How to take the Perfect Flatlay Photo by Robyn Taylor
Flatlays have been taking the blog and instagram world by storm recently, and for anyone who hasn’t got the foggiest what a flatlay is, it’s basically just a photo of products/clothes on a flat surface. Shock, I know.
There’s one huge benefit to taking flatlay photos and that’s that you can take them whenever you want, and don’t need to be dressed or dolled up in make-up to do it. Thank the lord!
I’m going to teach you how to make the PERFECT flatlay photo with some cheeky tips that I’ve learnt over my ‘flatlay career’.
FLATLAY TIP 1 – GET THE RIGHT BACKGROUND
A lot of people take flatlays on their beds or on the floor, but you can actually buy A1 sized cardboard or polystyrene boards for only a few pounds at Hobbycraft (aka my favourite place on Earth). If I could encourage you to do anything after reading this post it would be to invest in a giant white bit of cardboard, because it gives your photo a cleaner background and a much more professional finish.
I also buy coloured bits of card to incorporate in some photos – sometimes taking pictures of white objects with a white background can be a bit of a nightmare so why not put it on a bright pink or blue bit of card?
FLATLAY TIP 2 – USE PROPS
Ever taken a photo of something and thought “that’s such a bland photo?”. Well… I have, so in come the props to make them a little less boring. All I do is find anything mildly pretty in my bedroom and throw it into the photo to get rid of all of the empty space. I use things like plants (obviously the classic blogger cactus), feathers, random table confetti and lipsticks – but you can literally use anything you want.
On my props shopping list: tons of glitter.
FLATLAY TIP 3 – EXPERIMENT WITH ANGLES
In this example, I wanted to take a photo of a party dress from Nobody’s Child to put on Instagram – I’ve added a few props, such as the jewellery and make-up I might wear with the dress, and I’ve organised my coloured bits of card so it gives the photo a bit more personality. But when I take the photo I’ll snap it from a few angles because sometimes the birds-eye view can be a little ‘samey’.
Remember to keep things in proportion; in the photos below, all of the items are a similar distance apart – it’ll stop your photo from looking wonky (unless, of course, you want that look!).
See what I mean? They both look fab but shaking things up a bit never hurt anybody!
FLATLAY TIP 4 – TRIAL AND ERROR
No idea what props to use? No clue what colours will work together? Take a billion photos in a little session and see what you come up with. I wanted to take a photo of some new shoes. I thought they looked okay on their own until I added the scarf – it just adds a bit more ‘oomph’ to the photo… (if that’s what you call it).
FLATLAY TIP 5 – EDITING
Think your photo looks awful on camera? Calm down! If your snaps come out a little too dark, you can always lighten them on your laptop or your phone. One thing I do is play around with the contrast – what this does is make the dark bits darker and the light bits lighter – see the difference in these photos below!
See how much clearer and crisper the second photo is? You can also play around with things like the brightness! Free apps on your phone or laptop are usually good enough – try Picasa, Pic Monkey, BeFunky, iPiccy or VSCO Cam.
Hope that’s given you some inspiration to switch up your photos a bit!