How to master the art of flat lay?
Flat lay photography is the best way to spice up your Instagram account with amazing visuals that add to your story-driven content. We interviewed the queens of the flat lay, to find out how to keep your profile fresh and inspiring with this great technique! So buckle up, stretch your creative muscles and get ready to explore the art that’s been capturing the hearts of influencers.
Flat lay is a composition of carefully selected items, arranged on a flat surface and shot directly from above. Simple as it might seem, there are plenty of things to think of when creating these masterpieces. This includes:
We invited three, very talented influencers from our indaHash community, to break this topic down for you and share their quick tips that you can keep in mind when creating flat lay arrangements. Take a look at their unique compositions!
Style and Colour Palette
The magic of flat lay photography lies in working out your style, in alignment with your feed. If you’ve built an inspiring account that highlights your creativity, you should stay consistent and create flat lays that embody who you are, giving your audience an idea of your taste, a sense of your aesthetic and what you find pleasing to the eye. Since you are unique, why not celebrate it?
There are plenty of things that contribute to the definition of your style. This might be the colour palette of your photos, the props you choose, the surroundings, the theme you go with and also as madebygigiblog says:
The elements which make it unique and catch the eye of your audience is the the way you edit your photos, which filters you use, as well as the colour scheme of your feed.
So experiment, have fun and test what works for you best!
How did our influencers find their style?
When I started to use kraft paper as a decorative element in my bullet journal, it inspired me to start using warm tones on my account (verging on sepia tone) and it finally defined my style. I decided to use kraft paper as a background and started picking props in line with it (old yellowish book pages, beige materials, wooden and some golden/brassy accessories). I was so happy with the result that I changed my feed to the rustic style and I have to admit – I’m totally in love with it!
In the world of creativity, there’s plenty of room to express yourself. It fully depends on you as to what tone will you set for your feed. In Julia’s case, integrating white colour is always a win:
My feed’s background colour is always white, as it’s very clear and unassuming. I think it’s because I treat Instagram as my diary – I have clean white paper to put my colourful and messy stories on. I think it’s important to stick to one colour, use its tones and pick the props to create contrast. In my opinion the best colours to use are black, white, green, pastels, beige and all of their tones. In that colour palette, the photo won’t be dull since there is a touch of gentle colour with edgy black for contrast.
Light is the single most important thing that can improve your photography – it can be your best friend if you know how to use it. You don’t need expensive equipment such as additional lamps or softbox to make your flat lay stunning. Use natural light instead! Why? It’s free and will always compliment your arrangement.
Always shoot in natural light but remember to avoid strong sunlight, otherwise it will cast strong shades. The perfect light is diffused and soft – surprisingly, it’s best to shoot on a cloudy day near a window or balcony!
So when should you shoot flat lays and from what angle?
It’s best to photograph in the morning or early afternoon. You don’t always have to take a photo directly from above, you can do that from a slight angle as well, facing the source of the light.
My perfect time for shooting is either late in the morning or afternoon. The perfect place is on a table or bed that’s close to a window. Another essential point: make sure to get indirect light and don’t forget to turn your face to the light source, otherwise you’ll cast strong shadows on your flat lay. And no flash!
Each of us have different experiences and stories to share. Being a good storyteller is extremely helpful in being an influencer as it draws attention, arouses emotions, entertains and creates a bond with your followers. Telling compelling stories will captivate your audience and creating flat lays is an excellent way to do that.
As @juliawiszowata says:
If you want to create amazing flat lays, you need to let your imagination run wild. You need to think of everything you associate with the moment you want to capture, and go with it!
And @madebygigiblog adds:
Choose a hero of the photo and build the rest of the story around it. The photo itself should not only be a nice composition, but also tell a story and be a part of your reality. Everything is possible. A simple cup of coffee can become a balloon that will take your audience up into a dreamy travel experience. Flowers can grow out of a book and a paintbrush can leave a flowery mark. The only limit in creating flat lays is your imagination. The key is to look at everyday objects in a unique way.