How to take An Edited Lifestyle flatlay…
One of my favourite type of Instagram pictures to take is a flatlay. If I feel I don’t have enough images in back-up when I’m planning my weekly content, I find it so quick and easy to whip out a few flatlays. Not only do I love making them, but you guys also love them (according to my analytics/ insights). And whilst I know there’s been a bit of a backlash in terms of overstyled flatlays, I really love them. Mainly because I know the effort that goes into them. Whilst I know find them quick to do, way back when, the planning and styling took me forever.
Now, I’ve got my plan on how I take my flatlay photos for my Instagram. It took me a while, but I got there in the end and I’m so happy with how each of my photos turns out now. So much so, I created my own hashtag! If you want to see my full collection of current flatlays, go check out #champagnelifestyleflatlay. So if you’re interested in creating your own ‘champagne lifestyle’ worthly flatlays, here are a few things to consider…
Backgrounds are hugely important for flatlays. And whilst many favour white (as I do) you can go for anything really, as long as it allows the objects to stand out. It’s best to stick to light colours, but go pastels, light greys or washed wood. I have seen people use a navy blue for a background with all white objects and it looked fantastic.
With light backgrounds, I use everything. White bedding, my rug and of course my white coffee table. My coffee table is my most used background. Now if you don’t have a white coffee table or marble countertops- fear not. Buy some card or a piece of MDF and paint it white or cover it with marble contact paper. Easy to store and looks like the real deal.
I also like to take into consideration texture, as it adds something extra to a flay lay. I love using my fluffy gilet or a blouse or stripy top. It just elevates an image and incorporates jewellery really nicely into the shot.
Just as important as the background. Lighting can make a flatlay shine or sink. I always take my pictures in the day next my window in my living room or on the corner of my bed near my window. Always near my window.
This is perfect during the summer as I can whip out a couple in a row. However, come winter, it’s a mad rush against time to get the light perfect. Worse case scenario, I do have photography lights that I can whip out. My lights were pretty cheap (you can find a similar deal here) and they are perfect for packing away once you’re done with them.
PROPS & PIECES.
This is my favourite bit of the flatlay process. I go in a mad run around the house and grab everything. And I mean everything. Fashion, beauty, candles, fragrances, jewellery. Anything that looks good in person, just grab it. I fill up a bag full of things and take them to my flatlay station. From there I organise it into piles by category.
From there, I then make groups with the objects that I believe will go together. This is usually by the tone of the colours. From there I have an idea of which items are going to work well together and what images I’m going to get for my feed.
FRAMING THE SHOT.
The most difficult part of the flatlay. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you have it down each and every time. You’ll soon get an understanding of the type of images that you like creating. Coco Chanel, the wise lady that she is, always said ‘before you leave the house, take the last thing you put on off.’ The same is true with a flatlay at times. You can be arranging a flat lay and suddenly find it’s not working. Take some bits away until it feels right.
Personally, I like quite filled flatlay images. But that doesn’t mean I’ve got loads of items in one shot. ‘Filled’ can mean by the pattern from a top with a few pieces of jewellery on top. It can also be filling the shot with a certain colour. Trust me, you’ll find your groove soon enough.
Empty space shouldn’t be feared. I like a corner of the shot being just a bit of the table. It allows the photo to breathe and your eye to dark around the table. I also like having images going slightly out of shot. It adds interest and uniqueness to the picture. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
EQUIPMENT & EDITING.
In all honesty, you do not need to use a fancy camera to create an amazing flatlay. 99% of my shots are taken on my iPhone 7 Plus. Very rarely do I use my camera to create a flatlay. Mainly because I don’t think you can get the best angles or frame with one, the iPhone shines on that front.
Editing, however, is very important. I love editing my photos. I do use Lightroom to edit some of my shots, but the majority of the time I also use Snapseed and VSCO. Both really good apps and have created some of my favourite images.
Once you’ve edited, sit on your pictures for a bit. There have been times when I’ve loved a flat lay I’ve created, only to turn around and found I’m not so fond of it. These things happen. Don’t beat yourself up about it, just understand what you no longer like about the shot and you’ll know for next time. In the same hand, there may be a shot that you weren’t so keen on and now you absolutely love.
What tips do you use for your Instagram flatlays?
I hope this helps you and you start creating even more gorgeous images than you already do. If you do use these tips, be sure to tag me so I can see the shots! I would love to see what you create.
Check out my other lifestyle posts here on the blog.