January 5, 2017 / 

Jullietta Stoencheva

How to make flat lay photography work for you

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Social media is a constantly evolving beast. Just as hashtags, memes, and viral videos fall in and out of fashion, so too does photography. From an old-school sepia filter to a modern monochrome edit, there are countless ways of shooting and editing your snaps to keep them on trend.

Right now, the flat lay is dominating our social media feeds. Simple and natural, this overhead shot can be used to capture anything, from your morning coffee to your daily outfits.

Intimidated? Don’t be. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to master the flat lay, nor do you have to be an expert Instagrammer. What’s more, the flat lay photo is a fantastic tool for brands, and it’s easy to work it into your marketing strategy. Here’s how.



Why We Love It

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For brands, the flat lay is a no-brainer. Shooting from a bird’s eye view makes it easy to showcase items, like the season’s latest styles or a selection of your favorite products.

But don’t limit yourself to the things your company sells. Flat lays also make it easy to tell a brand story. Whether it’s a sneak-peak of the creative process or an overhead shot of your desk, there are loads of ways to invite your audience into the everyday workings of your company.



How To Take The Perfect Flat Lay


Pick A Theme


The main aim of a flat lay is to tell a story. So whether it’s brand orientated, food related, or a simple shot of a book and a cup of tea, make sure each element works when put together as a whole.



Composition Is Key

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Do you ever find yourself drooling over beautiful photos on Pinterest? You know the ones. There’s an expertly made cappuccino, an artfully placed book, a stark white table top. It all looks so classy. So natural.

And that’s exactly what the creator wants you to feel. The whole point of flat lays is to make photos look as natural as possible, and composition plays a big part in that. So keep the space uncluttered and the background simple. That way the objects can do all the talking.



Pick A Color Scheme

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Color is key when it comes to flat lays. The Instagram experts always use a color scheme that complements the look and feel of their profile.

So if your brand is all about wild colors and patterns, reflect that in your image. If it’s channeling a more modern vibe, try going with a monochrome or earthy theme.


Choose A Hero Piece

What do you want to get out of your image? If your aim is to highlight a great new product, make sure it takes center stage. Or if you’re just sharing a snap from your day, choose a hero piece to focus on. It may be something as elaborate as a beautifully presented plate of food or as simple as a new book.



Look For Good Lighting

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Lighting can make or break a flat lay. Shoot in gloomy light, and you’re guaranteed an unappealing image. Instead, always take photos in natural light, and don’t be afraid to try out different locations in your quest for the perfect shot.