I did a post back in October including my top tips on taking flat lays and it got a really great response, however, I’d say my style has evolved quite a bit since then when it comes to taking flat lays so I thought I would do an updated/ part two to that post. Now I am by no means saying I’m a flat lay pro, far from it, in fact, that’s why I wanted to write this. You might be great in front of a camera, posing in your fabulous outfit but as a blogger/ social media influencer, it can be crucial to be able to also take great product pictures. Even if you don’t do any beauty content it can be nice to mix up your page with the odd picture of a nicely decorated desk rather than it just being a constant stream of your face. So I thought I would give you some tips on how I have upped my ‘flat lay’ game over the past few weeks.
Don’t Make It Too Neat
I can’t believe I’m saying this as I am the worlds biggest neat freak but pictures often look better a bit cluttered and thrown together. I used to lean more towards a very posed style everything at the perfect angle, but more recently I have been striving for a more natural set up. I love it when photos look like you just thought ‘hey my desk looks cute today, I’ll snap a pic’ (not sure why that had to sound quite so American chick flick, but you get the picture). Set up your pictures as if you were decorating that part of your room rather than just doing it for a photo. I have a corner of my desk that is always pretty ‘instagramble’. I set it up with some prints and books and then if I need a quick picture of a face cream I can slot it into the set up without it looking forced or unnatural.
Unfortunately, we don’t all have flats made for Instagram like the lovely Kate La Vie, but a girl can dream. Or she can go to the Desenio website and buy some awesome prints. I ordered a bunch of prints a few weeks back as I’m moving house soon. I have been lusting over so many of the prints from Desenio for ages but never got round to putting in an order. I currently live in a rented house and I will no doubt be living in rented accommodation for a long time yet. However, when my friend Shelley told me about command strips I opened my laptop, planned out my feature wall and ordered them all that very same day. Not only am I now even more excited to move to my new flat but I have solved my biggest flat lay dilemma. If you look on my blog or my Instagram feed you’ll see all my flat lays are just that, flat. They’re taken on my desk or a piece of white foam board pretending to be a desk (we’ve all been there) and they’re taken from a bird’s eye view. Don’t get me wrong I like those pictures but I felt in order to achieve the sorts of product shots I wanted to create I wanted to be able to photograph the products upright against a wall on a desk. If you are or have been a student you’ll know uni houses don’t always come with the lovely bright white walls you see in Kate La Vie’s flat and that is where the prints come in. Stand a couple of Desenio’s framed prints up against any wall on a desk or even the floor, pop your products in front of it and all of a sudden you have a perfect little photography set up.
I’m obsessed with the prints I ordered. I used Desenios gallery wall feature to plan out how I wanted them to look and so I could check all the colours and styles complemented each other nicely. I’ve always been a fan of black and white photography, my mum use to be a photographer and both my parents are very into art so our family house is filled with black and white stills. I thought getting a few of my own for my new flat would be a nice little reminder of home, and I love the contrast of the legs and the car. When I saw the large Capo D’opra print I had to have it, I love pink and grey together so I thought it was the perfect accompaniment for my black and white photographs. The little pink tulips print was my final addition when planning out my wall and I love how it’s turned out.
I have a whole collection on Instagram dedicated to flat lays I love from the people I follow. I save all the images to one place so that when I am stuck for ideas I can have a flick through and hope they get my creative juices flowing. Now, this might sound a bit odd but when I have uploaded a flat lay myself I also add it to that collection. That’s not because I love my own photo it’s because whilst it is in and amongst lots of my favourite photos I can compare it and see what the photos I love have that mine doesn’t and that way next time I can make tweaks. I constantly want to be improving my content and by literally surrounding my images with those that inspire me I can see more clearly what it is I need to do to achieve the look I’m going for. I hope these little tips helped. Practise is key, finding what you like and go from there. If you have any tips of you’re own be sure to leave them in the comments.
This post is in collaboration with Desenio and they have very kindly given me a 25% off discount code.The code “alexgracejones” gives 25% off posters* between Tuesday 10th and Thursday 12th of April. *Except for handpicked-/collaboration posters and frame.
This post was created in collaboration with Desenio, all views my own.Visit my disclaimers to find out more.