4 Tips for Setting Up Flat-Lay Shots

Knowing how to take a good flat lay is essential to keeping your Instagram social media strategy in top shape. The downside is that sometimes getting those clean overhead shots is more difficult than you would think: the lighting could be off, the angles just aren’t right, or your scene looks way too staged. Luckily, there are tricks to help you get the perfect flat lay shot that will make your products shine.

Lighting is everything

Every photographer knows that good lighting can be the difference between a good and a bad photo. Make sure that your lighting setup reflects the mood that you are going for. You can use professional lighting equipment, or you can set up your props near natural light, depending on what you have available and the look you want. You can even play with colored lights and shadows to make your shots a little more unique or branded to fit in with your social media strategy.

Choose a plain(ish) background

Flat lays are intended to show off the props. It’s best not to use a background that will distract the viewer. Using a plain and clean background will ensure that your props are the star of the show. Don’t think that “plain” has to mean boring. You can play with interesting textures, like using a shag rug or a fluffy towel, to really bring the picture – and your social media feeds – to life.

Play with angles

Traditional flat-lay shots are shot from directly above the subject. However, you can bend the rules a bit and move around to find the perfect angle for your photo. Getting up high on a step stool and tilting the camera lens is a good strategy to make the photo look more natural. A straight-on shot will be a little more dramatic. Play with heights and angles strategically until you get the mood you’re going for.

Bring a ton of props

It is tempting to underestimate the number of props needed for a photo shoot. You might have an idea in your head that consists of 3-5 items, without realizing that maybe those 3-5 items don’t go well together. Bringing a variety of props that fit your theme will allow you mix and match items to get the best possible combinations, and it will also give you the opportunity to shoot tons of photos to use as content later.  

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