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Nuffnang’s tips for flat-lay photography

If you’ve been on Instagram lately then you’re bound to have noticed that the world has developed an obsession with flat-lay photography.

However, if somehow you’ve lost your phone, been backpacking through the Grand Canyon and not had reception or are just new to the bandwagon and don’t know what flat-lay photography is, then listen up.

Flat-lay photography is literally that, a photo of objects taken from directly above as it lays flat on a surface. But you already knew that didn’t you?

Like anything there are certain techniques and elements that go into perfecting this craft and there’s nothing Nuffnang loves more than some Instagram-worthy photos. These tips will have you achieving flawless flat-lays in no time!

Pick your background

A simple one but an important one! The best part about flat-lay photography is that you can change up snaps as easily as switching out backdrops.

You want to think simple, clean and crisp when selecting a background for your flat-lay, too much pattern can distract from what you’re shooting.

You also want to keep in mind the objects that you’ll be capturing and pick a background with a colour that will accompany and compliment these items best. Go with a backdrop that has a subtle pattern or stick to a solid colour all together. If pink really is the new black then white is the new is the new pink and marble backdrops are the new luxe.

We suggest playing with different colours, patterns and textures. You can use any surfaces you have around your house, switch it up and keep experimenting!

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.32.36 AM
(Photo from Nourished Life Instagram)

Lighting

Lighting is an important aspect of any photo; to get a shot that looks like it was shot for Vogue, it’s crucial to ensure that you use the right lighting depending on what you’re photographing.

For lighter backdrops and a more minimalistic shot aim for shooting under a more natural and soft light. Artificial light can often look yellow toned and fluorescents tend to be very cool-based, this will wash out your photo and add harsh shadows.

Try shooting in a spot with lots of outside light, next to a window or under a skylight where you can get the natural light source from outside.

Also keep in mind the time of day when you’re shooting, direct sunlight can look very harsh in photos where the attention is focused on flat objects. Shooting photographs in the morning or early afternoon will provide optimal lighting as opposed to the suns orangey hues later in the day.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.34.34 AM
(Photo from Esme and the Laneway Instagram)

Setting out your objects

The layout of your objects is something that you should play around with when taking photos, anything goes and you should experiment and see what works best for each shot.

You can go with clean cut and crisp squares with equal spacing, you can overlap items, place them side-by-side, on an angle upside down or inside-out (okay maybe not inside out). You can opt for a random effect and arrange objects on different angles and keep some straight.

The sky is the limit; there are no rules that you need to stick to!

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.36.44 AM(Photo from The Life Creative Instagram) 

The great thing about using flat-lay photography is the range of content that you can capture using the method! From makeup and beauty products to food, outfits, home wares and anything else; if you name it, we bet you can take a flat-lay of it!

Flat-lay photography is such an easy way to take photos for your Instagram, blog, Facebook or whatever it might be. You can take photographs anywhere and of anything, play around with the shot and snap a professional looking pic anytime!

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.41.35 AM
(Photo from Views of Now Instagram)

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fashion blogger, a food enthusiast or just looking for ways to spice up your social media pages, share some of your favourite flat-lay snaps with us!

Words by: Alice Veal

Adriana Barro
Nuffnang Community Team
  1. Nichole :

    Sometimes simple is definitely best when it comes to the flat-lay – https://www.instagram.com/p/BCZBv_LEUOJ/?taken-by=youclevermonkey

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