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How to Take the Perfect Flatlay

Over the pass year or so, I think I have mastered the taking the perfect flatlay. Flatlays are images that are mostly pictures of products that are taken perfectly parallel to the ground. I am going to share all of my secrets in this blog post.

Props

The first thing you need to do is gather your items. I recommend choosing items with a similar color palette to make the image more cohesive. Also, choose items of different sizes. For example, I like to use cameras, makeup, jewelry, and books. I have some examples linked below.

Backgrounds

Next, find a background. I use marble contact paper on a foam board (you can find all of my blogging tools here!), but you can use anything from a white surface to a wood floor. Recently I got wood planks that I painted white. I use this and the marble contact paper and the wood planks interchangeably. I recommend using a background that is not too distracting from the items, but you can use anything from a white surface to a wood floor. Recently I got wood planks that I painted white. I use this and the marble contact paper and the wood planks interchangeably. I recommend using a background that is not too distracting from the items.

Lighting & Camera

Put your surface next to a window. I don’t use artificial lighting because I find that sunlight in the daytime is the best. To avoid shadows, wait until the sun is high in the sky or else the shadows will be way too harsh. I also turn off all of the lights because they are too yellow. Also, too many lights create multiple unwanted shadows.

Another thing you can do to block shadows is get a reflector. I got mine for about $10 on Amazon. Just place it on the side where it is darker or on the opposite side of where the light source is coming from. It really dulls shadows and makes the picture have even lighting.

To place your camera, you can either hold it, or put it on a tripod. If you put it on a tripod, you have to play around with the height and the angle. It is best to be completely parallel to the floor.

Lastly, for the camera settings, I like to use manual because it is easier to control how light the picture is. On the light meter, I usually set the shutter speed or ISO so it is over the “recommended” lighting. Automatic works fine too so you can just adjust the lighting in post-production.

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  • I love taking flatlays for Instagram 🙂 thank you so much for these tips 🙂

    Rachael xx.
    theteacozykitchen.blogspot.co.uk

    • No problem! Just checked out your Instagram and your blog and I love your flatlays especially the food ones they look delicious.

      -Natalie