Lay Flats (or Flat Lays…potato potahtoe) are an amazing visual treat when it comes to social media. Nothing makes me feel more warm and fuzzy than an amazing photo taken from above of a few items that all look like a million bucks together. ENTER: LAY FLAT.
SO…as a personal branding/product photographer by day I truly understand that a lot of people just have no clue how to take a great photo…I am all about owning my strengths and weaknesses so don’t feel bad!
I want to go over the FIVE steps I take when I create lay flats either for my amazing clients or for our own brand! Visually pleasing media could mean the difference between a boring page and one that attracts people who want to give you their money (that’s what we all want, right???
First things, first. It does NOT need to be complicated, if you follow these 5 steps you’re going to take better photos than before! The client’s that I have taught this to have EXCELLED exponentially at taking their own photos so you can too!
STEP ONE: Figure out your vision.
Do you want your photos to be darker, lighter…are you incorporating your product or something that is on brand for you? What are you USING the photo for? Your website? To promote something on social media? As a stock filler photo? You need to know the overall look you’re going for. If you need to, head to pinterest or to another person’s social media that you admire to gain inspiration!
STEP TWO: Choose my background.
This is an important step for me because the background really sets the mood. Sometimes I simply use a white posterboard and other times I get a bit fancier with a textured or printed backdrop. I get all of my backgrounds at Lowes or Home Depot. I simply head straight to the flooring section and pick out tiles, laminate flooring and whatever else tickles my fancy! You can even get fake grass squares there too 😉 BONUS: They’re super cheap too!
STEP THREE: Figure out my props
I take a LOT of things into consideration when choosing what exactly is in my shots. What colors do I want, what textures and details…what do I want the focus to be on? Do I have depth and texture represented?
STEP FOUR: Find the perfect light
Do not EVER skip this step. The right light will make or break your photo! Look for even, indirect light…you do not want bright direct light from the sun beaming on your shot because it will look overexposed. I like to use a poster board to reflect light onto the side of my shot that is further away from the window too for more even lighting. You can see one of my simplest set ups below. USE NATURAL LIGHT whenever possible.
STEP FIVE: Shoot
Once you have everything in place it’s time to shoot! Move it to different areas of your house until you find the right light at the right time! It depends entirely upon what direction your home faces! Move stuff around, play around with different angles and most importantly, don’t worry about it looking perfect!
If you’d like more in depth play by play of how to take better photos for your business join my FB group by clicking below and entering your email for an invitation! It’s a great community and we would absolutely love to have you!!