Okay, let's begin with what a flat lay actually is...
When I first started blogging back in December, I didn't know the word 'flat lay', but after making friends with other fellow bloggers, they explained that a 'flat lay' is simply taking a Photo of products from an above angle, usually with a plain background.
I personally try to take all my blog photos using similar props and colours, so they match and are a part of my theme.
What is one of my pet peeves is bloggers that use other peoples photos. I don't understand it when it's so easy and affordable to take your own. Also, it such an issue along the lines of copyright. Yeah, sure you might not be stealing your photos from other bloggers, but Google Images aren't free to use if you begin earning money.
A small disclaimer - I am not an expert.
I had to learn how to take a flat lay that I was proud and would happy using. But when I promote for companies, they always compliment on my photos so I thought I would share how to take similar flat lays too me.
There is one thing I can promise you though, they will be cheaply made. I am a poor student and I can't afford to keep buying new props for every photo I have to take. I post twice a week, so having to buy new items every time I released a new post would become very pricey very quickly.
So let's get into it...
First of all, I will pick my props. I have set props I use, but I will try and swap some out when I can. Pictured below are a few of my favourites. The branch and the leaves are literally from my garden. I put some shoes on, go outside with a pair of scissors and cut off some leaves. As simple as that. But be prepared to get some weird looks. I have had the branch for a while and I keep it in my 'props box'. Again, I found it outside while walking home one day and I took it back with me. The only other plant pictured is my cactus, which I replanted into a more photogenic pot, a simple black one.
The heart dish that you can see, was given to me by my mother. However, if you go down to your local charity shops you could almost definitely find some dishes that would look really good in your own flat lays.
That is where I got the pink balls from that are pictured below. I got a large pack of assorted potpourri from the charity shop. I have had them for a while now and they have lost their smell, however, they still look good in my photos.
And finally, my fake flowers. These cost me £1 and I use them in nearly every photo. These are fake orchid flowers, which I love. However, the main reason I bought them was that of the neutral colours. I know I use a lot of green in my photos so the little green seeds on them would work and the white always looks good with bright colours.
The next step is really useful if you are promoting a product. This week I was asked to use The Willow Tree's cards in my post. These beautiful cards are extremely well priced retailing at about £2.50 depending on the card. I loved these products so much I jumped at the chance at featuring them. The 'Hello' card is perfect for a student like me, who likes to send cards to their other friends at university, rather than text them. I find that sending people cards is so much more personal than a phone call. The 'Bloom and Grow' is a postcard, but I have recently stuck it up on my wall and it looks adorable. A big thank you to The Willow Tree - I will link them below so you can check them out yourselves.
So why did I include this photo? Figuring out what colours compliment what you are promoting or even just including within your blog post is important to how your photo comes out. For promoting these cute cards, I have focused on the green and white in the first postcard, complimenting it with the green and white in the orchid flowers. I have also included a grey piece of fabric to compliment the dark grey of the 'Hello' card. This ties the photo together and makes it look more neat.
Do you edit your photos?
I hardly edit my photos at all. I sometimes crop them if they aren't perfect and I usually enhance them slightly to make the colours pop, but apart from that, I leave them as they are. I take all my photo below a large window and this allows the natural light to shine through and brighten the images. So they barely take any editing.
How you place your props is the next thing you have to think about. You want to promote the items (for me, it's the cards) and not have the props swallow them. Adding my grey piece of fabric allows the cards to be separated and shine amongst the other props. It has to be clear from the photo, what you are focusing on.
Finally, the amount of space that is present. Don't be scared of having a little space present in your photos. You want the white background to shine through, otherwise whats the point of taking photos on a plain backdrop anyway. However, you want your flat lay to look fun, yet professional. So having a lot of space might make the photo look slightly boring. I sometimes use confetti to fill these tiny spaces, however, they are so hard to clean up and they get EVERYWHERE. So I have started to use leaves, as pictured below. It fits my overall theme better and they are so easy to sweep up and throw away.
I hope this has helped you in some way! I would love to hear your opinions and your very own tips in the comments!
A big thank you to The Willow Tree!
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