The Ultimate Guide to Taking An Amazing Flatlay
With the rise of social media came the importance of taking photographs of…well…pretty much everything! From showing what you had for breakfast, to showing what lipstick you are wearing, the internet had to know. Over the years, I have figured out some ways to ensure that I am taking the best photos that I am able to. Welcome to my guide on how to take the best flatlay ever, and these are all of my tips and tricks. I use every single time I post a photo on Instagram, or even my blog. I often get asked about how I make my flatlay photos, so I am answering that question right now!
Let’s set up your new flatlay!
Your first step is going to be to select your background. Using a simple background is going to be easier to build your flatly on. For my photos, I use a faux marble background, or just my desktop. Both of these are common in most of my photos, but you can choose whatever you want. Since you are going to be adding things to your image, you want some sort of layer to build upon. Think of this as the equivalent to your foundation in your makeup routine.
Next, let’s talk about some important rules that you may need to know about. The rule of thirds helps you create a more attractive photo. This is done by creating a grid on the photo. Placing your props on the lines and intersections, is more visually appealing. Another important rule to remember is the “Rule of Odds”. All this means is that people typically like photos with odd number props. So, instead of two doughnuts, add a third!
Make your photo really stand out
I love to add texture to any photo that I do. You can do this by adding fabrics or even different kinds of props. Most of the props that I use I have just collected over time. Some of them are from Amazon, but most are just found at various shops that I frequent. To be fair, most of the time I am not even really looking for anything when I find them. I have an entire blog post dedicated to things that I use in my photos if you want a little inspiration! Figuring out an overall color palette is going to make your image look more beautiful, and cohesive.
Something that I think people don’t realize is that negative space is not a bad thing! Having negative space around your various props causing the eye to scan the entire photo, not just whatever the center is. It also creates a nice balance against the props as well. Also, don’t be afraid to keep moving things around in your photo. You want your flatlay look perfect, and since you are in control, you can do that easily. Try out a few placements and see which one you think looks the best.
It’s finally time to take your photo!
The most important tip that you can ever get when it comes to photography is to focus on your lighting. While shooting in natural lighting is really the best way to get an amazing photo, there are ways to compensate for it. There are some great lighting kits that you can buy for pretty cheap off of Amazon. Also, if you haven’t discovered daylight light bulbs yet, then you need to get yourself to Home Depot right now. They seriously change the game when it comes to creating lighting for your photos. They also are usually better for the environment as well. If you cannot get the lighting just right, you can always edit the photo too. Just don’t overdo it! As they say, all things in moderation!
When taking your flatlay, you want to be standing overtop of whatever you are shooting, typically. This is going to vary depending on if you are using your camera or if you are just using your phone. Four to five feet is typically the best distance to start with. I just lay my background on the floor instead of risking my fragile life and standing on a chair. Another tip is to invest in a tripod! This way, you can set up the background so that it is in the frame perfectly. At this point, you can move the items around the frame to get it just right. It also helps with stabilization if you have shaky hands like me! I also made a post about all of the equipment that I use for my blog photos if you are interested too!
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What are your photo tips for flatlays?