Choose a theme.
Selecting a theme is key to any flat lay, whether that be type of products used, colour or even pattern. If something doesn’t fit with the rest of the products, it will stick out like a sore thumb and could unfortunately be the downfall of your photograph. Take your theme and push it. If you’re using stationery like we were, there are a few routes you could go down. Militant, straight and arranged for a sleek look or more natural looking by taking some candid shots of the planner open and the pens and other accessories in use. Paperchase & Present & Correct are both great sites to spend a few hours on if you’re after inspiration.
Use natural light.
Straighten those edges.
Although you can of course get messy with your flat lay if you wish to, making it work compositionally is absolutely essential. This normally involves making sure your lines are straight and your angles work together. I personally like everything to line up so the border is equal and I’m a fan of everything being the same way. Come on now, get your ruler out and become a little pathetic about it, it will pay off.
Get up high.
Being tall is an advantage when it comes to photographing a flat lay. The higher you can get, the better as you can always crop at a later stage. It really helps if you can see your screen and keep your camera flat so getting on a stool or using a low table / a flat surface on the floor can always be beneficial, just watch out for the other people trying to take a photo of you looking a tad ridiculous.
Don’t be afraid to edit.
Editing photos is all part of the business but you don’t need to be a photoshop wizard to get a good result, although if you do have those skills, use ’em. There are plenty of apps to help you out but in my own opinion steer clear of Instagram’s own presets. VSCO is a quick and easy way to edit photos and get them Instagram ready with a variety of pre-made filters and the option to create your own customisations – go for sharpen to up the quality a little, contrast to add a little more va-va-voom and tint to change around the colouring to your own preference.
Helpful? Let me know by commenting below or telling me your own top tricks. Thanks to Paperchase for inviting me along and introducing me to some other top creative lasses, let’s do it again soon.