I’m going to share my top 8 flatlay tips for Instagram to create beautiful, stunning photos.
Lighting is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects in photography. When you have access to natural light, it’s a battle half won. Whenever I do flat lays, I always find light source at an angle, ideally a window. The time of day also plays an important role in the color and amount of light coming through. If you’re pressed for time, this can be corrected during post-editing.
Depending on the mood and feeling you want to evoke in your photography, there are versatile backdrops that you can invest in. Some of the backdrops that I use over and over include white marble board, white card board (for bright flat lays) and wooden table (for rustic, moody setting). This will only cost you around S$10-30 per board and you can always reuse it again. If you don’t want to invest in backdrops, you can always use readily available surfaces found at home such as dining table, floor, or even linens.
It’s a good rule of thumb to have a general color theme to your flat lay, i.e: monochrome, pastel, rainbow, etc. Understanding color harmony basic on a color wheel is a good place to start.
Adding textures is an effective tool in flatlays to create depth to a composition. I often layer cards, journal, magazine over sheepskin or cloths.
Tell Your Story
A picture is worth a thousand words. Practice story telling with your flat lays. For example, eating breakfast in bed while working, going to the beach, baking. Use props and products that are related to the theme you’re trying to create.
This is something that people may take years to master. I think it’s a whole different topic to discuss. I like to keep my lines clean and create some negative space on my flat lay. But it’s entirely up to you. Stick to the rule of thirds, and you never go wrong. The idea is when you divide an image with two imaginary lines (horizontal and vertical), you will have 9 equal parts. The rule of thirds suggests that images would look more interesting if the important elements appear along those lines, or at the points where they meet.
Focus on Main Products
Place one two main products first and build the flat lay around them. The embellishments and props should not outshine the main products.
Although I always try to minimize post-editing works, it’s necessary to edit the photos to match to a certain theme or feed. I use Snapseed to edit my photos. From adjusting the white balance to selectively brighten or darken a photo, this app is quite user-friendly.
Apart from the eight tips I’ve mentioned above, there is one utmost important thing in building flatlays (or maybe in life!): Practice Makes Perfect. I’m a firm believer that the more you practice, the better it is. Same goes with building a flat lay. Be bold and don’t be scared to experiment with different colors and props.
Hope it helps!