It’s no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Instagram flatlays. Half the time it doesn’t even matter what is in the actual photo, it’s more about how the items are positioned and the colours/lighting for me. Flatlays are a style that drew me in as soon as I started using Instagram for my blog – over at @thismamalife. They are such a visually effective (and pleasing) way of creating striking, interesting images.
So, as I’ve been requested on quite a few occasions to do a post on how I put my flatlays together, here we go.
Background – wouldn’t it be great if we all had houses with white floorboards, brick walls, plain white backgrounds, lots of textured rugs all over the place that we could use as backgrounds for our beautiful flat lay photos? I’ll tell you a secret that helped me get round the fact I live in a military marriage quarter, not a gorgeous White loft apartment in New York – make the backgrounds yourself. My husband picked up some pallets from a local DIY store and made me a White wood background. We wall papered one of our dining room walls with White brick wall paper. I regularly use our bedding, blankets and tables as backgrounds. I’ve bought some lovely textured rugs from Ikea to add some interest to my backgrounds. All in all I’m a big cheat!
Positioning – this is the hardest thing about flat lays. It can sometimes take ages to find the perfect positioning. I take photo after photo on my phone trying to figure out what looks best. It’s just a case of messing around and finding what suits your style. It’s fun to try things at different angles to each other and mix up the types of products. I often shoot clothes flat lays with some other items thrown in to add interest, i.e. some animal figures with Little I’s clothes, a jar of flowers with my beauty products. Play around with textures as well. It really adds to an image to have some contrasting textures going on. Throw in a scarf for example. You can always look for positioning inspiration from your favourite flat lay accounts.
Lighting – It’s essential that you have good lighting for flatlay photos. You don’t want lots of different shadows ruining the image you are trying to achieve. Take your photos when there is the most natural light coming into the room, or invest in a good lightbox. It you are using a lightbox, it’s often good to have the light shining down from above for flatlays.
Editing – as mentioned in my Instagram Tips post here, use apps to enhance your photos. Whether it’s Photoshop or Lightbox on your computer or VSCO Cam, Facetune
Hope that helps. Share your links to your flatlay photos below so I can come have a sneaky peek!