HOW TO: Take The Perfect Flat Lay

seamore flat lay

What blogger doesn’t love a good flat lay? Today I’ve got a post all about my favourite tips and tricks to capturing perfect flat lays and showcasing products in the best way!

First things first its great to get some inspo before taking a flat lay – especially if you’re new to it! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Pinterest for everything inspo. This is also perfect if you’re trying to photograph something really difficult or specific it may give you some ideas about angles and props you could use. [Feel free to follow my board linked here on Pinterest.]

Carried---Awady flat lay blog post ideas

Next thing is finding some props for your photo. This really depends on what it is that your photographing, especially if there is one specific item that needs to be the focal point. You need to use props which don’t detract from the main item, but complement it. For example; if you were shooting a cosmetic item for a brand, it’s best not to include lots of other cosmetic brands and logo’s too, but instead perhaps some unbranded make-up brushes or a make-up bag.

It’s also important when thinking about props about your layout in general. I love to mix it up with some big items and some little items, some soft and some hard. This could be something like a soft knitted material (if you haven’t started using the edges of your jumpers in flat-lay’s you’re doing it wrong) against something more hard and geometric like a phone, laptop or magazine.¬†Of course, also think about if you want ‘themes props.’ If it’s your birthday perhaps include some cake, confetti, or a candle etc.

primary flat lay

I have a huge box of prop’s specifically for photographing; fake flowers, pretty notebooks, Christmas decorations. ribbon and usually just root through and find as many thing that could work – and then narrow it down when I actually get to playing around with the layout.

Once you’ve got everything together you should find somewhere well-lit (this is assuming your doing it in your own home rather than a delicious flat lay of your brunch in a cafe.) Natural light is always by far the best… so get a little closer to the window! Decide what background you want too – I usually prefer light whites but I see some amazing really bright flat lays and even black surface flat lays so it all depends on your style!

TIP: If you haven’t already raided B&Q for as many samples as you can fit in your hands, you need to immediately. It’s a free way to create a little mini-studio setting, especially if you only photograph small products! I’ve also bough some sticky-back marble from Wilko’s [linked here] and have two “blogging boards” where I can quickly set up a shoot!

Halo Top Ice cream review

The most important thing with taking the perfect flat lay is trying out lots of different layouts and styles. Try going minimal, try going clustered, with a colour scheme, monochrome, with different backgrounds. You’ll only figure out what looks good until you’ve tried lots of different things, so don’t be too afraid of messing about and trying new things! Think about if you want the attention to be in the centre, or in one corner/ one side of the image too!

TIP: If you’ve ever struggled with photographing cylindrical objects; say for instance a mascara bottle… use a little bit of eyelash glue on the back of the product, wait for it to go tacky and then place it onto your surface or board. The glue doesn’t actually stick the product down but makes it tacky enough for it to stop rolling onto its side (especially if you want the brand name or label facing upwards)

grethers pastilles

Once you’ve finally got some photos snapped, your last job is to edit! My favourites are Light Room, VSCO Cam, Preview, Be Funky and Air Brush. I’m not going to go into too much detail about editing just yet as I’m hoping to do these “blogging tip” blog posts every other Sunday, so one all about how I edit and what I use will be coming in the next few weeks!

Hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you a few more ideas and some inspo for your next flat-lay! If there’s any specific topics you’d like me to cover on any of my blogging posts then feel free to give me a message or leave me a comment! As always, thanks for reading! Carrie x

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