The Five Golden Rules For Creating A Killer Flatlay
I get asked all the time, how do I create my flatlays, so I thought it was about time I gave you my five golden rules of creating a flatlay. I hope this is of help to you all and if you have any questions, please do let me know!
As with all photography, light is key! Good lighting can make a flatlay go from drab to fab. Wherever possible I use natural light, but if it’s winter and dark, I will use photography lamps instead, but believe me, I don’t do this unless I absolutely have to. At different times of the day you will get different light effects and depending on the time of day, often depends on which room of my house I take the photo in. If I’m shooting in the morning I tend to take them on the East side of the house as the light pours through in the big windows on this side. If I’m shooting in the afternoon I take them on the West side of the house as the sun is setting. Admittedly, I’m lucky I have this option, but if you take your photos in your study / living room / bedroom, try and figure out what time of day you get the best light and take all your days photos at that time.
Composition is really important to me. I like my items to be spaced just so, not to near, not to far. I don’t tend to like my objects bundled together, instead I like each thing to have a little breathing space. Occasionally I like to break my own rules and cluster items, like in this photo, just because it’s nice to mix things up! Some people have quite a minimalist aesthetic, others like a bit more of a ‘more is more’ look. Have a play around and see what works best for you!
When we bought our house, I quickly made the decision that I wanted to sand down the floorboards and paint them white. Firstly, because it makes the rooms look wonderfully big, light and clean, but also, I have to admit, It makes a damned good photography backdrop. I often lay my objects straight onto the floor and kneel down to take the photo (like in this photo), other times I use table surfaces, paper, books, marble. I love backdrops which make my photos really POP! Again, have a this about your aesthetic and what works best for you. It could be bright white, creased linen cloth, aged wood or anything you fancy!
Colour is so important to me, as you might have noticed! I personally, tend to love bright, true colours, but I know others favour tones of greys, moody reds, greens, blues, blacks and browns. Whatever you love, just make sure the colours of your flatlay work. you don’t want to mix your colours and tones, I mean, just imagine putting lime green, orange, sugary pink, maroon, taupe and red in one picture, it would look like a big ol’ mess! Pick out colours that look really great together and put them on a backdrop which ties them all together (like in this photo).
I LOVE accessorising my flatlays with cute props. I like buying fresh flowers, make-up brushes, cosmetics and accessories to put in my pictures (see example here). Whilst these objects aren’t right for everyones aesthetic, it is worth thinking about what props would work well for your pictures. It could be anything from fruit and vegetables, stationery, craft items, leaves, flowers, cutlery and crockery, baking goodies or jewellery. Just have a play around and see what happens!
So, there we have it, my five golden rules for creating a killer flatlay! Go forth, have fun and see what happens! Also tag me in your flatlays (I’m @labeslforlunch) so I can see what you create! I love getting new inspiration and I love seeing everyones photos!
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