We have all seen flatlay’s on Instagram. They can be some of the most creative photos to create, but also a bit challenging. I use to be absolutely terrible when it came to taking them. I could never get it right and would just give up. Luckily I kept on trying and figured out a way that works best for me. I thought I would share with you some of my tips for taking a flatlay, and hopefully they will make taking them easier for you!
In order to create a flatlay you have to make sure everything is in the shot. Trying to take one free handed can be a challenge, because where you line up your camera will be different each time. I have found the easiest way to take a flatlay is to use a tripod. Set up your camera on a tripod and angle it down to where you are going to lay out your items. Then when you’re figuring out where to place the items, you’ll be able to look at the view finder and see if everything is lined up and in frame. If you want to use your phone to take the shot and don’t have a tripod, I suggest outlining the frame on the surface with tape. This way you can arrange all you items inside the box, remove the tape, and snap away!
If you’re taking the flatlay with anything other than your phone camera it won’t be in a square. You should always leave room to be able to zoom in when you are taking one. There is nothing more frustrating than taking one and finding out that you were too close. Since you can’t zoom out once you take the photo, it’s easier to just zoom in.
Having an overall theme can make creating a flatlay easier. I use to just select random items and it would never turn out as good. Having a set theme, whether it’s items you’ve been loving recently, beauty products you want to show, or a breakfast / morning spread, having those items have some common connection will make taking the flatlay that much better.
You always want the viewers eyes to go to one item first. If there isn’t a focal point it can make the whole flatlay a bit overwhelming. Pick the one item you want people to notice first and select where you want it to be in the frame.
Once you’ve picked a focal point, it’s now time to start laying out the rest of your items. I have found it’s easiest to start with the outside and work your way in. Start arranging items on the outer part of the frame and play around with where you want them to be. Then start placing the other items that are more towards the center. Be open to trying different locations and angles for each item and get creative!
Although it can be fun to create a flatlay with lots of items, make sure you don’t over do it. I’ve seen some beautiful ones that I’ve loved, but have felt that with one or two less items it would look better. Just remember less is more, and let the items do the rest of the talking!