Want to know the secret for perfect flat lays?? Well honestly there really isn’t just one singular way to create a flat lay you’ll be proud to put on your grid. Last week I sat scratching my head and staring at one of my favorite shops @makingsofadreamer and wondering how I could create flat lays that were as perfect as hers! I tried my hand at a couple and just really wasn’t satisfied with the results, so I took to Instagram to study all the flat lays I could look at in a two hour time span. Today I’ll be sharing with you just a few tips and tricks that I came up with to create a flat lay that compliments your insta-style.
The first thing that’s going to make a huge difference in the look of your flat lay is your background! I don’t have the nicest flooring in my house, so when I first started I was limited to blankets and pieces of fabric that I could find in neutral colors. You definitely want to stick with something more neutral if you want to make your items really pop! The best thing that I’ve found lately at my local Hobby Lobby was what they called “designer” poster boards. The two that I have look like hardwood floors and make the perfect backdrops for my 12 days of ears flat lay series! They also had some floral patterns, solid colors and even glitter colors (I’m excited to plan one with the glitter colors). There’s also the option to use rugs, which I’ve seen quite a few times before on one of my other favorite Insta accounts @littlegraythread, but I’ve yet to buy a rug of my own because most of them are over $40 (yikes).
The second most important element is lighting. Now, you don’t have to rush to the store and buy a bunch of fancy lights to create amazing looking pictures. Nowadays everyone’s smartphones come with some pretty good photo editing built in. Some choose to use just this editing feature, but I do a combination of that (mostly for brightening the photo) and a few different editing apps. I tend to use Picsart the most because it has really pretty brushes and light bending effects, but I also use Lightroom and Canva from time to time. Now editing might do a pretty good job fixing up a photo but your real time lighting is definitely a big game changer. I was one of those people that didn’t believe in natural lighting. I was like “well it doesn’t really matter that much, I’ll just brighten the photo”. Boy was I wrong. When people say that natural lighting is your best friend they really mean it. When I started taking pictures with the blinds up instead of the ceiling light on it made a difference in several ways. First, I didn’t have any unsightly shadows in my pictures anymore! Everyone knows that flat lays are taken from an aerial perspective looking straight down, which makes it really hard to avoid shadows if you’re using ceiling lights. Second, my pictures looked less yellow and discolored. I don’t have to apply three filters anymore to get them to the perfect color! Lastly, I didn’t end up with a terrible glare on my reflective items which meant that you could see them with all of their beautiful detail! If you haven’t already been using natural light will you now??
The last piece of advice for today is make sure you have a theme or color combination going on. The last thing you want is for your flat lay to look like you just threw a bunch of things on the floor in random order just to show them off. My best habit when planning a flat lay is:
1) Coming up with a solid theme (for example: Christmas, The Little Mermaid, the color pink)
2) Just grab your main items and then everything you have that you could possibly use!
3) Try a variety of ways of laying out your items! The key to success is never just expecting to do wonderful the first time, try try again.
4) Make sure your background doesn’t clash with your theme/color. That’s why I suggest solid colored or neutral backgrounds such as rugs or flooring!
Do you feel like you could make your own practically perfect flat lay now??? Try one out and send it to me in a DM on Instagram 🙂 I’d love to see how I inspired you all!