How To Create The Perfect Flatlay

Ahh the flatlay. I would call this photo style Instagram’s bread and butter. I used to turn my nose up at flatlays because they felt a little bit like a creative cop-out. I’ve learned over the years that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Flatlays are a great way to showcase a product, or simply get creative with objects you already have handy around your home! Here’s some easy steps on how to start creating your own, have fun!

Step 1: Gather Supplies

  • The most important part of a good flatlay is the items you use. There should be a good balance of colors and textures to create a visually interesting concept. Just be sure to not use too much! You don’t want it to be too busy.
  • What you will need: A stool or chair, different textures and shapes, think flags, duvets, confetti etc. get creative! As an optional addition, a stool (or chair) a tripod, and a camera.
  • For this example I will be shooting a chocolate bar I received form the lovely Seattle Chocolates. The chocolate bar will be the focal point. Here are all my items.

Step 2: Arrange Your Scene

  • Find some natural light. Unless you’re lucky enough to have an in-home studio with artificial day lighting, a big bright window will work just fine!
  • Use a plain background. A white comforter or table top works well. This will help keep your focal object clear.

Step 3: Adjust Your Angle

  • Once you have your scene arranged the way you want, play around with how far away or how close up you get to your subject. Sometimes leaving parts of the photo cropped out makes the image feel a little more intimate. Example below:

Step 4: Edit

  • Now that you have your photo, edit it to fit your specific theme/tastes, and ta-da! You have a successful flatlay. Post processing also allows you to adjust things out of your control like shadows, dust, etc.

Final Product: (Two variations)

Here are the two angles I chose for my faltlay and the adjustments I made in the editing process to make them match my feed. If you enjoy the edits I chose you can use them too! My Lightroom presets are available for download here

I can’t wait to see your flatlays! Happy creating!



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