April 30, 2016

My favourite (and most liked) type of picture on Instagram is most definitely the flat lay. This simple, chic and trendy way to composition your photographs is all the rage on the picture sharing app. There is just something about carefully laid out photographs that seems to appeal to people. To do these type of shots I use a few easy tips and resources to make my flat lays as perfect as possible.

1. Background is everything

You’ll want the items in your flat lay to stand out, so keep your background simple. A favourite among bloggers is a slab of marble (or printed contact paper for a cheap and easy alternative) but I prefer a flat white background. If I want a little more texture in my background I’ll shoot my pictures on my white bedding, but generally I use a roll of white sketching paper.

2. Level Hack

To shoot my flat lays I use an app called ‘Foodie’ this app was created with one purpose in mind, shooting the best pictures of your food. But besides beautiful filters made specially to get the most out of your food snap it also comes with my favourite function ever. Position your camera over your composition and it lights up yellow when you’re holding it level. This way you get perfectly aligned bird’s eye perspectives every single time. However a flat lay isn't always shot from perfectly above, different angles can also be pretty interesting to look at.

3. Lighting

This is a pretty basic principle in photography, but natural light is your best friend. It provides the prettiest pictures, especially if you’re shooting pictures on your phone. If you don’t have access to a good source of natural light try upping the exposure when you’re post-processing also some paid apps like Facetune have excellent lighting filters that do a great job of brightening up dull and dark photos.

4. Not Over-complicating & The Importance of White Space

Don’t over clutter your flat lay. Pick your focal piece and add to that with items that make sense to the general theme of the photograph. I try to stay within the same colour family with maybe just a single pop of colour to make it interesting. White space is really important to let that special object stand out from your flat lay. Most photography apps offer templates for your photographs so you can select the square already to see how your composition will look in the finished product.

5. Keep it interesting

As seen in the examples you can see that with the same key item you can make a few different styles and angles to make more interesting looking pictures. A feed full of perfectly aligned square boxes is hardly fun to look at right? Play with composition and different style grids to see what suits your selection of items best. 

And that's it, just a couple simple tips to help you make the most out of your flat lays. Don't forget to tag your pictures with the appropriate hashtags and tag the @flatlays instagram account to increase traffic to your shots and a chance to get featured on the massively followed page. 

What's your favourite style of Instagram photo? Are you a fan of the flatlay or does the selfie still reign supreme?

  1. Lovely post that comes at the right time for me! I've just downloaded Foodie, following your advice. Let's see how it works. Oh, I didn't know about that instagram page "flatlays" :) Good to know, thanks.

    Happy Saturday!


    1. Glad I could help, Silvia! Foodie is lovely and they keep adding more filters that look lovely.

  2. I love flatlays! They are one type of post I particularly love about instagram!
    Isobel x

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    1. I know right! Me too, I love browsing the hashtag for a crazy amount of time to look at pretty pictures and find some inspiration.

  3. Great shots!! I love those jeans!

    Adi xx

    1. Thanks Adi! They're really comfortable too!

  4. I'm downloading that Foodie app, such a great tip! I sometimes play around with the levelling within Instagram, but it can make the objects look a little weird. The app will do a much better job ;-)

    Have a great Sunday!


    1. I too have tried levelling through the editing apps but find it just warps the pictures, it just doesn't look right. Foodie is a great discovery to get those levelled shots. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment, it means a lot!

  5. Thanks for the tips. Your photos look absolutely stunning too! I will deffo be tagging @flatlays in all my future pictures too

  6. this was really helpful, thankyou will be using this to help with blog photos too =^.^=