Every photo you take and share on social media represents your brand and your values. For that reason, it’s important to share images with purpose and consider what story you want to convey.
A great way of telling these stories is using flat lay photos. A flat lay is simply the arrangement of objects on a flat surface captured directly from above. This technique is a great way to showcase your product and it creates beautiful images for social media. It can turn ordinary objects into compelling photos, and it naturally draws people in considering its distinct visual appeal.
Flat lay sounds simple, but there are actually a few elements to be considered when using this technique. Here is how to create great flat lay photos for social media:
Find A Flat Surface
It can be a dining or coffee table, a desk, your bed, or even the floor, as long as the surface is relatively flat. Flat lay photography works perfectly with simple and neutral backgrounds that will help bring focus to your product and ensure it really pops out. Avoid using anything with patterns or heavy textures that might distract the viewers. If you don’t have a blank background, you can also create one by using a poster board or wrapping paper on top of your flat surface.
When finding a flat surface, it’s also important to consider lighting. Gentle, natural lighting will help showcase your product even more. Try to find a surface close to an open window or somewhere with lots of natural light.
Image by Connie Chan
Choose Your Objects
Before choosing the objects in your photo, think about the story you want to tell and how each item will contribute to your story. Think about the theme and the colour palette according to the mood you want to create.
Choose objects of varying sizes and shapes to create movement. Remember to select objects that fit into your theme and that create a cohesive environment. It’s important to create balance and ensure colours and texture match the overall theme so it doesn’t create a messy and busy photo.
Arrange Your Objects
Start by determining what’s the focal point of your photo. That’s the object the audience will be drawn to when they first see your photo. Once you have selected your main object, add props around accordingly. Use additional objects to create depth with layers. They will help you add movement to your photo. Also consider leaving some white space to let the product breathe so items are not too cluttered in the picture.
Consider how you’re going to arrange them: using a grid, in a straight line, in a specific shape, or using the rule of thirds. Play around to come up with the perfect composition. This is where you can let your creativity shine!
Take Your Photo
The key to taking a great flat lay photo is to capture it from an angle that’s parallel to your surface. Shoot your photo standing directly above your subject or use a ladder, step stool or tripod to get the perfect framing. Ensure nothing is blocking your light or creating weird shadows in your photo.
You don’t need to have a professional camera to take great flat lay photos for your social media. The camera on your phone is a great resource — and you can even use your grid feature to ensure the image is balanced!
Remember to always create a cohesive and interesting composition that will immediately catch your audience’s attention while also matching your storytelling strategy. Once you find your rhythm setting up for the perfect flat lay photo, it will become easier to create amazing pictures to showcase your products on social media.