Whether you want to boost your personal blog, take stunning Instagram photos, market products, or just enjoy the style, the flat lay photograph is a style which looks to be here to stay. There isn’t much that can’t be photographed beautifully this way – travel essentials, delicious meals, beauty products, or interesting curiosities – the list goes on. But it’s not as easy as it first might seem, and it can be seriously time-consuming to get the right shot.
Learn your way around your camera
First things first, you’re going to want to get the most out of your camera. A basic photography course can be a good place to start. But equally, spend some time understanding your settings, particularly light and shutter speeds – this is what will really help you to get the best shot. An understanding of editing apps will also help. While you shouldn’t have to do too much editing in this style, being able to make slight enhancements to colour and contrast can make all the difference.
Grow your prop collection
Depending on what you want to showcase, you might want to add accessories to the frame to complement your photograph. Chances are, tropical leaves, fluffy fabrics, and pineapples aren’t just hanging around your home. Start keeping an eye out for perfect props when you’re shopping – they’re what will take your pics to the next level.
Choose a sturdy chair
Leaning precariously over a table to get a shot isn’t the easiest way to achieve the perfect photo. A study chair for standing on means you’re less likely to rush it, you’ll get a better photo, and you’ll be able to see what you’re doing far more easily.
Whether you’re using a phone or your SLR, changing the screen to square (around 640 by 640 pixels) makes it a whole lot easier. When you can line the frame up and get exactly the right photograph, you’re going to be left with far more cohesive and perfect results.
Get your composition right
Whatever you’ve decided to photograph, you’re going to want it laying out perfectly. While some of this is trial and error, there are a few basic rules to abide by. While you might be keen on the cluttered by clean look, it’s still essential to keep the lines square in order to not overwhelm the eye. Living by the rule of thirds, as with any photography, is guaranteed to make this photograph pop. It’s also essential to stick to some sort of colour scheme to ensure props and items work harmoniously together.
Choose your ultimate natural light spot
Lighting is key, and good, bright, natural light is always best. Play around in your home or studio to find the best spot for natural lighting. Big, south facing windows tend to be the best in the daytime. If you’re shooting at night, it could be worth investing in a daylight lamp to give the same effect.
Just remember, getting the perfect flat lay photograph is about trial and error, testing different products with backgrounds and props until you get the perfect pic.
*this is a collaborative post