So you are not a fan of selfies when it comes to sharing photos on Instagram, blog or other social media platforms. Then, the flat lay will be the next best way of sharing beautiful images with your fans and followers.
The flat lay is another pictorial way to tell a story or give a visual insights of your daily life, morning breakfasts, favourite makeup products or what is in your handbag.
Basically, a flat lay photo is a photo of a group of items laid out on a flat surface and taken from a bird’s eye view. By doing so, the visual effect is one of “flattening” the photo hence the name Flat Lay.
I have to be honest that I am by no means an expert in flat lay photography, however I would like to share with you some tips that I learnt through taking flat lays of my own.
The first tip is lighting because it is the MOST important. Yes, I repeat lighting. Even the best DSLR camera in your hands will fair terribly in bad lighting. I always shoot with natural light next to a window as I prefer the ,erm, more natural look. When shooting flat lays, I’ve found that it is best when the light is kept above the image that you want to shoot . On days when the weather doesn’t coorperate, I usually just postpone my shooting to another time or day as the graininess and grey overcast in the photos are difficult to correct.
Not all of us are blessed with marbled table tops and shabby chic floor boards. For a start, plain or white backgrounds are the easiest to shoot with as it keeps doesn’t distract the item that you are shooting. But don’t be afraid to play it up with a bit of texture and colours for variety. To create a shabby chic look, I buy pieces of small wood slabs, line them up against the length and I have a new background to shoot on.
Having a theme helps to keep the viewer in focus and helps to bring the viewer to exactly where you want to be. Having a lazy morning spent in bed = PJs, breakfast in bed, favourite book and bed throws. A day at the beach = sunnies, wide brim hat, magazine, bikini, sunblock & metallic tattoos. The theme can also be centered around a particular colour scheme to keep things in focus. There is nothing more overwhelming than a flat lay with too much going on.
BIRD’S EYE VIEW
This may sound a little obvious but when we are talking about the flat lay photo, you have to be right above the items you’re shooting. That might mean standing on a stool and bending over your flatlay. If it is possible, do your flat lay on the floor and it makes taking the photos easier. Take a few test shots to see how it looks in your camera, keeping in mind the square crop. If there are odd white spaces, try moving the items around or zooming into the items for a tighter crop.
More often than not, your flat lay pictures will not appear like how you see it with your naked eyes or how you had wanted it to be. I edit pretty much all the photos that I post on the internet, even if it is straight-forward adjustments such as brightness, contrasts and clarity. There are many photo editing programs and applications that are readily available for free. If you are working on your laptop, try Pixlr.com and VSCOcam and Snapseed for the smart phone.
As with all things, practice makes perfect and with some inspirations from other instagrammers from #flatlays, you will discover your personal style of flat lays.
Follow me on instagram @EverestSays , if you aren’t already.
Drop me a note below if you have any questions.
Live & Love Life,