We are visual creatures- there’s absolutely no denying it. And I’m sure you’re drooling over all of the beautiful imagery that is filling up your social media and blog feeds daily. I get complimented on my instagram feed and flat lays pretty often, so I wanted to share some insight on my own process for creating these flat lays as a little ‘thank you’! There are some certain tools that you are going to need to have to get going with flat lays, and I’m going to go over those with you. I’m also going to give you some tips and tricks to creating your VERY OWN flat lays like the one seen above. Let’s get started!
Tools + Items Needed to Create DIY Flat Lays
1 ♥ CAMERA
Surprise, surprise! You’re going to need a decent camera to take these photos with, but no worries! I’m about 99% positive you already have one sitting next to you right now. Yep, yep- your camera phone. I also have a Canon that I use, but I tend to switch between the two depending on what/where I’m shooting. If you have access to another camera besides your camera on your phone, try experimenting with it too- get a feel for what you like and what you’re most comfortable using.
The most important thing here is to use natural daylight as well as NO FLASH. I’m sure this is beating a dead horse here, but seriously you guys- turn that flash off! I take most of my flat lay photos in a room with 2 large windows, and position myself where I’m getting the least amount of shadows on my subject. This sometimes means adjusting things a few times until I’m happy with my results. For one nice shot, I usually take about 10-15 photos and choose the best one. I like to get from slightly different angles, and arrange my objects in a few different layouts.
2 ♥ SOLID BACKDROP
If you’re wanting a clean white backdrop for your flat lays, the best and most affordable thing I can recommend are foam boards. You can pick these up from a craft or grocery store for a couple of dollars each. I usually grab two at a time- because I like to have one to use as my background and sometimes I prop one up in the back (think of an L shape) to reflect more light. Also, these foam boards do get a little beat up over time- so it’s good to have a backup on hand!
3 ♥ CHAIR OR STOOL
Ok so this one sounds like a no-brainer, but probably the most important one of all. You’ll need to stand above your subject to get that ‘seen from above’ feel. If you notice that you are casting shadows over your objects, try moving your chair and try again. Sometimes I end up rotating my boards and chair until it’s just right!
4 ♥ PHOTO EDITING PROGRAM
You’re going to need a photo editing program to edit the photo you plan to use. I personally use Photoshop, but I have also heard great things about Canva. I typically always have to adjust my image to lighten it up and crop it to the correct size. Here’s what the original photo above looked like when I first imported it into Photoshop:
and the after:
5 ♥ PRETTY THINGS!
Yep, I said it. Pretty things! You’re going to want to start a little collection of pretty odds and ends that you can feature in your photos. Chances are, you’ve got plenty of stuff laying around and you don’t even realize it! Some of my favorites are: office supplies, flowers, anything purple (but you may be a pink or teal person ), jewelry, small potted plants, metallic items, etc. Try grabbing a few items that you think would make a nice flat lay, and start experimenting!
I hope this post gives you some helpful tips on creating your own beautiful flat lays for your blog and/or social media posts. Please leave your blog or social media feed link in the comments so I can see what you’re creating!!