Flat Lay photography – tips and tricks I’ve mastered over the years

Start where you are, use what you can, do what you can. – Arthur Ashe

We all start out somewhere, with an idea, a hope, a dream, and it is important to know that, however small that idea or dream is – it is worth pursuing.

I started my baby and toddler clothing business officially in March of 2017, but during 2016 I did a whole lot of dreaming, researching and planning. 

When I started out I had no idea how to take proper photos of our clothing, so I enlisted the help of a friend who is a photographer and she took some images for me and edited them to have a bright crisp white background. I soon realised that because the nature of my business lies in different ranges that come out often – I needed to teach myself to take good quality photos of our range of baby and toddler clothing and swaddle sets.

Armed only with my Iphone, I did a lot of research into how to take better flat lays. I also experimented with many different styles until I found my own style – something that is true to me and to my brand – Rosie Bee.

 

Here are a few tips and tricks I have learnt over the years. I am not a photographer but I just enjoy taking photos of our products and something that used to terrify me has now become one of the most loved parts of my job.

 

A few key points to consider when taking flat lay photos – I am not going to get technical here because a lot of the technical things with regards to flat lay photos honestly just confuses me. I take photos by look and feel, I have a keen eye for detail and I honestly just use my own instinct and preferences.

 

  1. If you can invest in a short course on flat lay photography (skill share have many lovely ones) then I encourage you to do so. I actually attended a course on taking better flat lay photos with my iphone at a local business a few years ago. I am sure if you search around you may find a lovely local company offering courses on this subject.
  2. Find your own style, try not to copy others, use your own creativity to build something that is true to yourself and your brand.
  3. You can use pinterest for inspiration but I really do feel that pinterest should be used with caution. Draw inspiration from it only and create your own unique look. For me it has always been about using nature (flowers, leaves, botanical elements, wood etc…) in my flat lays.
  4. Invest in some local props if you would like to. There are some wonderful companies that sell decor items that are perfect for flat lay photography. Think wooden blocks, ribbon, wooden toys, laser cut decor items, fiber crafted items, ceramic dishes, pendants etc.. there are so many lovely local brands to support.
  5. Look around your home for props you can use. You will be surprised at how many items you can find at home that are perfect for flat lays! That little wicker basket you have your fruit in – score perfect for a flat lay! If you are a lifestyle brand or instagramer  – grab your jewelry box and get creative with some classic pieces. Use part of a pretty throw you have to create texture in your flat lay, a bit of string and a pretty pair of scissors will add interest to your photo. So many treasures lie in your home that you could use, just take a moment to have a look around and think out of the box.
  6. You can buy a flat lay board or you can go to a hardware shop and get a thin piece of board and paint it white or any other colour you would like. There are lots of options to use here. Do you have pretty wooden flooring or laminate/vinyl flooring in your home? If yes then you can definitely use that as a background for your flat lays.
  7. Always take your photos next to a large window or somewhere that gets lovey natural light. Watch how the light moves in the room a day before you want to take photos so that you can know the best time for your photo session.
  8. If you are using your phone, make sure your lens is clean and free of smudges. Also learn how to lock the focus of the lens and make sure your hands are steady when snapping that photo.
  9. Make sure you stand up high when taking the photo, many people stand on a little step, I just stand up straight and take the photo directly above the area. You can alter the brightness of the photo once you have locked the focus on the object you are taking the photo of. I do not do this anymore as I prefer to edit the photo afterwards.
  10. I make use of lightroom to edit my photos on my phone, another great app is VSCO. But I prefer lightroom because you can make your own presets in it, which really speeds up the editing process.

Most importantly, have fun! Take breaks when you need to and if you feel frustrated step away for a bit and try again later or even the next day again. Keep practicing it really helps to build up your confidence.

 

I hope these little tips can help you. 

Rosie Bee Love,

Laura 

 

 

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