I want to start this post by saying that I am by no means a photographer. To be honest I’m never happy with my photos! That being said I get compliments on my flatlays and lots of questions on how I create them so I thought I’d do a little post of tips on how to master the art of flatlay photography. I think photos are one of the most important things when blogging. Obviously being able to write a blog post is an essential too but I personally get attracted to a blog post if I see a gorgeous photo of a product on social media and this makes me want to click and read all about it.
Obviously having a good camera helps, I’m currently saving up to treat myself to the new Panasonic Lumix 4K CSC Camera. That being said, all photos on my blog are taken using my trusty (and well loved) 3 year old iPhone 6 so you don’t need a fancy camera to take pretty flat lays! Fancy camera’s help, yes, but you don’t actually need one.
If you follow me on Instagram or are a reader of my blog you’ll know my trusty little brick background. I personally love it because it’s simple, effective and creates continuity between all my social accounts. Even my media kit uses the same background!
Backgrounds are important but don’t need to break the bank. You can use a few planks of wood, wallpaper like I do, a clean white duvet cover or white board. Or of course some marble (a huge blogger favourite) you don’t need to break the bank and buy a huge slab of marble though, all you need is a bit of board and some adhesive paper that you can get off Amazon, so get creative! I personally think less busy backgrounds work better though, as there’s more emphasis on the products then.
Another thing that really adds to a photo is props. They add dimension and texture to your photos. I love to use flowers, leaves, ribbons, other beauty products, plants. Obviously the type of props you use depends on the type of photo you’re taking. You should use objects that you’d expect to find together. For example you wouldn’t have a spoon beside a blush because they have nothing to do with each other. I always like to have a story to each photo, the photo below is all about reading blogs so I wanted to make it cosy looking as I like to cuddle up on my sofa with blankets and pillows, my iPad and a cup of ginger tea!
Lighting plays I huge part in photography. I take all my photos in natural (but not direct) light. If you take photos in direct sunlight you have to fight with shadows (and trust me that’s not fun). If you take photos on a dull day or in the evening they’re likely to come out grainy. I never take photos with a light on, this creates a yellow hue and again, you get shadows. Find a space near a window to take your photos and take them on a solid object like a table or chair, something that means your wallpaper or other background won’t crease.
The final step after creating your gorgeous flat lay and taking 300 million photos and picking the best one is editing. I personally love bright and airy photographs so I love to brighten my photos. Colourstory is a great app, with some wonderful brightening filters. You can also use the edit function on an iPhone to up the brightness and colour of a photo. Just be careful not to over edit, especially if you have white objects on a white background as they can completely disappear. Over exposure isn’t a good look.