Flatlay Tips for Product Photography

Flatlay is a great way to showcase products you are selling and wow your Instagram followers. Not only does it tell a story, it can also create ambiance for your brand. It can be shot almost anywhere, from arranging the items on your work station to displaying your products on a wooden floor or concrete.

During our recent DIY Your Product Photography Workshop, we worked with a few brands to create the perfect flatlay. Here are some tips.

1. Choose a colour palette

Give your photo a consistent theme by working with 2 – 3 unifying colours.

For craft workshop brand Create With Us, a neutral colour like white is a great background for her vibrantly coloured embroidery kits.

Your background should be something that makes your objects visible. If your products are predominantly pale or white colour, try using a black surface or dark wood to better showcase them. Natural materials like fabric or marble also add texture to an otherwise flat surface.

2. Use everyday objects

People want to know what your design space looks like, so include these details in your flatlay.

Use everyday tools around your desk like thimbles, needles and scissors as décor. They give an exclusive insight into your creative workshop, which is interesting to a lot of people. You don’t always need to spend on expensive décor to make an image look good. Use what is around you to add authenticity to your image.

3. Tell a story

What are you inspired by? Show us through moodboards and sketches so we can see your creative process.

Artist and designer Jessthechen is inspired by cat statues and cute Japanese art, and expresses these through her flatlays.

Inspirations add to your brand narrative, and allow customers to connect with you the creator.

Quotes that inspire you, art and trinkets that you’ve collected through travel… these mementos give people a peek into your creative universe. When they know your story and can relate to you, it helps build brand loyalty and following.

4. Utilise your space

Start with big objects and place them in a grid-like format.

Fill up any empty spaces with little objects (i.e. business cards, sunglasses, stationary) to add detail and “fullness” to your image.

Multiples work best in flatlays. Curate together products with similar motifs, like these hand-made plush animals from Creatures and Cream. This will reinforce the design theme and make the image more cohesive.

5. Maximise your shots

A flatlay gives you ample content to shoot, so be efficient and shoot from as many angles as possible, not just from the top.

Go low and shoot from 45˚ angles. Zoom in on a product to hero it, and let the other products act as fillers that make your background space more interesting.

Shoot from both left and right angles so all your pictures look different.

When taking close up shots, don’t be afraid to move items around to fill up any empty spaces. What looks good overhead might need a bit of rearrangement when shooting from a different angle.

6. Edit your Flat Lay in Post

Apps like VSCO and Instagram can greatly improve your image in post-production.

Spiff up your image by applying a Filter, and increasing Saturation to make the colours pop. Increase the brightness using Exposure, and Sharpen your image to add texture to little details. Adjust the Contrast so your image looks more dynamic, and Crop it so your items fill the frame proportionally.

So there you have it, some tips to improve your #Flatlay! Remember to keep your image colourful, authentic and story-oriented to engage your audience.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments below.

Compiled by Teresa of AU REVOIR LES FILLES

To see more of our creative makers and designers, follow our Facebook page: Sydney Made