Flatlay Tips and Tricks!

Like many I started Instagram with total admiration for the flatlays constantly filling up my feed! I did dabble for a little while but I don't think I had quite found my Instagram identity at that time and I didn't have a particular theme with my posts! So last year I started practicing more and more and finally (although I am still no expert) I am now quite proud of my attempts!
I am quite often inundated with messages asking for tips on how I take my flatlays and do I use any editing software to add filters etc.

With regards to filters no, I haven't really ever been a filters lover.... mostly because even if I did find one I like, I would most likely forget the name of it and then my consistency is down the pan. I have enormous windows in my room I'm talking near 3m wide and south facing so the light is pretty intense a lot of the time so I have lovely bright light to work with. I would say taking photos between 10am and 2pm is usually best! If by chance you are struck with cloudy icky British weather or it's a little later in the day I do recommend the app 'Afterlight' as your go to enhancer for lighting or removing any speckle that your photos might incur.

The first thing I always recommend anybody is a good surface for your flatlays, something bright and light will make your subjects pop! I either just use the white bedsheet if it's clothing or bags, but mostly I stick to my trusty Marble surface! Which is a total bargain to achieve! I just use the top of an Ikea Lack table which cost around £5 (don't fix the legs on) this makes it super easy to store! I purchased a roll of Marble Sticky Backed plastic from Wilkinsons which was around £4 I think for quite a large roll, and covered the table top on the top and sides too.

Over time I have built my blogging toolkit - a box that contains all my props and anything else I need on hand when taking flatlay photos.

I try to keep my props quite simple as to not detract from what I'm photographing so for instance my current kit includes:

• Confetti (M&S)
• Artificial Flowers/Foliage (Homesense)
• Copper Wire Fairy lights (Primark)
• Gold Make Up Brushes
• Faux Fur Rug & Cushion (B&M/Ikea)
• Pocket Mirror (Primark - Helps focus)
• Trinket Dishes (H&M)
• Shabby Chic Garland (Hobbycraft)
• Sellotape 'Clever Tape'

The Holy Grail of all flatlays is the Sellotape 'Clever tape' forget blu tac or any other tape as it can be damaging to product packaging or leave icky residue on your favourite lippy casings! Why sellotape, you're wondering. Well if you've ever tried to photograph lipsticks and candle jars for instance, it doesn't matter how flat your surface is they will give you the run around by rolling non stop! Using a bit of tape keeps these objects still while you play around with everything else in your flatlay - not having to worry your favourite candles going to go 'wrecking ball' on everything in its path! also any labels needing to be perfectly central can be made to do so.

All you need to do is roll a bit of take back on itself and stick it to the object and then place down onto your surface gently and it will stay put! As promised when you take the tape off, whether it be stuck on a lipstick casing or a paper label on a candle there won't be any damage or sticky residue! This is the most gentle and easy to remove tape and I've tried a few!

Working with your Toolkit is the most fun part! Now your lipsticks are in place you can spend as long as you want experimenting with what will showcase them at their best! So here are some more examples of me using my kit.

So now I've took four totally different shots, I get to choosing the one I want to use on my social media! So I usually whip up a quick collage in an app like so... and then choose my favourite from the bunch!

Textures can also work with objects in different ways so play around and see what works with your specific items.

Topical flatlays can be so much fun! Announcing a holiday or trip! It doesn't mean you have to break theme. Your toolkit is the one saviour into linking your images together no matter what your topic is!

A great tip is always try and include at least one metallic/shiny item! It captures the light and makes the all round focus of your image a lot more crisp! Clean flatlays on fleek are a must!

Think about what your object is, to you and your followers. A bag for instance portrays adventuring and can be easily accessorised by pretty objects you might find to pack in your bag. Rather than just photographing the bag itself! Also people are naturally nosey and like to know what's in your bag of course!

I always have a little chuckle to myself at the mess I make just in taking flatlay images.... the world see something so different.... they don't see the mayhem in getting the perfect photo!

Last tip is to be vigilant in checking your images over. Especially if you're going to tag brands in them! Make sure their logos are visable, objects are straight (unlike my touché éclat) your hope should be that you feel you have done an impressive job and that maybe just maybe brands might like your photo enough to share alongside their own professional photography. Exposure to your social media is the ultimate goal.

I have a stubborn perfectionist inside of me. This also means if I know a week is going to be overcast I will try and take a bulk of photos in advance. This goes for if you know you've got a very busy week. Consistency is key always in posting.

So grab that roll of clever tape and snap away!
Tag me in your flatlays over on insta!
I would love to see them.

Emy xoxo





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