The next step in helping your fantasy to come alive is choosing appropriate props. They will help you in building a narrative to move the tale forward, so matching them to a story is of key importance.
The adventure begins with finding the props and accessories – I always find that very exciting!
You need to choose a main prop and pick accessories to fill the photo with, that will draw your audience’s attention.
Prepare all your props beforehand – I would suggest taking more than you need (later you’ll see what fits and what doesn’t). Pick the object that will be the main center of attention of the photo – for creating balance and harmony in your shot, mix small and bigger objects, but remember to leave space between them.
We’ve also learned that when finding the right props, context is key – they must be story-oriented!
When I create flat lays, I always follow my intuition and ask myself what is associated with what I want to communicate to my followers. If your goal is to create a composition connected with free time, think of things you and others may associate relaxation with. Maybe a cup of coffee or tea, newspaper, book, bookmarks, soft blanket, glasses? All those accessories come together and build a cozy vibe.
If I don’t like the result, I usually leave it for an hour/day and then come back to it later where I always find the solution and the right angle I hadn’t seen before.
It isn’t only objects that need to be the main focus of your photographs. You’re a storyteller and you and your friends can become heroes of your flat lays as well!
I think that flat lays in which we also perform an activity are becoming more and more popular. It’s mostly about showing our audience what we do in the moment. If we want to show a summer vibe flat lay, we can hold our Margherita in our hand as a part of our composition.
Ask a friend to be your hand model: I often do this and sincerely believe that it makes your flat lays more lively!
Picking the right background is very important. It could be anything from simple white paper or a desk, to blankets and different fabrics, but the key is to keep it neutral. It will help display the props and highlight your arrangement. If the background draws too much attention, your flat lay might look a little messy. You don’t need professional expensive backgrounds – DIY budget-friendly versions will do just fine!
Here’s what our experts say:
Pick a neutral background. I usually use a marble table top for a sophisticated look. But you can also invest in its vinyl substitutions (cheap and easy to find) or buy color paper if you need something more contrasted and colorful. However, be sure not to overdo it with the background, it’s a backdrop to the main composition after all.
Well matched backgrounds will set the flat lay mood and will display its character. It can be a wooden floor, white desk, rock sill, bristol block or fabrics of different textures. One of my personal favourites is a piece of beige, linen cloth I found second-hand.
I think that white backgrounds works best. You can use white sheets or paper, blankets or decorative rugs. If your props have contrasting colours it’s best to arrange them on wooden boards or a marble table.
Now we hope you’re well-equipped to master the art of creating epic flat lays! Just remember to make them story-oriented with a focus on well-lit aesthetics, consistent with your personal style.
Everyone deserves a break from reality so have fun taking your followers on the unforgettable journey of your wildest fantasies!