You’ve seen them all over Instagram, dominating Pinterest, and even company websites. Flat Lay Photos. But HOW do people get their stuff to look so good? Read below for 3 easy tips on achieving Insta-worthy Flat Lays!
Flat Lay Photography has become madly popular on social media over the past few years, and for good reason. It looks GOOD. Using a flat lay style is an easy way to achieve artsy, ~influencer~ looking photos that attract attention. It is an especially appealing way for brands to market their products in a way that blends in with people’s feeds (people shop on Instagram now, not from the monthly Macy’s catalog).
So, why not take a page out of the influencers’ book? If big companies can improve their reach and sales with quality photos, so can you! Having good photos is key to showcasing your business; photos are evidence of your work that build trust and capture clients’ attention when browsing through the thousands of businesses they have to choose from. Not everyone is a master photographer or has the extra money to spend on a professional photoshoot, but here are some easy tips for DIY flat lay photography that can help boost your business.
1. Use Natural Light!
Light – pretty much the most crucial part of a photo, it can make or break your entire shot. Professionals use all sorts of equipment to achieve their ideal lighting setup: ring lights, box lights, all sorts of crazy stuff. But you don’t need all that! The sun is your friend, especially when it comes to lighting for pictures. Use that wonderful daylight streaming in through your windows to capture the best photos. Turn off all the artificial lighting for overhead lights or lamps, those will usually worsen the picture quality. If you’re shooting outside rather inside, light in the early morning or early evening will suit best (golden hour, my friends, it’s a real thing). The afternoon sun can be a bit harsh, so try to schedule your outdoor shoot for when the sun is not at its strongest peak.
2. Add Texture to the Scene
Have you noticed that most flat-lays have backgrounds like wood, bed-sheets, or marble? This is how photographers add texture to the background! Your photo won’t be quite as good with just a blank white background or if all the items are laying on your stained coffee table. What your items are laying on top of is just as essential to the photo as the items themselves. If your items need to lay on an even, flat surface, then a nice tabletop or flooring is probably the way to go. But maybe you have items that can hold up on an uneven surface, in which case something like bedsheets or grass could be great! If you want to add fun textures, you could use patterned sheets, blankets, or paper to spice it up.
3. Toss In Items You Have Around The House!
Okay, have you actually stopped and looked closely at all the items in a flat lay photo? There’s random crap EVERYWHERE. And that’s part of their charm! Flat lay photography makes use of seemingly unconnected objects that somehow come together to make a beautiful, cohesive photo. First, choose the main objects that you want to showcase and connect back to your business. Then, start thinking about themes and colors. Is the kind of image you’re going for more moody? masculine? sporty? adventurous? What colors are your main objects, and what colors are associated with your business? With that in mind, you can use pretty much anything and everything in a flat lay! Flora is always a hit – plants, flowers, leaves, any kinda greenery you got! Try putting in things like bright fruits, books, jewelry, blankets, whatever works. Play with the positioning until it looks right, and start clicking away!
Are you fired up to take some sick flat lays yet? I’m itching to grab my phone and start snapping some shots. As always, the better quality camera you have, the better chance you have at getting a good picture. But using these techniques will help you add intrigue and depth to your photos, no matter what kind of camera you’re working with. Investing some time and effort into taking good quality photos for you business is a must, especially for small businesses and freelancers who are looking to gain more traction with potential customers.
Check out more cool stuff for small businesses and freelancers here.
Follow us on the ‘Gram! You know you want to 😉