Flat Lay photography is an easy way to showcase your essentials, tell a story, and surprise your Instagram followers. They’re very simple to do, can be shot almost anywhere, and can be as simple as emptying a knapsack or arranging the items on your desk.
Here are a few tips for you:
- CHOOSE A COLOR PALETTE
It may be useful to choose only one color and play with its different shades, inserting objects and flowers that combine perfectly. This will allow you to build an image with a consistent theme.
- FIND THE PERFECT LIGHT
The most important thing to consider before shooting a flat lay is light! It’s all about getting a really soft natural light (preferably early morning or late afternoon). You could also try artificial lighting, especially in a cloudy day, but be careful and find the right setting on your camera to be sure you don’t have the whole photograph yellow and really unnatural.
- INSERT HUMAN ELEMENTS
My favorite flat lays look more “candid” because they include body parts. If you want to create a look that has a sense of movement and action, consider enlisting the help of a friend or you can pose and photograph yourself.
- EXPERIMENT WITH EMPTY SPACE
Less is more, they use to say and I completely agree. When shooting flat lays, I often use a blank space to unite my image and make it more interesting. Don’t feel like you always need to fill the entire frame with items, because empty space can work really well!
- ADD SOME OLD ITEMS
Some of the best Flat Lays are the ones that feature old items. Adding old items that belonged to your grandparents, for example will make your photo stand out and stir up feelings of nostalgia.
- KEEP CALM AND COMPOSE YOUR SHOT
Once you have collected all your items and chosen your background, it’s time to compose your shot. Remember to leave a little bit of space between each object, this will help highlight each item and keep your shot from looking cluttered. And most important thing, create balance in your photo by mixing smaller objects with larger objects and placing objects of similar colors on both sides of the image.
- LAST BUT NOT LEAST: TRIPOD IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
That said, question is: would you need a tripod? Yes, a tripod is definitely your best friend to take flat lays, so that you can avoid camera shake. In addition to this, with your camera attached to the arm of your tripod, your camera will stay in one position keeping the same view. This allow you to adjust/change/remove items and keep the same point of view. When, instead, you hold and lean over your camera, you will definitely not have the same camera position every time.
For my Flat lays photo sessions, I always use Manfrotto 190x pro4, which is actually perfect. It is portable and lightweight so that I can take it on location shoots and most important thing it is expandable for any size table.
The manfrotto 190x pro4 allows me to:
- have my camera perfectly positioned, so that I can rotate the image without the items looking like they’re falling off the table.
- to easily raise and lower my camera depending on the size of my scene.