Flat-Lays have always been something I always was so drawn too! I would always see these dreamy flat lays on social media & think “wow! how do they do that?!”
Well, I started my journey with flat-lays and let me tell you, it wasn’t always fun. most times I became frustrated because it could never measure up to what I visualized in my mind. With a LOT of trial and error, I can now say I love to Flat-lay!
Let me share some things I consider my secret to great flat lays!
KEEP A SIMPLE BACKGROUND
In the beginning, it’s best I found, to keep a very plain neutral backdrop. This is your canvas, so if its a simple canvas, it will be a lot easier to work with! I found while using backgrounds that were too textured or over complicated, It was far more difficult!
Backdrops I love and use constantly:
LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING
This took me too long to learn. 90% of my flat lays are shot outdoors. You want even light. If you don’t find even light, you’ll have to deal with awkward unpleasant shadows!
If you cant get perfectly even light, which happens all the time! you NEED a reflector! If you are indoors, get as close to a window as possible, and use a reflector to reflect the window light back onto your flat lay to create an even lighting distribution! Voila!
My amazing fellow photographer gifted me a set of risers! You can raise parts of your flatly to create true depth! I use risers all the time, especially when I photograph wedding stationery!
What are risers:
Try to incorporate items that will add depth such as trays, dishes, fabrics, ect.
GET THOSE DETAILS IN FOCUS!
For the longest time I shot flatly at a low F stop, thinking it would “match my soft focus imagery style”
Simply put, I could not capture the proper details without being at least 2.8 F.STOP. So don’t be afraid, get those details in focus!
At the same time, when shooting specific details, sometimes you need to get a very close up image. Such as rings! While may people invest in MacroLenses, I have found the Hoya + Filters to be PERFECT! They are simply filters you can place directly on your lens, and instantly you are working like a Macro-Lens!
Here are my Hoya Filters: