Styling Flat Lays
One of my favorite things to style is a good flat lay! As a blogger I want my Instagram to be on point. It's true that a flat lay doesn't depict what I am actually doing in that specific moment, but its a great way to showcase some of my favorite products and brands. Flat lays also make great images for blog post images!
There are a few tips and tricks to getting a great flat lay.
1. Shoot it in the day light
I am not a professional photographer. I can kind of figure out my way around a camera, but when it comes to lighting I don't really know where to begin. What I do know is when it comes to lighting I know what I like. I like the image that are light and lean toward a 'blue' or 'cool' tone. Morning light works best for me, if I shoot a photo with ANY lights on in the house it tends to cast a 'orange' or 'warm' tone.
2. Curate products that make sense together
When deciding what to shoot, it makes the most sense to put together things that make sense. Things that you would use together. If you drink coffee while doing your make up, then it makes sense to have a coffee cup in a flat lay with makeup. It wouldn't make sense to shoot make up on the kitchen counter next to a cutting board with an orange and a knife. Just like it would make sense to shoot items that would be used together, it also makes sense to style your flat lays based on your content. As a content creator you want to make sure let your content drive your images. Sometimes I do try to create a library of images that might come in handy later if I don't have specific post in mind.
3. Have a color scheme
Styling is my thing. I have been asked for my styling advice since I can remember. It is hard sometimes to offer style advice because style is a very personal thing. What I would put together and what you would put together could be two very different things. However, you can never go wrong when you have a color scheme. Some people like complimenting colors, some like to match, and some like to coordinate. It doesn't really matter as long as you have a plan. I like to style flat lays in my favorite color schemes beige, black and grey. I like the contrast pop of beige and black by each other. If I am feeling colors I like to style my flat lays with nude, blushes, and powder blues to match my brand. Consistency is key.
4. Keep it simple
One thing we learned in marketing is KISS, keep it simple stupid. I have always remembered that. When I am designing or styling anything I like to keep it simple. I am not a fan of busy decor, busy patterns on clothing, or busy flat lays. You want it to be simple and engaging. You don't want the person looking at your image to not know where to look or what they are looking at. Choose a few products that make sense and look good together, but don't over do it.
5. Trial and error
It takes some trial and error to get it just right. I lay the items out in a way that I find appealing, but they don't translate well on camera. After viewing the preview on the camera I will adjust the items until I like the way they photograph. Sometimes it takes a while to get it just right!
6. Get inspired
Sometimes it's tough to know how you want to lay out your flat lay. You try a few things and it's just not looking right. I have a Pinterest board called "photo styling" where I save images that I like. Images that inspire me to want to style. Go back and look at these images. More often than not my image doesn't become a replica but they help to inspire me to think outside the box or do something I wouldn't have thought of. Sometimes it takes getting inspired to get the creative juices going!