Whether it be for photos for your website homepage, an email newsletter, sending to journalists, printed catalogue or social media posts – a good flat lay photo can be the perfect way to give visual insight into your style and really tell a story for your customers in an easy and stylish way.
Not only that, they’re actually really easy to pull off on your mobile phone and can be nice and quick to pull together last minute, without much space needed.
A few tips for mastering a great flat lay photo:
1. Decide on a story. Pick a colour theme, a style, a feel, and run with that for all of the items shown in the photo. You want to tell a story.
2. Find natural lighting. Taking photos from overhead can be tricky indoors as you’ll be sure to encounter annoying shadows. Instead, set up your flat lay near a window and you’ll notice that the soft natural light will work wonders.
3. The rule of thirds. A photography term to help with product positioning. The idea is if you imagine your photo has been divided into 3 rows and 3 columns, so 9 even boxes, the idea is that if you place your items along these lines, in particular where they intersect, it can really help the photo visually and draw the viewer in. It’s tricky at first but play around with it and you’ll see your photos improve.
4. Crop in. More often than not, flat lays look better when some items aren’t shown in their entirety. So play around with some products just poking in the photo.
5. Play around with backgrounds. White backgrounds are always a good option but also try experimenting with different surfaces like wooden or concrete floors, paper or linen, for example. Simple, non-patterned backgrounds work best usually, but if you only have a couple of items in your photo maybe try a fun, printed backdrop to grab people's attention.
6. Include items not for sale. Adding some random elements like flowers, leaves, food, textures etc can really help to tell your story and give the feel you’re after which represents your brand or the collection.
Now that you’re armed with the basics, you have no excuse not to start snapping fun new content for your customers!