Today I want to talk to you about how to create the perfect flatlay image. And I’m not going to sugar coat it, it’s not the easiest thing to do in the world. It takes some time and practice (lots and lots of practice to get that perfect image), but I’m sharing 5 tips of mine that have helped me create better flatlays.
Make sure to watch the video that goes along with this blog post. I’m really excited to start adding video content into our blog post mix. If you hang around with me in my private Facebook group, The Shop Social, you know I love hopping onto Facebook love. Well, these might not be Facebook Live videos, but they are going to pretty raw.
1. You need your products (the main subject)
Gather your the main products you want to photograph together, so they’re all in one place. But when it comes time to photographing each flatlay, choose one main product to focus on.
2. You need a few other smaller products (supporting subjects)
These products compliment your main product. If you’re hand making your final product, you could include some of the tools or materials that go into creating that product. You could add smaller accessories.
You could also try glassware, magazines, books, notebooks and office supplies. Be creative and don’t feel the need to shell out a lot of money. Check out the Dollar Spot at Target or try your local dollar store. Always keep your eyes peeled for craft store coupons or major sales.
P.S — Sometimes (alot of the time) I like going to Target and capturing it all on my InstaStory.
3. Use backgrounds smartly
Have a mix of solid background and creative backgrounds.
For solid backgrounds, use foam core. Again you can get this even at the dollar store or a craft store. Always have neutrals like white, black, gray, maybe tan or brown on hand, but use your brand colors as well. If they don’t have foam core in your brand colors, try scrapbook paper or painting a piece of foam core.
For your creative backgrounds, think of texture and patterns. Maybe there is a patterned piece of scrapbook that works well. Don’t forget about fabric. My favorite background to use is the white fur fabric that looks like a rug. In fact, I do use it as a rug. You can also try out contact paper and adhere it onto foam core. For creative backgrounds, check out Amazon, your craft stores and dollar store.
Head over to my private Facebook group for boutique and shop owners to watch my exclusive Facebook livestream of all the products (and links) to products I use in my photography.
4. Have good lighting
I use natural light, but you can definitely rearrange lamps to help you create better lighting situations. Of course, there is always the option to buy professional lighting, but try out some DIY lighting situations in the beginning to get a feel of flatlays are really your style.
My best tip is to use the white balance feature on your camera if you are using a DSLR or a more professional camera. It evens out the color in your photo right off the bat.
5. Last but not least — Start taking pictures!
As I mentioned in the beginning, it takes time. When you rearrange your products on your background, you may need to rearrange them if your original layout didn’t work.
Now that you’re ready to snap away, stand over the subject (your flatlay) to get the right angle. Make sure when you’re standing over your flatlay arrangement that you’re not creating any weird shadows.
Also when photographing, don’t use the camera to crop. It’s much easier to create a better looking flatlay if you crop during the editing process. So my original pictures may not look perfect but after I crop the flatlay to get out any unnecessary products or background (or sometimes even my feet).
Now that you’ve read up on my five tips on creating the perfect flatlay, start photographing!