How to Create the Perfect Flat Lay

I've become something of an amateur photographer thanks to this blog and my favorite type of picture to post are my flat lays. 
If you're an Instagram addict like me, you've probably seen tons of these photos by bloggers who've carefully curated the perfect "mess" to share. Despite appearances, these photos can be difficult to set up and capture but once I got the hang of it, it's been my favorite image to incorporate into my blog and Instagram feed. Today, I wanted to talk about this popular style and what makes for a good flat lay aesthetic: 
  • Lighting, lighting, lighting!: I can't stress good lighting enough! You want to chase natural light - that means a nice cloudy day (not sunny because that casts too much shadows). If you take your flat lay photos indoors, experiment around the house at different parts of the day to see where your photography looks best. I take mine right near a window in the middle of the day.
  • Get the angle: Most of the time, I have success with a bird's eye view, meaning I stand up and take my photo directly on top of my flat lay but I've seen people who take their photos from the side and the results are stunning. 
  • Mind the backdrop and props: The background of your flat lay can make or break your photo - you don't want something to distracting that takes away from the subject. I find a nice white backdrop to be perfect. I have a white bedspread and a white desk that I often take photos off and it works well. I'm also thinking of getting a foam board and covering it with marble contact paper to add texture to my photos in future flat lays which could also work well. Adding props also adds more to the photo so I'll add an accessory or two (like my cosmetics and such) while keeping in my mind to maintain a consistent color scheme. It really adds interest.
  • It takes practice: Sometimes it takes me a while to get everything set up just right and it takes a few hundred shots. Don't be afraid to experiment, stand in different places and be patient! 
Do you guys have any tips for creating good flat lays?

7 comments

  1. This are such great tips! I believe it is all about practice... They are not the easiest and lighting is very important :D
    xoxo

    Ileana

    Novelstyle Blog

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  2. I love those glittery shoes! :)

    Thanks for sharing your tips too! I don't do flatlays as like you said there are a lot of things to consider and to get just right, but it's good to appreciate the work that goes behind them when you see them pop up on instagram :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  3. This was such a great post, I always struggle doing flatlays that look aesthetically pleasing so I'll definitely bear these tips in mind!
    www.britishmermaid.com

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  4. Like this pair ;)
    xx
    Mónica Sors
    MES VOYAGES À PARIS
    NEW POST: MARRAKECH | TRAVEL VLOG

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  5. Great tips! This is definitely an art ahah
    www.amemoryofus.com

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  6. Good tips! I'm so bad at this but I'm sure this info will help!

    istylelooks.blogspot.com

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  7. Dear Deborah, I'm so sorry, I have to admit I practically never tried out to shoot a flat lay. But I see you are really experienced in this context and it was very interesting to read what you recommend. You inspired me even to try out such kind of photos, too, as I really like your flat lays.
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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