The Five Golden Rules For Creating A Killer Flatlay

Black Cedarwood & Juniper jo malone london queen of pop

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!

o Malone London X Poppy Delevingne Queen Of Pop amber and lavender perfume


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!

Acqua di Parma 'Colonia Vaniglia' perfume fragrance review gourmand


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).

Black Cedarwood & Juniper jo malone london queen of pop

Cute Props

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!




  1. September 5, 2017 / 11:35 pm

    Ooh this was really interesting, but I would love to know how you don’t get shadows when going the big flat lays, do you use a tripod?

    • fashionforlunch
      September 5, 2017 / 11:43 pm

      I have a tripod but I generally don’t use it unless I’m filming. we just have big windows! Sometimes I have shadows in my pics, I love a good shadow!

  2. September 5, 2017 / 11:56 pm

    Your photos are always so well done! Props are a must in any flatlays I take x

  3. A Scented Soul
    September 6, 2017 / 12:44 am

    You’ve take amazing photos! Great job

  4. MakeErinOver
    September 6, 2017 / 8:13 am

    Your photos are always complete goals, I love your style! Thanks for the post because I’m definitely stealing tips!

  5. Megan McCoig
    September 6, 2017 / 8:23 am

    Really needed this post as I’m always lusting over your photos. You really are flatlay queen! Xx

  6. September 6, 2017 / 8:36 am

    You take the most amazing photos Kirsty! These tips are so handy. Your instagram feed always makes me smile :o) x

  7. September 6, 2017 / 10:21 am

    I’m always in awe of your flatlays as I know you put such a lot of time and effort into them as well. Great tips! x

  8. September 6, 2017 / 11:58 am

    Your flatlays are consistently beautiful. So I will follow your advice X

    • fashionforlunch
      September 6, 2017 / 1:24 pm

      Aw thanks lucy! so glad you like them! xxxx

  9. September 6, 2017 / 1:08 pm

    Love these types of posts Kirsty, great to share some of your tricks!

    • fashionforlunch
      September 6, 2017 / 1:23 pm

      aw thanks so much susie! so glad you liked it!!!!

  10. September 6, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    This may not be directly related to flatlaying but I learned from you that horizontal pictures show so much more that vertical picture, as obvious as it is. I noticed that you did it and tried it our myself and my pictures have a much nicer balance and composition now. Keep up the great work!

    • fashionforlunch
      September 6, 2017 / 2:31 pm

      Aw that’s so nice to hear! Thank you so so much! I’m so glad you like my pics and I’m so glad I was able to help! Xxxx

  11. September 6, 2017 / 3:09 pm

    Ahhh, thank you for sharing your tips! Your photos are always stellar. I’m getting into the world of flat lays and having all of the struggles — mostly with lighting and props. I tend to work away the daylight hours, and I need to get more creative with all of the little things I have sitting around my apartment, haha. x

  12. September 8, 2017 / 12:24 am

    You are the queen of flatlays so this post have been bookmarked to come back to time and time again x

  13. Cass
    September 9, 2017 / 4:29 am

    You do such amazing flatlays – always love the colours you inject into them!

    Cass | CassandraMyee

    • fashionforlunch
      September 10, 2017 / 12:06 am

      Thank you so so much xxx

  14. September 11, 2017 / 11:10 am

    As a HUGE fan of your photography I cannot tell you how much I love hearing more about your process. My favourite thing of course is that your pics are always so colourful. I love my pics to be highly saturated and so its wonderful to see you’re not afraid of colour in a sea of desaturated feeds 😉 xxx

  15. September 12, 2018 / 7:22 pm

    This is so cute and super helpful! I’ll definitely be taking these notes into consideration the next time I do a flat lay!


    • fashionforlunch
      September 14, 2018 / 12:11 am

      Aw thank you! I’m so pleased it was helpful!

  16. September 12, 2018 / 8:46 pm

    This was really helpful and interesting ? thank you! Xx

    • fashionforlunch
      September 14, 2018 / 12:10 am

      Thank you for reading!

    • fashionforlunch
      September 14, 2018 / 12:10 am

      Aw thank you! I’m so pleased it was helpful!

  17. Erin
    September 16, 2018 / 11:03 am

    Your photos are always SO beautiful. I always suck at flatlays, so this is forever helpful, – but I do miss all your multi-coloured shots!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

    • fashionforlunch
      September 16, 2018 / 8:43 pm

      Aw thanks Erin! And I’m sorry you miss my old pics I’m sure I’ll go back soon! I think I just needed a change xxx