By: Mark Kevin Galang MKG PhotoStyle
Flat lay photos are great to showcase all kinds of subjects such as books, clothes, art, food, accessories etc. The basic idea behind flay lay photography is simply taking a picture from straight up above with no angle at all. And can be arranging the items on your desk table or on the floor. And, of course, all you need is your camera. Here are a few tips and techniques when shooting and editing your piece.
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT COLOR
Create color themes in your flat lay photo using 2-3 unifying complement colors. This helps provide your image with a consistent theme. You can go monochromatic and stick with just one dominant color.
Or you can mix multiple colors to create a bright rainbow effect. Play around and you will find something that is pleasing to the eye. Choose a neutral background, like a basic white, or any colors that will fit on your subject, a wood floor, or table.
2. USE NATURAL LIGHTS
The best light you need is to always take your flat lay photos in natural light. It’s bright enough to illuminate your image, but doesn’t blow out lighter colors. Brightly lit photos are almost always better than dark ones. Find a place with window or simply go outside to get those natural sunlight rays. Be aware of the shadows and take your time to position everything just right.The ideal weather conditions are a cloudy, overcast day, since you’ll get more neutral, balanced light.
Most of my favorite Instagram accounts have brightly lit photos, but occasionally I find someone who can pull off the dark moody
3. IT’S ABOUT THE NARRATIVE
Flat Lay is compelling because it brings a lot of disparate elements together. But it’s also about the narrative of your image, as conveyed by the things you select, and how you place them. It can be something as simple as “Sunday Brunch” or as expansive as “my trip to Europe,” but your photo should tell a story, and not only showcase off a collection of items.
4. USE TEXTURE AND ACHIEVE BALANCE
Try different texture elements to add character to a flat lay photography. Fur, cloth, metal, glass, wood, stone…. there are tons of options! Balance is a somewhat subjective measure of a photograph, so here are some basic rules. Do not load lots of big items on only one side of the photo. Create balance by keeping the mass fairly equal throughout a page.
5. EXPERIMENT WITH AN EMPTY SPACE
When shooting flat lays, photographers often incorporate one larger item that anchors your image. The goal is for this primary element to unite the other, more disparate parts of your image. Try the opposite – using a blank space to unite your image and make it more interesting.
You may find that less is more.
6. CREATE CONTRAST
Creating contrast can really add an extra something to your photography. The contrast can be with any element: colors, sizes, shapes, textures, lighting. I love to use contrast with different color amd sizes. Mixing creative props like paperclips, colored pens, jewelries or any accesories that fill make you flat lay more interesting and also bigger elements like boxes, Camera, and vase etc.
7. CREATE YOUR OWN STYLE
Take your time to set up your flat lay photos. Don’t try to rush it, and feel free to put your props a few times to get the photo perfect. With a little bit of practice, you will get a feel for how you like your images getting set up. Try using things around your home for photo props, even if they are unrelated to the subject matter,
Be creative and think outside of the box! I’m sure there are dozens of items around your home that you can use to punch up your photos a little bit.
8. EQUIPMENT MATTERS
When you are just beginning, you can definitely use your smart phone as your camera. After all, you have it right there! It’s super easy and convenient. However, the equipment you use can have an enormous impact on your finished product. If you really want to step up your photography game and get into the big leagues, I’d suggest an upgrade. If you are blogging as a business, I can’t stress enough how much you need a decent camera. I always use my Canon EOS 1200d to make my flat lay photography more attractive.
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