Up until the end of last year, I didn’t really know what a flatlay was, never mind trying to do one myself. Fast forward a few months and I’ve somehow unofficially been titled the Flatlay Queen…I guess it was my calling in life. I’m flattered every time someone says it and it still blows my mind that people enjoy the content I create as much as I love creating it.
For me, a flatlay can be defined as an image displaying a selection of items in an aesthetic way to help aid text or create a feeling. Flatlays have been used in print like magazines and books for years but it became a lot more popular for bloggers to use them within blog posts and on social platforms to add a bit more interest into their content.
I love creating flatays and also sourcing new props to include in them. It’s combining the passion I have for photography and also my creative spark that has definitely come out the more flatlays I do. It’s so easy to create a flatlay with items laying around your house or items you can pick up really cheap.
So I thought I’d share my flatlaying process with you today and show you some tips that might prove useful to you if you’re thinking of create some yourself. There’s no real secret to a good flatlay so I’m not really giving anything away, I think it’s just having the patience and eye to create something eye catching that people will like.
When I’m looking to start a flatlay, if I have specific items I want to feature I gather them up and see if any inspiration sparks from a colour scheme or certain props to use. This will get that creative juice flowing. I also tend to look at my feed of images I’ve already posted to see if it’ll fit with them.
Next you want to start thinking about what background to use, for me I’ve found light to medium shades of wood works well, if you have the real thing great if not wallpaper is a great and cheap alternative and also portable/easier to move around. I also got myself a large piece of card to act as a flatlay work space as I tend to do my flatlays on my bed so I need an absolute flat surface. When starting your flatlay also remember that lighting is key, I tend to use natural light but it can be unpredictable.
With the background sorted, start adding bigger/background props to not only build some depth but also interest. I like using plates, trinket dishes, trays and boards. These can help add patterns to your flatlay and a point of interest. I’ve also started using some large leaves that I found in the craft bit in The Works which works well in adding colour to your flatlay. The same applies to flowers which can differ from season and colour palette of the flatlay. Wilko, Poundland and The Works are all great places to get fake flowers.
With the basis in place, it’s time to start adding the featured items which for me tend to be perfume, make-up, jewellery and accessories but not limited to. Don’t be afraid to play around with the positioning of them until your happy. At this time, I’d tend to start framing what the flatlay would look like by taking a few test shots on my camera, that way you can see what needs changing or moving.
With the key components down it’s time to start adding what I like to call filler items that bulk out the empty spaces and makes the flatlay look finished. I again use jewellery, confetti, make-up brushes, sunglasses. Anything that I can get my hands on that fits the vibe of the flatlay. From there I’ll start to take tester shot on my camera at different angels and see if there’s anything that needs changing.
The camera I now use is the Olympus Pen E-PL8 with a 14-42mm lens and also 45mm lens which are both great for getting well rounded shots.
With the flatlay shooting done, I’ll transfer all the images I shot from my camera to my phone and then go through and select the few I like the most. From there I’ll edit the images on Vsco which is such an easier app to use and perfect for enhancing images.
Then that’s it…you have your Instagram/blog worthy flatlay ready to upload.
I’ve spilled the tea on my flatlaying process and I can’t wait to see if any of you will attempt one after reading this.
Thanks so much for reading my latest blog post. Be sure to come back next week for a brand new dose of me.
Until next time,
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