Spending often visits on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram (IG), you probably encountered a thing about flat lay.


Laying flat the Flat Lay Idea

A flat lay is typically a type of trending photography wherein you’ll shoot photos from the above. Subjects are laid or arranged on a flat surface; hence called flat lay.

Flat lay before is mostly practiced by professional photographers to capture subjects for commercial uses-those that will be put on magazines or billboards. However, in today’s case, more and more people are trying to achieve this kind of photography. With the rise of the technology, also rise the number of individuals available online. They spent ample amount of hours on social media and in such platform, one trend is to post pleasing photos from time to time.

What’s good about flat lay is that everyone can engage in this type of photography. As long as you have a subject and a camera (even a mobile camera) with you, then you can achieve a flat lay style.

Fab Tips for Flat Lay

  1. Identify your Subject and Other Composition

The very first procedure is to think about your subject. Like any photography, you would have to be clear on your subject. Say you are in a restaurant and would love to take photos of that Ricciotti Italian pasta on your plate and update your IG feeds or simply post it on your story for the day.

You can choose to fork a portion of it, but you can also set it as a whole if you feel like doing so. If you want to pursue the latter, then you can get some help with other compositions like kitchenware. You can also include those napkins for additional substance.

However, never think that it’s a requirement to fill the entire frame with items. Empty space can actually work well, especially when you want a particular subject to pop out. If you have a subject that needs to get the most attention, lay it down first and then proceed bits and pieces around it. Don’t forget the main subject of your shot.

2. Choose your Background

Since it’s a flat lay, of course, the background would be the surface itself. When choosing the surface for your food subject, it’s better if you can make things simple. For food subjects, tables typically serve as the surface. Contrasting colors of subject and surface are likely to produce a better quality of photo. For instance, a black subject will look amazing when taken on a white surface. Using opposing color tends to give subject focus on viewers. Nevertheless, plain surfaces also work. You can make use of floor area or marble desk for your flat lay. The simpler your background is, the more subject you can put without making your photo too messy.

3. Get some Light

One rule of flat lay images is to capture in natural light. Unfortunately, this is quite a challenge since you’ll need a comfortable location like your home or office. It can be done in the morning or afternoon when the light is quite harsh. Natural light is advisable since it does not create any shadow. Shoot somewhere that is drenched in natural light, probably near a large window or glass doors. If you are to enter a restaurant or some eatery, try choosing a spot near some large or glass windows that will give you the best natural lighting.


Wrapping Up

You don’t need some Masters on Photography level of education to achieve the flat lay you want. You also never need to get that latest (and of course, pricey) camera or gadget that everyone is eyeing to have. You only have to keep practicing the above-given basic tips. In time, you’ll surely produce a fabulous flat lay image.