Creating engaging flat lays are some of the most popular images on Social media . I even add in the idea of thinking it as style product placement for businesses. To me as a creative Flat Lays are simply just fun!! I get so excited to photograph styled flat lays, from products to you guys one of my favorite things…. FOOD!!
1.The Purpose For Your Flat Lay?
What is the actionable step that you want your consumer to do when seeing the flat lay imagery? This is often the question I ask for all images. What’s the motive and or step behind the image other than creating a pretty picture. You want the image to result in the next step for the person to to take action and engage more in what you have to offer. All Images have a meaning but what makes one so good that has someone clicking for more and in return you sale a product from it. People buy from people and when they develop a relationship with you and can identify your style sharing flat lays can be an additional engagement piece but if the Flat lay isn’t eye grabbing or telling a story within itself it will be looked over.
Here are some of my favorite professionals that I follow that can do amazing things with flat lays colors and create amazing product imagery that sometimes you cannot tell even it’s a product . When finding inspiration for your flat lay continue to keep in mind step number one while keeping your brand style and strategy at the forefront. Do NOT immolate someone else so much that we lose YOU in your flat lay imagery.
- Outfit Flatlay
- Emily Likes Food
- The Styling Mat
- Colette Peri
- Alisha Cohen the creative director at LISH Creative
Taking flat lay imagery to the next level is creating stop motion imagery. This is when your flat lays move . I created this stop motion for Perfectly Gifted Frisco. It was my first ever one I photographed and I loved how it turned out!! So Tell Me Friend Should I create More?
3.Gather Your Products & Props
Get a little basket and walk around your home, office, studio, and find little pieces that support your product flat lay. Pick supportive objects of varying sizes, shapes, correlating color palettes.
Another helpful tip is to think of the season. Is there a holiday that it would correlate with to bring some relation to the certain time of year?
Using textures, tables, and spots around you or on location can bring a sense of familiarity to the flat lay.
Here are some of my favorite items to use to prop my favorite flat lay images.
- Replica Surfaces. Replica Surfaces can be used
- The Styling Mat
- Foam Board/ Poster Boards ( Hobby Lobby has an amazing assortment of colors)
- Faux Fruit/ lemon/Limes/Oranges/ Strawberries/Apples
- Faux Florals/ Palm Leaves/ Faux Hydrengia/Lavender
- Laptop/Laptop Covers
- Paper Clips
- Post Its
- Makeup/Make Up Brushes
- Coffee Cup
- Nail Polish
- Paint/Paint Brushes
- Quilted Blanket/Throw/Fur
4. Styling Your Flat Lay
When reveriwing your porducts Your main product t needs to placed accordingly where it subtly states it is the main focal point. You want use that as the so called center of gravity of the image while place the other supporting props in a well balanced manner surrounding the focal point. Creating an even distance of space making the image look flowing to the eye. When styling I always recommend placing the objects how you visually see it look even and balanced , then capture an initial image , or even look in the view finder at the angle you want to capture the image and adjust any items that are off balanced. I have found over the years that objects need to be placed pretty close to get the correct balance through the lens. I begin to angle and adjust placed items after looking through the view finder to make sure it is evenly placed and flows just how I want the image to come across.
- A Coordinating Color Palette
- Find Balance in The Placement of Your Supportive Props
If you have an extra set of hands to snap the photo or if you have your camera on a tripod it’s always ideal to make use of the timer so that you can use your hands as a prop to create movement and a sense of action in the flat lay image.
5.Capturing Flat Lays
Whether you use your Cell Phone or DSLR Camera flat lays can become an easy part of your imagery routine. Cell phones do a phenomenal job if you aren’t confident in using a
The main goal when capturing a flat lay is you want to find the best light source. I find the best window depending on the time of day which results into me photographing in my kitchen. The Best light means that the light is spreading evenly across your subject/ flat lay area.
Shoot from above when photographing books and certain main focal point will be evenly displayed.
When highlighting candles and or an item that you want to see depth come in at an angle. There is no wrong way to capture a flat lay or product.
Gear That Is helpful in capturing your flat lays
6.Editing Flay Lays
The biggest point about Editing your flat lays in my opinion is to capture as many different styled flat lays at one session or day of shoot. This is important so you can edit them in a uniform manner to creates a polished and cohesive look. Or you can call this batch editing when you edit all at once. If you create multiple styled flat lays using the same lgiht source and close to the same time of day it will
When sharing your Flat Lays on Social Media it’s always great to remember to create a balance between images of you, people, and strategically plan the flow of your flat lay within. If you are a photographing food and products flat lays are expected however I personally promote human interaction and connection so I love seeing people, hands, and subjects spread through out a feed to really engage. For instance my plan of action to tell a product story would be an Image of me holding the main focal point, product, or service, to capture initial interest, Then the next image would be the the focal point, product, or service styled in a gorgeous flat lay. I would follow up with another image of me using or interacting the focal point, product and service.
Using Planoly helps me schedule and tell my brand story without stress and delivers my message with intent. Even if you do not purchase a plan it can help you plan your layout of flowing cohesive content and wording to save time. This to me is an important part of your Branding Strategy that helps you be consistent.
The Most Important key of creating flat lays is to have FUN!
There is no right way or wrong way to express your brand story! Creating flat lays are a fun way to add dimension and keep your audience interseted! So What are you waiting for get to styling and capturing my friends!
CAPTURE. BRAND. ENGAGE.
Included in the Blog Post are Images I have Captured for the Following Clients & Businesses;