How To Master The Flat LayFriday, May 13, 2016
You know what is one of life's greatest mysteries? It's how to do the perfect flat lay photo. Something that should seem so simple, but is in fact pretty tricky. For the past couple of years, I have been trying to attempt to do flat lays. To which I've failed. I thought they were impossible, but I feel over the past couple of months, I have managed to maybe actually finally master them. (Cue dramatic music)
Today, I thought I'd share some tips that I have found really helpful for when it comes to taking flat lay photos. I am in no means an expert, and tbh could still do better, but I feel I have improved lately so there we go. Flat lays are a pretty popular way of taking photos right now within the blogging world, and did you know that your Instagram account doesn't exist if you don't upload at least one flat lay in your lifetime.
I'm just joking. Kind of.
1. Get High:No I do not mean drugs, you wild mind, you. I worked out that you have to get above your picture to get that flat lay look. I used to just hold the camera up a little bit, but in fact I have found the best way to take a pic, is have the background and items on the floor and then get about 4/5ft above it. You could put your stuff on a table and then stand on a stool (safety first though guys, I don't want any of you suing me for falling off your chair, I will not go on Judge Rinder just so you know) but personally I find putting stuff on the floor and standing above it as the best option.
2. Use a Plain Background:Using a white background I think is perfect for flat lays. I currently use a big piece of white wood that is from our wardrobe (random don't ask) but you can use a white canvas from shops such as Wilkos, Amazon, or The Works for less than a fiver. You could pick up tiles from home DIY shops, whatever you fancy. Or you could get a box and use contact paper in white/marble/wood. But what I would say is use a pretty big background so you can fit everything in.
3. Get Good Lighting:I tend to wait for a nice bright day before I take my flat lay photos and try to use natural lights. I will take my photos in our conservatory or as close to an window as I can. I'll then up my ISO settings on my camera ( I won't go any higher than 600 as then the quality can get a little iffy) to get the camera at the right lighting. I'll then edit after in either Photoshop or on VSCO cam on my phone. (I'm going to do a blog photos post soon so I'll cover this in more detail.)
4. Have A Steady Hand:I have shaky hands. I have no idea why, but I do. So usually my blog photos can end up a little blurry, so before when I've been standing on a chair trying to not fall off, I've not had the best results. So for me using a tripod and a remote is one way to make taking flat lay pictures a lot easier. In fact this is one of my top tips for blog photos in general, you don't have to worry about shaking the camera and everything comes out a lot clearer. Which is especially good for product pictures.
Some recent blog flat lays, that I've really enjoyed taking :)
5. Play Around:
It can be difficult working out what to put in your flat lay. I will try to plan them, and will put stuff in that I feel will compliment the products. All of the same colour scheme looks very cute, or you could mix up textures by using a blanket or something. Play around with different things and then look at the pictures and see what you prefer. I would also recommend having some white tac handy to keep products in place from moving around.
6. Get Inspiration:
I find that looking at flay lays on Instagram and Pinterest helps me to be motivated to create my own. Whilst I'm not saying you should go out and basically copy someone else's flat lay, look at them for inspiration. Look at what they've included in their flat lay, how they've positioned things and then look at what you can do for yours. Sometimes, I feel that I need a little push in inspiration before taking pics and having a flat lay folder on Pinterest also really helps!
So there are my flat lay tips, I promise that it's not that hard. The main things are being above your picture, having a steady hand and having good light.
Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to know about blog photos as I am planning a blog photo video/post very soon, so shout if there's something you'd like to see me cover!
Do you have any tips for flat lays?