One of my favourite styles of photos on Instagram is the ever-perfect, super stylish, envy-inducing flat lay.
If you’re currently straining your brain trying to picture what on earth a ‘flat lay’ is let me help before you hurt yourself!
A flat lay is a style of photography that involves snapping a picture directly over objects strategically laid out in a lovely design. They’re almost always gorgeous and are a great way of showing off things like fashion, accessories, food, books, decor, makeup, flowers, magazines and knick knacks – basically anything you want.
While they are beautiful to look at, there is definitely some skill required to mastering the flay lay. I’m still learning but love the challenge, so I thought I would share a few tips of what I know so far.
Flat lay like a pro
- Work out a theme: Whether you’re fixated on fashion, food or football, pick a theme or concept and stick to it. It all sounds rather serious but the best flat lays focus on one topic like your daily outfit, your lipstick collection, your lunch spread or your favourite desk accessories. Having a theme also helps you narrow down your choices to pick best items to feature in your photo.
- Find a good background: You want a good surface to work (and balance all your items) on. I use my kitchen table for most of my photos and also a white sheet for some of my fashion flat lays to make sure the clothes and accessories really stand out.
- Think about lighting: Like all good photography, lighting is key. I love the look of natural lighting and try to make all my photos using it, but the reality is that isn’t always possible. Working 9-5 means that I sometimes have to take photos at night using artificial lights or my flash.
- Consider spacing and structure: Some flat lays fit items together almost like a puzzle, will others are much less structured. It really just depends on your personal preference. A great way to work out what you like and what you don’t is to look at what other people are trying. Search the hashtag #flatlay in Instagram and you will see thousands of great images to inspire you. I love a slightly structured look.
- Think inside the square: If your plan is to share this image on Instagram you need to keep in mind the constraints of the app’s square image design when you are setting out your objects.
- Experiment: Play around with you items to see what works and what looks you like best. Have fun with it and work out your own, personal style.
That’s it! Now go forth and flat lay like crazy little ones.