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Instagram photo tips - How to master the art of Flat lay


I have to be honest, i didn’t know what a flatlay was till i joined Instagram!! From the unknown to giving tips on how to master  flat lay photos is quite a stride. Lets begin with what a flatlay is - It is an arrangement of products you want to showcase. Can be your favourite or your new addiction products/ items.  Food, makeup, footwear, clothes, utility products, tea or coffee, flowers, books, technology basically everything and anything. You lay them on preferably a flat surface in the most chic / aesthetically pleasing way and take a shot.  

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The secret to a great flatlay is of course in how the products are arranged and how aesthetic the whole shot stands unintentionally to tell a story but if the picture is taken for social media in other words Instagram in my opinion a great flatlay should also match the vibe of your instagram feed. Some people like to keep them minimal some like to make them bold some focus on colours some on angles some choose a different perspective while some from the top. The arrangement and how you take the shot just depends on your aesthetics and the vibe of your instagram feed.  And that brings us to the topic of how to master the art of flatlay.

  1. First and foremost a flatlay is a photograph so makes sense to adhere to the basic rules of photography. The rule of thirds, of a focal point, symmetry, background, framing etc particularly.
  2. Natural light is the best light, Period. Make sure you are taking the picture in the day next to a natural light source. I have tried taking at night and have had a hard time with shadows.
  3. Choose the theme of the flatlay i.e what you want to communicate through it. Can be travel or beauty or food or romantic or fun or anything and then choose the items. 
  4. A good flatlay is purposefully and carefully constructed to tell a story in an effortless way. Every piece is intentionally placed even though might not look so. Can be scattered or unilined , there can be 100 pieces or just 1 or 2 but they all should be adding to the purpose and story of the flatlay. 
  5. If you have a hero piece i.e a particular product that you want to highlight choose the other accessories / props accordingly and arrange them in a way that the attention is drawn to the hero piece. 
  6. Scale and Balance the image. Scale that is if you have a big piece as your hero piece add smaller items as props.  Balance by ensuring there is enough space between the objects. It might not be big but make sure its thoughtful to avoid the flatlay from becoming chaotic and confusing. 
  7. Use a step ladder to help you take a great shot from the top. See through your lens if all the key elements are fitting in perfectly add, move and subtract if need be. 
  8. A basic clean surface is a pre requisite. White bed or table work mostly because of their simplicity and versatility.  A marble surface or a wooden one or furry one also work great. For Instagram the choice will depend on what elements you have in your feed already and match to that.  
  9. Your Instagram vibe in mind, if its minimal choose to have less items and less saturation with colours and so on.
  10. Keep the colours going on your feed in mind so for e.g i have a lot of reds and blues going in my feed at the moment so for this picture since the products were white and gold i choose the props ( the flowers) in blue and red so the whole picture matches my feed.
  11. Incorporating the season and time of the year is also an intelligent thing to do. People identify with seasonal things and goes with the mood around. For e.g around spring your props can be fresh flowers or blooms of the season, in autumn / winter you can keep the mood warm and cosy with ferry lights etc. 
  12. Don't be afraid to try out new and fresh ideas. I love to play with geometry and height for my flatlays which are not conventional flat lay concepts but its your creativity and we are in 2018 after all!!!
  13. Get inspired by following some popular hashtags and accounts on instagram #flatlay #onthebed #flatlaytoday , etc
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Hope this post is helpful in letting you master the art of flatlay, to be honest the more flatlays you create the better it gets.

                  - The pressures of being a content creator

Thank you for stopping by, see you with my next.

Love

Chichi

21 comments

  1. Such a great post! x

    www.evdaily.blogspot.com

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing these great tips.

    Candice | beautycandyloves.co.za

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  3. wonderful tips babe! I love creating flatlays!

    x
    Shloka
    http://www.thesilksneaker.com

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  4. Love these tips, I really struggle with mastering the art of a flatlay but I think I just need to get practising! x

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  5. This is such a handy post. I've been trying to get better at flatlays but mastering the art of them definitely takes time x

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  6. Such a good post and I love seeing how effortless people make the flatlay look knowing that it probably took hours to get it right x

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  7. great flat lay tips. I am like you, I never knew what a flat lay was till I got into instagram.

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  8. Great post - I rarely take flatlay photos as mine feature my children mostly. Kaz

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  9. What an awesome tips glad you share this

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  10. Thanks for sharing. I have always wondered how this was done. Great post!

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  11. I love taking flatlay photos and always taken them on my bed with white sheets!

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  12. Oh I do love a good flatlay! Great tips and i realy agree about natural light, it makes it so much harder with overhead light casting shadows.

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  13. I need to invest in a good light for my photogrAphy as this weather is too dreary and saps all the light! Mich x

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  14. This is such a helpful post and like you, I didn't really know about flat lays either. I actually haven't done a lot of it too so I am sure it'll be very frustrating in the beginning kind of like taking outfit selfies. I don't know how much time that took me to feel like I got something even then it's all not consistent! Bah! In any case, great tips!

    Maureen | www.littlemisscasual.com

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  15. I absolutely LOVE these tips. That balmain lippy photo is incredible xxx

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  16. Taking flatlay photos is truly an art - great tips! I usually keep mine very simple but maybe I should start getting more creative

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  17. I know about Flatlays but I always love to learn how to be better and take better shots.

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  18. What a useful post. There's a real art to flatlay photography but I think the more you practise the more you get an 'eye' for what works.

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  19. I have never known how to do a flatlay so thank you so much for such amazing tips. I love the Balmain photo, it is a stunning arrangement and one I aspire to. I have bookmarked the page so I can use your tips often! x

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  20. Thank this you interesting post!

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  21. Such helpful & informative post. Love it ❤

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