Blogs and social media, such as Instagram, have made flat lay photos popular. What are the characteristics of this composition? How to take the perfect shot? We answer these and other questions in the following article.
What are flat lay photos?
The flat lay composition involves laying objects on a flat surface and photographing them from a bird’s eye view. The name itself comes from a combination of two English words: flat – to lay flat and lay – to arrange. It is a combination of product and lifestyle photography. The items in the photo are perfectly exposed, but the photo does not resemble a typical shot from an online store.
Advantages of flat lay photos
Flat lay photos attract a wide audience – they are usually extremely aesthetically pleasing and most simply pleasing to the eye. Marketing specialists say that thanks to flat lay photos, a potential customer is able to imagine the product in use and what life will be like after such a purchase. A good photo is one that tells a story.
How to take the perfect flat lay photo?
Taking flat lay photos is not at all difficult and can be successfully done at home. You don’t need any extraordinary skills or specialized equipment to do it. Learn some tips that will help you take the perfect photograph.
A good background is the basis of a flat lay photo. A neutral color and not too ornate texture works best in this role. However, contrary to popular belief, the background does not have to be white at all. Depending on the subject of the photo, a dark base will work just as well. The background must not distract from the objects in the photo – make sure there are no mottled shapes or bohomazes on it.
Play with textures
Combining different textures in one photo is the secret to good-looking flat lay photography. For a good start, you can start with a small number of textures: newspaper, wood, sweater and blanket are ideal. Nothing prevents you from including a ceramic plate, a wool scarf, a paper book and a wooden desk in one photo. Such a procedure of mixing structures creates an original composition.
Remember about layers
A good-looking flat lay photo has layers. The first one is the base: it is the base on which the product to be exposed in the photo is placed. Subsequent layers are the background: newspaper notebooks, fabrics, plates, coasters, etc. Additional layers are designed to enrich the composition and give the photo atmosphere. By dividing the photo into layers, the frame is not boring, and the main element of the photograph is exposed.
When preparing a flat lay photo, take care to choose the right color scheme. It will make the photo not mottled and will give it character. It will also be much easier for you to prepare the composition and highlight the main product. If you want to keep the photo in a silver and pink color scheme, you can use colors such as shades of pink, gray, silver, white and even black. Using elements of similar colors will allow you to create an aesthetically pleasing composition.
The method of trial and error
Rarely is the first arrangement of a composition perfect. Don’t get discouraged and keep trying until you get it right. Sometimes it is enough to move one element by a millimeter, so that the photo already looks different. Don’t be afraid to combine, take away or add some elements. You are limited only by your imagination!
main photo: unsplash.com/Leone Venter