One of the things I love most about blogging, is creating pretty pictures and having lots of fun with photography. Someone suggested on Instagram, that I write a post about creating pretty flat lays and I thought it was a great chance to look at some of my old pics and write a helpful post. Flat lays are perfect for both Instagram and here on the blog. I absolutely love creating them and writing this post has made me feel really inspired to put together some new ones in the coming weeks. Here are my top tips for creating pretty flat lays.
Find a nice background
A nice background is a great place to start. I usually use some wallpaper or my actual floor and keep my background pretty simple. I always like a wooden effect background. Other bloggers often use marble, fabric or pretty tiles. I think it’s nice to find a style that works for you and the type of content your are trying to create.
I’ve used wallpaper to create these wood effect backdrops. I’ll often pick up large samples or cheaper rolls of wallpaper and get them out whenever I want to shoot. I also have grey wooden floors in my house, so sometimes I’ll just shoot things that I’ve laid out on my floor.
Pretty fashion pieces
First up you need to choose some pretty clothes, shoes or accessories to show off in your flat lay. I always try to choose colour coordinating pieces and bits that I wear together all the time.
All of last year I had a yellow colour scheme on my Instagram, so I made use of all my pretty yellow pieces of clothing, including this gorgeous vintage gingham dress. I have loads of fun creating looks with my favourite accessories and props.
Choose some pretty props
I am always picking up pretty bits for flat lays. Sometimes these are things I display around the house, but I also have a little box of pretty things that I include. My favourites include post cards, magazines, vintage books, cute tins, vintage jewellery, plants and candles. Sometimes I’ll just have a look round the house and on my shelves and choose things that work well with what I’m shooting. I also have a few fake flowers
Last year I picked up some cute postcards with fun phrases on them. I included them loads in my flat lays. I also pick up nice sunglasses in Primark all the time. Not only do they look perfect on pretty flat lays, but I also love pairing them with all my different outfits. Books, cosmetics and fun vintage accessories are all great additions to flat lays. I use my favourite editions of classics in my pics a lot, as well as original vintage books with nice covers. This was one of my favourite flat lays from last year, because it’s so cheerful and everything would be perfect for a trip to somewhere warm and sunny. If you’re reviewing a small product or accessory, using it as part of a flat lay is a great way to really show it off.
Try to find somewhere with bright natural light with very little shadow. I always have amazing lighting in my utility room, so I shoot the majority of my flat lays on the floor in there. You can also shoot them outdoors when the sky is a bit overcast, this creates beautiful diffused lighting. If you’re really stuck for natural light, a couple of soft box lights might be the way to go.
All my photos are shot in natural light, so they can vary a little according to the time of day I shoot them. I love the light first thing in the morning or during the golden hour in the evening.
To get the finish you want on your flat lays, play around with the brightness and contrast and add filters if you want to. I usually use Picmonkey to edit my pictures, although I will sometimes use photoshop if I need to. Adobe Lightroom is also a really popular choice with bloggers. If you’re shooting on your phone and just want to edit on there, there are plenty of apps that are great for editing pictures.
Keep you flat lays seasonal
I love creating flat lays that match the time of year. Celebrations like Valentines, Easter, Halloween and of course Christmas are great times to create themed flat lays. I also like to create flat lays that reflect the different seasons. Not only do they look lovely, but you can also optimise them by using seasonal hashtags on social media.
This flat lay was inspired by summer and fun days out in pretty dresses. I chose pieces that coordinated well together and that I would actually wear. I added a couple of props with the postcard and Instax camera and that was it.
I created this flat lay as part of a shoe review around Christmas and used an old book, some flowers that I had in my house at the time and a Christmas card that I had been sent to tie all the colours together.
Be your own prop
I absolutely adore flat lays that include people. Whether it’s just your hands or your legs set up a self timer and get creative. I put my DSLR camera on a tripod arm to create this picture.
Have fun and find your own style
My flat lays are definitely a reflection of me and all the things I like and enjoy. Find things that make you happy, don’t try to do what everyone else is doing and have fun creating flat lays that are your own style.
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