Tips for Beauty Flatlays
One of my favorite (and my followers’ favorite) things on my Instagram feed and on my blog are flatlays. They are fantastically beautiful and make products, especially beauty products or tablescapes, look professional and aesthetically pleasing. It’s definitely an art though, and one that I think we are all still mastering. Check out my tips below for slaying the flatlay.
1. Use natural light or a lighting kit.
I use primarily natural light for my photos, and it definitely looks the best. If you can do your pictures in natural light, outside, or near a window, they will turn out much better than under fluorescent light. If that doesn’t work, or if you don’t have a space available, I recommend switching out your lightbulbs for daylight bulbs or looking at picking up a lighting kit. See my recommendations for this under #6.
2. Add accessories.
Once you have put down the product or art piece or whatever that you’re trying to showcase, add some other little accessories to fill up the frame. If you’ve looked at flatlays recently, you know that they’re an artful mess of ribbons, trinkets, and perfectly coordinating colors. You can achieve this by just digging around your house. Some ideas include:
3. Keep colors consistent.
I am actually not a fan of the monochromatic Instagram feed. I like using color. I like switching up my colors. But, it’s important to keep colors consistent within the same photo. Look for things in complementary colors that you can add as your accessories.
4. Play with texture.
Instead of playing with colors, I like to experience lots of textures. If you’re photographing something smooth, pair it with something rough. Cloth or fur textures are also very trendy right now.
5. Keep your editing consistent.
Something that instantly screams professional is having a consistent editing plan. The easiest way to do this is to have a consistent background or filtering system. This can be as easy as always taking your photos against the same background or light, or choosing one Instagram filter that you use every time. It will help people recognize your particular brand of flatlay.
6. Invest in some equipment.
I do not think that anyone ever needs expensive equipment to be a professional-quality blogger, and that just getting a super expensive camera or adobe creative suite or an iPad pro is going to help you. It takes practice to build up the skill. There are a few tools that I recommend to help accelerate the learning curve. The first is a sturdy tripod, like this one, that can support a DSLR camera facing straight down. The second is a studio lighting kit. These are surprisingly cheap – less than $50, and make it easy to take photos at any time of day, in any room, and still make it look like you took on a sunny spring day.