14 Jul How To Master The Flat Lay Photo Like A #Boss
If you are hooked on Instagram like us, you’ll know the #flatlay is the cool-girl way to photograph anything and everything – your travel essentials, daily outfits, beauty products, shopping successes, night-out essentials, lazy afternoon accompaniments and so much more. If you aren’t flat laying on Instagram, then you aren’t doing it right.
Flat laying is not restricted to the blogging elite, so follow these 9 tips and you’ll be a master in no time.
1. Shoot In Square
The first rule of Instagram flat lays is to always shoot the photo in square if you are taking the shot on your phone. Flicking your phone onto square makes it easier to see what will fit in the Instagram frame and you won’t have to worry about cropping it when it comes time to upload. If you are using your SLR camera, make sure you change the image dimensions to 640×640 pixels (or as close to as possible) so the whole image is in the frame.
2. Composition Is Key
Whether you are going for a simple, clean look with lots of white space or a cluttered yet stylish flat lay a la Margaret Zhang, composition is key to a good flat lay. Keep your lines clean, consider symmetry on both sides of the frame and create space between each object. If you’re still unsure, stick to the rule of thirds and place the main components on the gridlines of an invisible 3×3 grid.
3. Pick a Colour Scheme
Nothing ruins an image more than colours that don’t work in harmony with each other. When selecting items for your flat lay choose a colour scheme and stick to it for a set that works wonders.
4. You Need Good Lighting
When shooting a flat lay it is important to have good lighting, so shoot in natural light when possible. Walk around your house with one item and take a couple of test shots to help you decide where the best lighting is. Hint: the garage is usually good during the day.
5. Use Your Editing Apps
A good flat lay highlights the products in their natural form, so you shouldn’t need to do too much editing to your pictures. Instead, use one of the many free photo-editing apps that are available to enhance the colour, add contrast, adjust the lighting and make white areas appear crisper. Find one that works well with your style and your editing will be done in a couple of taps.
6. Pick A Theme
Flat lays are supposed to tell a visual story, so when you choose a theme stick to it, no matter how tempting it is to throw in embellishments that stray from the original theme. Whether it’s sporty, glam, brand orientated, foodie inspired or just a few of your favourite things, each element needs to make sense when combined as a whole.
7. The Hero Piece
A flat lay should revolve around one of two main items, or hero pieces, and the other elements and accessories are used to add value and embellishment. The hero piece can be anything – a cute new top, an inspirational quote, your favourite magazine or a new recipe you’ve trialed. The hero piece should be the main focus of your story or theme, so make sure it looks good and sits well while photographing.
8. Get The Bird’s Eye View
The final step in taking the perfect flat lay image is to get above the spread that you have created and shoot from a bird’s eye view. Get up on a stool no matter how silly you think you look. It’ll take your snap from amateur Instagrammer to influencer in no time.
9. Tag Away
Once you have published your gorgeous flat lay don’t forget to tag all of the brands and products that you have used in it. It will give your image more exposure, increase your chances of being ‘regrammed’ and it will give your feed more credibility too.
Do you have any other helpful tips and tricks that help you get the perfect flat lay shot? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!