10 Tips for Fabulous Flatlay Photography

Hey Ladies

I have finally listened to all of your encouragements to do a post about how i take the perfect flatlay. I have gathered some great tips that i accumulated while perfecting my own strategy. We all love a good flatlay on our Instagram feed and i have been obsessed with them since the beginning of the trend. It might look hard to copy, but with some few tips and tricks it’s easier than you think. Since i love beauty products and all the pretty items to uplift my home i think a flatlay is a great way to showcase what you are passionate about. 

How to take the perfect flatlay

Perfect lighting is key

The number one rule of flatlay images is to always shoot in natural light. Mornings or afternoons are a great time to utilize the light. Natural light is best because it does not create shadows, so shoot somewhere that is drenched in natural light, perhaps near a large window or glass doors. For best results, try different places around your home and office until you find a place that gives you the best natural lighting. Lighting may seem like such an obvious thing, but not everyone understands just how important it is when creating photos. It will make a difference between an average picture and an awesome picture.

flatlay photographyPick a theme

The theme is important because your flatlay should tell a story or describe a moment in time, so ensure every piece of the flatlay helps to tell the story and is in line with the overall theme. The theme could be anything, from travel, fashion, beauty and food to ‘whats on my desktop’ or ‘what’s in my bag.’

For Example, when focusing on a clothing item, showing some related items will add the perfect extra something to your photo. Here i wanted so show off my sweater and it’s color scheme and paired it with same colored beauty items and accessories.

flatlay photographyCreate a Focus

Pick an item that you will focus on and place things around it. If talking about your favorite agenda, place the item in the middle and highlight it with some add-ons.

Organization is fun

People love seeing beautiful objects all neat and aligned. It’s a different take on a flatlay and i have experienced lot’s of likes on such pictures. Place big and small items nicely together all in the same direction like this picture featuring clinique. Make sure all your items are clean, especially makeup and beauty products.

Use a plain Background

Plain backgrounds work best to highlight your item. If you don’t want to go for the same solid white background on all of your pictures, try using wallpaper ( bought mine on amazon), wooden floorboards, bed covers or an interesting rug.

Shoot several pictures

When i do a flatlay i take multiple shots from different sides, i crop and zoom in and out to get several different pictures from one flatlay. Such pictures are a great thing to have in stock when it’s bad weather or when your inspiration isn’t flowing.

flatlay photographyPlay with angles

You don’t always have to include the entire flatlay you’re photographing into one frame. This goes along with playing with angles. Rather than trying to fit the entire item into your lens, you can always take a shot from the sides to create a more creative photo.

Use props

props are an essential part of creating a flatlay. I tend to stash all my props in boxes in order to have them handy when needed. Anything from Magazines, books, flowers, candles to food and makeup could be used as props.

Get Flatlay Inspired 

I regularly scroll through Instagram and sometimes print screen a flatlay that caught my eye. use the #flatlay hashtag to get some inspiration or come join my flatlay inspiration board on Pinterest  HERE

Now i have a question to ask, what kind of flatlay would you like to see more on my Instagram? And please let me know which tips helped you the most and if this post helped you in any way. Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below! I can’t wait to hear about your best ways to perfect your flatlay photography.

Until next time,
Toby

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44 Comments

  1. Paige
    October 28, 2016 / 7:30 am

    Love this and great pieces of advice! x
    lifeofpaigel.blogspot.co.uk

    • Toby
      October 31, 2016 / 3:40 pm

      thank you jessica xx

  2. October 28, 2016 / 2:17 pm

    Love these tips! I totally need to step up my flatlay game so this was perfect for me to read today.

    Xoxo

    • Toby
      October 31, 2016 / 3:40 pm

      i am sure you are going to nail it next time xx

    • Toby
      October 31, 2016 / 3:39 pm

      please fly me to florida for this !!! haha 🙂

  3. October 28, 2016 / 4:55 pm

    Such a helpful post! I did newborn photography for many years, and the tips you gave are the exact ones I used every day to take beautiful newborn photos. Simplicity, consistent lighting, and a unified theme are key!

    • Toby
      October 31, 2016 / 3:39 pm

      oh you must be great at it. Thank you for the love april xx

  4. October 28, 2016 / 5:42 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this! I am a new blogger who is learning how to become a better photographer (and teaching my husband too because he takes my outfit shots!). This was very informative and I will definitely be using some of your tips!

    • Toby
      October 31, 2016 / 3:38 pm

      thank you kaitlin there is always so much to learn out there, i hope i was able to help xx

  5. October 28, 2016 / 6:57 pm

    I’m in flatly heaven right now! These are such awesome tips! Thanks for sharing! <3

    • Toby
      October 31, 2016 / 3:37 pm

      haha thanks brittany xx

    • Toby
      October 31, 2016 / 3:37 pm

      thank you mary xx

    • Toby
      October 31, 2016 / 3:37 pm

      oh no you cant get stuck now anymore 😉 i hope these tips are going to help you x

    • Toby
      October 31, 2016 / 3:36 pm

      thanks for the love x

  6. October 31, 2016 / 2:40 pm

    Finally! The post we have all been waiting for 🙂 I can’t wait to use some of these tips and tricks in my flatlay photography. You are so awesome Toby!
    http://stopdropandvogue.com

    • Toby
      October 31, 2016 / 3:35 pm

      thank you taylor this means so much to me. hugs xx

  7. October 31, 2016 / 2:57 pm

    Great tips Toby. Your flatlays are always so incredible! I need to use some of these tips – flatlays are not my strong suit so thank you!

    • Toby
      October 31, 2016 / 3:35 pm

      thank you gail for reading xx

  8. October 31, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    This is such a great post
    Thanks for the tips!

  9. October 31, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    Love all the tips you have here!

    • Toby
      November 2, 2016 / 3:37 pm

      Thank you Ilona x

    • Toby
      November 2, 2016 / 3:38 pm

      You are NOT a bad blogger! i love your blog and the way you write! and your welcome for all the tips x big hugs

    • Toby
      November 2, 2016 / 3:38 pm

      thank you anna for readind x

    • Toby
      November 2, 2016 / 3:39 pm

      your so sweet victoria! thank you for reading x

  10. November 1, 2016 / 1:46 am

    Thanks so much for sharing!! I needed a little inspiration with flat lays!

    • Toby
      November 2, 2016 / 3:30 pm

      your welcome jen! XX

  11. November 1, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    These are such helpful tips, I really enjoyed reading this post! Your photos are amazing, thanks for sharing!

    • Toby
      November 2, 2016 / 3:30 pm

      thank you so much kelly xx

  12. December 5, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    My biggest flaw is flatlays! You are literally so amazing at doing them! I love all of yours xoxo

  13. December 5, 2016 / 7:34 pm

    Thanks for this! I need all the help I can get when it comes to flat lays 🙂 x Shannon

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