Have you ever wanted to do a flat lay on your social media but don’t know where to start? Or have you ever tried making one but thought that it is not Pinterest-worthy? If you answer yes to both questions, then you are at the right place.
A flat lay is essential to showcase your products for promotional purposes. The items are arranged on a flat surface and then captured directly from the above with any gadgets. In this piece, we have got you covered with ways to improve your flat lay photography skills for some Insta-worthy shots.
Plan before shooting
Before you start to whip out the camera, you need to have a plan of what the photo will look like. In order to do so, ask yourself first what you are planning to show in the picture. It can either be a product, a variety of items, or menu food.
So, what you can do is check some Pinterest photos to create a mood board by adding as many pictures as you want to get some ideas. The ideas can be for color palette, props, and composition. In addition, take note of how each item is positioned as well as the lighting position. This way, you can use it as an inspiration for your flat lay photos.
Create a theme
Having a theme is crucial as it tells the items overview that you are showcasing. So, make sure that you decide on a theme that binds each item together in a picture. For instance, let’s say you want to make a travel flat lay. What you need to do is decide things such as the destinations or maybe the general idea of what traveling is. After that, you may choose what items to display, such as passports, sunblock, or a Polaroid camera.
Furthermore, try to browse more different themes that catch your attention to create a perfect theme. After that, you can mix your ideas to make sure that the audience can immediately understand once they look at the pictures.
Find the props
This is probably the part that many would enjoy the most. When you have finally decided on a theme, you will know what items are needed for the picture. So, you can start prop hunting around your house or shop for suitable things.
In addition, remember to have extra items and not just a few that you think will suit the picture. This is to make sure that you have enough props to switch in case some do not fit well with the theme as what you imagined it to be.
Besides, you also need to consider what background you are using. This is because you wouldn’t want the picture to be too crowded once you arrange your props. Hence, consider using backgrounds, such as just plain ones, wood, or marble.
Decide on a color palette
If you don’t have a specific color to use, try to come up with different colors that you think will work well together. Plus, there are various color palettes that you can find on Pinterest as well as on the internet, so it would be easy for you. Additionally, you can also download the free color wheel apps on your Android phone.
Apart from that, the color palette is important to pick the color for the background easily. Moreover, flat a flay looks so much better with a solid color background. So, make sure you pick a color that makes your items stand out.
Arrange the items
The key point to a killer flat lay is its composition. If you have good composition, then it’s going to give you the perfect shot and vice versa. Thus, you should spend time arranging and removing the items in the frame until you are satisfied with the look.
Moreover, there are some tips that you can try when arranging the items. Firstly, leave some spaces between each item to avoid the picture from looking too cluttered. Next, create a balance in the shot by combining small and large objects. Lastly, if you plan to add texts or graphics, make sure you know their position as you shoot to leave spaces for them.
Decide on what kind of lighting
Of course, natural lighting would always win when it comes to photography. However, there are days that it may be unavailable. Or, what about pictures that you want to shoot in the dark? And this is where additional help, such as LED or ring lighting comes in.
That said, each piece of lighting has its own pros and cons. If you use natural lighting, a little tweak here and there will give the shot a softer touch. But then, a slight weather change will completely put a halt to the shooting session. Furthermore, the same goes for using LED or ring lighting. They both offer consistency and flexibility. Plus, you can shoot anytime instead of waiting for the sun.
Think of the size of the shot
Before you start shooting, think of where you are posting the picture. Is it on Instagram or as a Facebook ad? This is because each posting has different sizes. If you don’t shoot according to the specific frame size, you will end up having to crop the images that might remove some important items.
One tip you can try is to use the grid view on your Samsung phone or the DSLR camera. It will give you a constant view of how each item looks in the frame without adjusting it multiple times.
Play around with angles
Do you know that the objects do not have to be in a straight position? Yes, you can angle them in any direction that you think would make the flat lay look nice. In addition, if you have more items for one frame, angling them is a good idea as you can fit as many items as you want.
Besides, try to overlap the items with one another to give the shot a better texture. Additionally, a perfect flat lay is taken from the angle parallel to the surface. Hence, make sure to capture the picture directly from above the objects by using a tripod or standing on a chair.
All in all, taking a killer flat lay is not as hard as you think. Therefore, with these guides, we hope you can capture one for your social media.