Flatlay Photography: 3 Tips to Up Your Game

I am always really drawn to flatlay pictures when I see them on my own Pinterest feed. They have a great way of aesthetically displaying enough products/items to fill up about 4 pins, but they do it all in one! I have made the process easier for myself over the past year. At first I was just adding too much to my flatlays, making them confusing and overcrowded. It *is* a delicate balance.

“Botanic” was my mood word for this photo
Tip 1: Choose a Word as a “Mood” for Your Photo.

For example, sometimes I will choose a word like “floral” or “sleek” and then search out only props that fit with that word. I used to go around collecting armfuls of whatever I found pReTtY, but then that usually won’t end up catching the theme I want.

Now I stick to whatever word I chose, and if a prop doesn’t strike me as fitting the theme, I take an extra minute to find something else to make it cohesive.

Tip 2: Add About 2 Props Max

Again, I used to have that problem of making my flatlays more of a natural-disaster-struck-a-theatre-prop-room vibe than the cohesive image of my brand that I was going for. Now I pare down to the props that will really enhance the feel, rather than just letting some old velvet ribbon I love make a cameo in the corner. It makes for many more usable photos for branding!

Tip 3: Imagine Your Products in a Shape

I have read often that the “C-shape” being very nice for flatlay photography. I do like that style, but I think that there may be more possibilities that are also aesthetic!

Two options that I use pretty often: The Snap-to-Grid and The O

Snap-to-Grid Example: The first photo, with the blue background, I used the Snap-to-Grid style– imagining a grid and laying the products on that grid. Your props (in this case, the pampas and the silk towel) can break from the grid to add a little bit of aRtSy to it, rather than having it end up looking like a math homework graph.

The O Example: In the second photo, with the white background, I used The O style–imagining an “O” shape and laying out my products on that. For this one especially, don’t worry about letting your objects run out of the picture. This one is more of a hint-of-an-idea style rather than spelling it out for your viewer. (Fill in the empty “O” space with only one color if possible.)

But these are by no means exhaustive! I am sure there are hundreds of other shapes out there that could be flattering for a flatlay photo! Which ones do you use??

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