticks and jewellery will work better than bulky items like clothing and blankets.
Another thing to consider is how the items are laid out – if they’re scattered about, then make sure everything is facing the way you want it to, and if they’re supposed to be laid out in a line, then make sure they’re straight!
Space it out
It can be tempting to pile all the things into a photo, but being selective and spacing the items out means they can be seen better and your picture doesn’t look so cluttered. If you take your photo with your phone, depending on the camera app, you can choose to restrict the view to a square to see how things will look (although you can post landscape photos now on Instagram, so if your photo works better like that, then you won’t have to crop anything out!)
The balance of your photo is very dependent on the items in the photo, so take a look to see whether something can be added or removed.
Theme your pics
The Instagram accounts that get the most attention seem to be those that have a specific theme. Although many people choose to use Instagram as a quick way to post snippets of their life, there are others who will have a very specific look to their account and this can really work well.
What tips do you have for beautiful flat lays? What are your favourite Instagram accounts?