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How to Create The Perfect Flat Lay

October 24, 2016

Master the art of the flat lay with Dan Flay's expert tips and tricks.                              




Taking a beautiful aerial shot is a lot easier than you might think. All you need is a few props, some natural light, and an excellent editing app.


Made popular by bloggers, the flat lay is must for influencers and brands looking to showcase everything from outfit inspiration to travel essentials. Follow these 5 tips and you’ll be a master in no time...


1. Choose A Basic Background 


Keep backgrounds clean and simple - you don't want to pull too much focus away from the products that you're photographing. Wooden floorboards, white bedding and tiled worktops work perfectly in almost any scenario. 


2. Shoot In Natural Light


In order to minamise shadows, make sure that you shoot in natural light. Choose a bright and airy spot near a window or glass door. Don't be afraid to test more than one location, after all good lighting is everything - especially when it comes to flat lays. 


3. Composition Is Key


To avoid images looking cluttered always shoot lat lays in square (or 640×640 pixels if you're using an SLR camera). Make sure that you leave enough space between each object and be mindful of symmetry and balance. Switch on the invisible grid to ensure clean sharp lines. 


4. Pick Your Props Wisely


Use props sparingly and stick to your theme. It can be easy to get carried away when you're setting up shots, so restrict yourself to a number of key items that compliment each other and fit the aesthetic that you're trying to achieve. Candles, sunglasses and succulents are great go-tos. 


5. Editing is Everything


It's important not to over-edit your photos. Choose an app like VSCO to give your image a sleek, glossy finish. Play with filters, enhance colours, add contrast, sharpen and edit white areas to appear cleaner and crisper. Remember you really want the products to pop. 


Words: Dan Flay


Image via Marie Claire




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