Looking for an aesthetically pleasing, easy to set up, professional-looking form of photography to try? Flat lay photography could be just the thing for you. You’ve likely seen several examples of flat lay photography before without even realizing it. This guide will teach you what flat lays are and tips for success when executing one for the first time.
What Is a Flat Lay?
A flat lay is a type of photography setup in which a detailed arrangement of objects on a flat surface, often artistically laid out, is photographed from above. Flat lays have become increasingly popular in a variety of settings, including social media, marketing, and the food and fashion industries.
How To Create a Perfect Flat Lay
With some time, creativity, and the use of some helpful tips, it isn’t hard to create the perfect flat lay setup. If you’re new to flat lay photography and aren’t quite sure how to get started, try starting with some of the tips below.
Find Your Inspiration
The first thing you’ll need to do in any flat lay project is find some inspiration. With the current popularity of flat lay photography, that shouldn’t be too hard! Instagram is a good place to start for some examples of the style. Think about the objects, colors, and general design you’d like to use in your own flat lay.
Choose Your Background
Once you’ve found your inspiration, choose the background for your photo. White backgrounds are a good place to start. They’re clean, neutral, and make the objects in your photo stand out. Alternatively, you can try using a neutral background in a darker color or one with a simple design such as a marbled pattern. Whatever you do, don’t choose a background that will overwhelm your photo.
Use Natural Lighting
Flat lays look best when photographed with natural lighting. To incorporate natural light, photograph near a window or take your setup outside. If you have access to a natural, professional lighting kit, those can work too.
Shoot From Above
A flat lay is meant to be photographed from above. Make sure you have a high enough vantage point. This may require your climbing up on a stool above your setup with your camera. An easier way to photograph from above is by using an overhead camera rig, since they’re designed specifically to shoot photos or video from above.
Experiment With Video
Flat lays aren’t limited to photography—you can shoot video of a flat lay just as easily as photographs! If you’ve already tried flat lay photography and want to try something new, experiment with shooting video. This type of video can be useful for filming something instructional—a cooking video, for instance. Or you could try using stop motion to make a creative flat lay video.
Now that you’ve read about what flat lays are and tips for success in your flat lay photography and video, you’re fully prepared to give flat lays a try. Get those creative juices flowing and see what kind of art you can create!