Alternate Studios | 5 Tips on How to Master the Art of Flat Lay
Flat Lay, Photography, Top Tips
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THE ART OF FLAT LAYING

Flat lays are a great way to showcase your favourite products, diversify your Instagram feed, and create some quick and interesting content. All you need is a few carefully selected items and your iPhone. And the best part is, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home, it can be as simple as arranging the contents of your backpack on your bed, or your bedroom floor. But if you really want to take your flat lay to the next level, why not try out these quick and easy tips to really wow your followers.

Lighting

We all know that lighting is the photographer’s best friend. The correct lighting can turn a dull, flat image into a stylised, professional looking shot. You don’t need to invest in expensive lighting gear, all your need is some good old natural light. Try setting up your flat lay by a large window, or even outside to take full advantage of the sun’s rays.

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Via @aminuteawayfromsnowing & @airine.s

Composition

Like any photograph, the composition is crucial if you want to create an aesthetically pleasing image. A good flat-lay should incorporate one or two primary pieces to anchor your shot and a few accessories for embellishment. It is worth considering elements such as symmetry, lines, and the space between objects. Remember, less is more and negative space can also be used to make a flat lay more interesting. And when in doubt, the rule of thirds is always a fail-safe guideline to lay out your pieces.

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Via @takaraboxx &@elpluswr

Colour Scheme 

When choosing the items for your flat lay, pick a specific colour scheme and stick to it! Try using 2-3 consolidating colours, this will make your image a lot more harmonious and unified. On the subject of colours, make sure that your flat lay has a neutral background, this could be a classic white, or it could be your desk, floor or rug. The possibilities are endless, just make sure that it matches the overall theme of your content.

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Via @endlesscandles & @andystorm

Editing 

A good flat lay accentuates the items in their natural form, so you shouldn’t have to spend too much time editing your photos. However, a little bit of sprucing up never hurt anyone. There are many free photo-editing apps available to enhance colours and backgrounds, correct lighting, and adjust contrast and structure. Some of my favourites are Lightroom, Snapseed, Enlight and VSCO.

Narrative

This is probably the most important attribute to consider. Flat lays are appealing because they combine various bits and pieces together to collectively tell a story. Make sure you keep this in mind to avoid creating a showcase of products. You should always have a clear understanding of your story first, whether it is something straightforward like “My morning coffee,” or expansive as “My Summer abroad.” After you choose your theme you should consider what items will fit, and how they should be placed and combined to create a compelling visual narrative.

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Via @marie_latte & @hellomissmay

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