Mastering that Flat Lay

This time curiosity didn’t kill the cat (haha)

I was feeling quite curious about how to do flat lay photography because I love the photo’s that I’ve seen on all the social media networks (especially Instagram), so I decided to research the subject. I did this because I love learning new things and I have been wanting to learn to do this myself and have already started practicing. Like most things though, I am always my biggest critic and I want it to be perfect.

I found this site through Pinterest, called Barely There Beauty and she gave a few tips on the subject. She says that owning nice things and having beautiful items to photograph is only half the battle towards capturing a gorgeous shot. Apparently, other bloggers like to amass nice things in order to use as props, solely for blogging, but she likes to buy items that she actually intends on using and giving them a secondary purpose. It seems like such a waste to have all those beautiful things put away in a box. When you buy certain purchases that come in tissue paper and with ribbons, you can keep those items to use as well.

Her advice is to vary your objects and create interest in your photograph by using props of different sizes, heights, shapes, textures and patterns. Rigid lines and geometric shapes can work well with a soft floral print for example, and I like combining different heights in a picture, like a little city skyline made of makeup.

Jennifer also says to build layers. Break them down into three natural subsets, namely; background, mid-level and fillers. Background – the items that are often broad and flat, good for creating a base layer to assemble a collage of other items upon. For example, her favourites include: her assortment of marble trays, Porter, Cereal or In Clover, a silky cami or a snuggly knitted jersey.

Mid-level – the bridge-gapper’s between background and detail, and your second layer. Her favourites include: Flowers, candles, pastries and macaroons. Fillers – the small items that she likes to pepper in last if she feels like her composition just needs a little something extra. Her favourites include: Rings, petals, ribbons, sequins, foliage, beads, bits of stationery, the list to choose from is nigh on endless.

Here’s an example of one of her photographs where she worked in distinct layers.


Using colour doesn’t really have a right or wrong way of doing it according to Jennifer. She gives a few pointers.

  1. Stick with a restricted colour palette.
  2. Alternatively, pick one colour and work in shades of it.

Jennifer also talks about props and lighting, as well as flowers. She also gives a quick DIY Marble tray instructional which I will definitely be trying myself. I found her post to be extremely helpful and insightful.

I then moved on to a blog titled She Bold Lifestyle and found a step-by-step guide. I will only add the headings of the steps, for the info beneath it, you can go check it out on her site.

Step 1. Make one item the main focus

Step 2. Find a storyline

Step 3. Find the right backdrop

Step 4. Add your personality

Step 5. Consistency

I actually love this woman’s site and have signed up for her mailing list and saved it as a favourite. Her site helps with a lot of photography items, as well as blogging items.

There is a wealth of flat-lay information out there and this post would be extremely long if I put all the info into it. You can go and have a look on Pinterest and search ‘Master that flat lay’ or something similar and you will be overwhelmed with the amount of information you come across.

As for me, I am going to go and have some fun now with flat lays. I hope I have inspired you to do the same. I find photography to be loads of fun and very relaxing.

Below, I’ve added some examples of Flat lay photo’s that I found on Pinterest. If I could find the owner of the photo, I linked it to the photo. I also found two photos giving tips as well.

Flat Lay 1
Flat Lay 2
Flat Lay 3
Flat Lay 4
Flat Lay 5
Flat Lay 6
Flat Lay 7
Flat Lay 8
Flat Lay Tip 1
Flat Lay Tip 2

That’s it from me for now…

Please show me some love and comment below. If you enjoy what you see, please follow me for more features.

Enjoy the moments


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