I’m obsessed with flat lays, by far my favourite way to take beauty product photos. And it seems I’m not the only one with the Instagram flatlay hashtag used well over 3 million times! Below are my top tips for getting the perfect flatlay, along with some of my favourites I’ve taken to date. Please comment with your top flatlay tips as the end as i’m always keen to learn something new and improve my photos.
1.Get your workspace ready – I have a large table in front of a window that gives great natural light. This will really help with the quality of your photos. I gather all my props together so I can just focus on getting the photos taken, rather than rummaging around the flat for items. Prop ideas: products from the same brand or similar colour packaging, magazine flat lays, style books, succulents, cacti and flowers, jewellery, perfumes, wrapping papers also make great backgrounds.
2.Have a photo list – Have a list of key shots you want to get as this will give your photo session focus. Do you need ones for a certain blog post? Do you have a series planned for Instagram? Make sure you get those done or time will completely run away with you. Of course other ideas will pop into your head, and you’ll get some unexpected great ones as well!
3.Decide on a theme – Decide on the key focus of your flatlay and create the image around it. Is it a particular product? Colour? Brand? Theme. i.e your make up bag, getting ready in the morning? Set up the hero item in the shot first and then build around that. Add in different tyres of texture for more depth to the photos. Use different levels by adding books/boxes you can place things on top. Sometimes you just put something together and it just looks right.
4.Take a range of photos – Start from a birds eye view, this may mean getting on a chair or ladder to centre your flatly. But do try from different angles, move things round and experiment to find the right composition – sometimes less is more, so try taking things out too. Use the square option on your iPhone so you can see how it will look on Instagram.
5.Tidy up in post production – There’s a lot you can do in post production with a photo that has potential. I say post production, I meant play with apps. My personal favourite apps are VSCO and Afterlight. With VSCO I always use the F2 filter, and Afterlight has a huge range of filters and effects. There are of course loads and loads of apps you can choose from, try a few out and see what works best for you. Keep your overall brand in mind though. You’ll notice a lot of great bloggers have a consistent look, feel and filter for their images which works with their brand.
6.Get the most out of uploading – Add your target hashtags (#flatlayforever #flatlaysstyle #flatlays #flatlayfriday #flatlayoftheday), tag brands, locations.etc to get in front of your relevant audience. Find out what times you get the best view and interaction rates and utilise these for your photos moving forwards. Consistency is also really important on Instagram, so whether its every day or a few times a week, make sure your followers know how often to expect content from you.