Flat Lay Essentials: Learn How to Capture Beautiful Photos in a Few Steps | Valeriia Cherpak | Skillshare

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Flat Lay Essentials: Learn How to Capture Beautiful Photos in a Few Steps

teacher avatar Valeriia Cherpak, Graphic Designer,Photographer & Traveler

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. How to Start With a Flatlay

    • 3. Light

    • 4. Color

    • 5. Background and Props

    • 6. Composition

    • 7. How to Style a Flat lay

    • 8. Preparing for Shooting

    • 9. Shooting

    • 10. Editing

    • 11. Final Thoughts and Class Project

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About This Class

This class is for those who want to learn flat lay photography and have limited time. If you're new to a flat lays and don't know where to start this course is for you. 

I collected all the necessary information and created this course for your better understanding of flat lay photography. 

What you will learn:

  1. Types of flat lay pictures.
  2. How to start with flat lay photography.
  3. Where to find inspiration and how to learn from someone's work.
  4. Light in flat lay photography.
  5. Color: how to choose the best color palette for your pictures.
  6. Composition rules and techniques.
  7. How to choose a background for your flat lay.
  8. Which props to use.
  9. How to style a flat lay.
  10. How to plan your photo shooting.
  11. Tips for better shooting.
  12. Basic editing techniques.


Who is this class for?

  • Photographers. If you're learning photography and want to try a new technique this class is for you.
  • Artists. If you're creating beautiful calligraphy or illustration, knittings, toys or other hand made things you will learn how to present your works, using flat lay.
  • Bloggers. Want to learn how to make your blog or Instagram profile more interesting for your followers? Learn flat lay photography to make your blog stand out.
  • Business. Want to create beautiful content for your social networks or blog? Flat lay photography is the key.
  • Creatives. Can't imagine a single day without creating? Do you want to learn how to convey a beauty you see through photography? Let's join this course.


After participating in this class you will have all the necessary knowledge to start creating beautiful flat lay pictures

If you enjoyed this class and would like to learn more, I have other classes on Flat lay photography:

Flat Lay Photography: the Key to Your Instagram Success

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Valeriia Cherpak

Graphic Designer,Photographer & Traveler



Hi everyone,
my name is Valeriia and I am graphic and web designer, based in Czech Republic, originally from Ukraine. 
I'm passionate about photography, blogging, content making, traveling and art. 

See full profile

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1. Introduction: hi, everyone, and welcome to my new school share class Floodlight essentials. No days. Social networks have become a big part of our lives. Someone uses it to share their pictures and creativity with others. And doing spar people someone is a social networks is the way to go online with their businesses. Some creators share their artworks and build their community off us. Use social networks with different purposes. But if you want to learn how to take beautiful pictures for all I, this class is for you. Flatly is a modern genre off photographic. It allows you to capture products, artworks to create visual content for sponsored posts or just create beautiful pictures. In this class, we will start with first steps in flatly, you will learn where to find inspiration and how to learn from someone's work. We'll go fruit cars theory. You will understand how to combine cars and how to choose the perfect color palette for her flatly. Then we move on to lighting and I will share resumes. Some tips and tricks also, we'll go through composition by ground and props. You learn how to Styler flatly, which props to use how to prepare for shooting and finally, how to photograph beautiful, flat light pictures. In the end, I'm going to show some editing techniques for class project. You will style eyes and photograph a flight light picture all you need for the class project. Is there a camera and some objects to photograph? I am really excited to see in this class. 2. How to Start With a Flatlay: I suppose that everyone who's watching this lesson already knows what is it. Politely. But just in case, I reminded President is a picture taken from directly above to be exactly the 90 degree angle off objects laid out on a flat surface there are made absent fluently. Evelyn fueled them. Food PLANT Lee You want to show food you just prepared your morning coffee? Res friends or cooking process? Put slightly, is the best way to do it. Beauty and efficient flatly cosmetics, perfumes, clothes, shoes and so on. It is popular with thing bloggers when they make sponsored posts because it's the best way of showcasing products, not flatly expressing mood at articular moment of shooting. Basically, on this pictures, you try to capture an atmosphere surrounding you. It can be lazy morning or coughing bell picture or preparing for a trip, as you can see on two left pictures. The Outer wanted to show how she was back in her luggage and how she's excited for your adventure. Andre, where left picture is like older at home reading picture. It also can be some season pictures for some holidays like Christmas, Easter summer vacation or simple itis What you need to know about flat like photography is the There is one or few year old pieces and props to complement hero, please. So basically creating a composition around here? Oh, please. Before I start arranging and shooting your flat light, let's think about the story. Want to tell me? Is there a picture we want to show her artwork or you want to show process of creating this artwork, Maybe want to share your mood with the picture, Or maybe just show your new beauty products. If you are ruin fluently photographing it can be a bit difficult for you to start with the composition or we speaking up the ride products for a photo. There is only one advice. Drawings, pressure from others. Check Pinterest or instagram say references. And when you find some picture, which you really like, try to copy it. You will never shoot the same picture, but you will learn old wild practicing. We're like someone's work. Try to analyze it. What is the composition on this picture? Why are there exactly this props? What is the color palette on the picture when you analyzing you're a lot and next time when you will want to create your own. Flatly. You will use all this knowledge is trying to makes more pictures together. Let's say you like color palette on one picture, composition on second and props on the TERT. So let's create your own flatly as the mix off these three sure, as much as possible. But we're beginner and you want to learn something. Practice is really important. When I was learning flatly, I was practicing Elop once. I made 30 days Plant Light Challenge. I was taking one friendly picture every day. It helped me to improve my skills out. So good luck and Syrian next listen. 3. Light: in this lesson, we're going to talk about light. Life is one of the most important things in photography. So here, a few simple but important steps find a valid place. It can be sport next to the window. Or maybe you have terrace or balcony. If you're a ranger, flood lee on the floor and there is not enough light. Put down your currently using for flatly on the clothes, dryer or table and move it next to the window. This trick saved my pictures several times. Perfect weather for shooting is Health Cloud today, when it's still enough light and it's not true. Dark outside, you're in such a weather. Delight is neutral, which means neither blue needs Air Orange if you take it for the one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset. During so called golden hours, your pictures are golden or orange. You should take it for the only cloud today or twilight. Your pictures are Jewish, so the best time for taking pictures is at noon, when the light is neutral. When you should during Saturday, especially at noon, you can face harsh shadows, and usually it does not look really good. Exception is when shadows are made on purpose, likened this examples. Let's imagine it's seven day and how we can degrees shadows. First of all, if you have curtains made off light, transparent fabric used them, it will diffuse delight. If you don't have curtains, you can use tracing paper instead. First picture was shot without tracing paper, and you can see this harsh shadows from the second picture already attached tracing paper to the window. The picture is still, well league, but there are no harsh shadows anymore. Another way to decrease shadows is to use reflector. If you don't have a reflector, you can use white paper or foil instead. Do not shoot under artificial light unless you help professional lighting equipment. Otherwise, expect and the yellow holders do not mix nature and artificial light on one picture, even if it's not enough light from the window. Brother, wait for a better weather 4. Color: in this video, I'm going to talk about cars and how to combine them in your photos. How do you know which cars go well together and how to combine cars? Correct. There are some color combinations, your picture well balanced if you use one of these combinations. If you want to learn more about current theory and about car combination, I want you to my curse. Split life Photographic Decatur Instagram's Success. I explained car theory in war detail with examples, but for these basic curs, I will explain how to combine cars. And is there a way? Let's take our will for this purpose? I will open with Paige Cars king designer dot com I use this tool quite often at work. We're creating designs here. We can see the car real, an underdog Africans reached between Carl's Carro ensures a harmonic bands off cars based on the input color. How to use it in floodlight. Let's reach two complementary colors. Complimentary cars are opposite to each other on the car wheel, and let's say you have your you don't piece or props off the orange color. Anyone to know which color goes well with the orange so set here your orange color, and now you can see that blue is opposite to the orange, several trying to find blow props or blue by ground, and you will have harmonious combination off colors. And here you can see other rules that they want to help. Three colors in your bluntly. You want to create some colorful fluidly anyhow, your main color. All right, so you said here, read of the color wheel, and now you can see that yellow and blue are complementing red car. You can change the situation off. The color suit can set it toe more pastoral one. Who's adjacent Colorable, which means that these colors are placed next to each other on the color wheel. If you have three colors in your flat lake or you want to use three cars in your flat lie and you don't want to use this, try it card combination. Then you set it toe adjacent colors and set it to read and considered orange and purple go well, wisdom red. So this is how Carl can help you toe create harmonious balance color palette or your pledge like pictures. What I can recommend you to don't makes more than three colors together, It doesn't look really good. We don't count gray, black and white and shades off the same color. Compliment cars in your fluently. If you have in your flat light, breeze off one car at props off the same car, each car on slightly. It's a suburb off the same color. 5. Background and Props: Let's talk about background and props. What you need to know about the ground is it's better to use monotonous count, background, all immortal background. Your products will be lost and the ground itself will draw all the attention. And besides photo Sui's and modeled background look a mentor, I usually use unique colored background. Second thing about a background is that it's color and texture help too much foot Lee items use wooden by ground with food or some handmade staff, while marble background much perfectly with some luxury beauty products or Julie, I hope you get my point. What is is a background. It can be wooden board table, surface floor pieces off paper or cardboard self at his it vinyl concrete backdrop. Fabrics such as bed sheets, blankets, pieces off roads and so on. I have many different options, and I use them depending on the situation I bought is decided by ground on Ali Express, and I'm in love them. I have four different surfaces, their light and easy to transport. I choose marvel in concrete prints, but there were many different options from textiles I used white bed sheets for for it looks amazing at winter pictures, and also I use sweaters and blankets. Also, I bought colorful hostile papers in paper store. I used them separately, and also I like to combine them and make some interest in German tree. It looks really nice, especially for summer pictures, and now we're going to talk about props a little bit. The same is about background props. Need too much your hair OPIS and complimented. If you create beautif lightly with some luxury cosmetics, it is better to use as a props some golden pieces or modern trendy sunglasses bags or pooter your smartphone. On the other hand, if you create an organic nature of cosmetics flatly, it is better to use as a props. Some plans seeds, pieces from nature materials like wood, stone and so on. Remember that there need to be some connection with hair OPIS and props, so chooser props a logical almost anything can be used as a props, flowers and plants, no booze and other devices, some prince scissors, pencils, food, books, maps and many, many other things. If you have some personal probe, such as flowers or foods, try to make many pictures with different composition. I allowed to use in my flat lace. Some small props, such as Come for tea or small plumbers, leaves, rings, pang homes, small repeating objects, love suit, a crate rhythm on the picture. And thanks to that, your flat lace will look interesting. Here someone trace and coasters these large trays I use in case to create a foundation for my flight. Like, for example, if I want to create a circle combustion. I was this tray as the base and then I place my proposal around these hexagon coasters I also use in circle composition or when I used them move. It makes nice diagonal and also I like Juma Tree. Here it always looks really interested in the flatland. It is also good way toe. Make your flatly more interesting when you use to objects with the same shape. So let's say toe hex eagles or two circles coasters. Entries are also good for layering, and when you make lairs in your flatly, your composition look more complex. So I always try to use thes coasters in case toe create some layers so that airport awesome Julie on the toe or cap off coffee or something like that. Here is my Kindle collection. As you can see, I have different shapes, colors and sizes. This right of cars and shapes, offs, materials. Kendall's in almost every flip play in case toe complement other colors I use in my picture or in case to bring some coziness to the picture. What I use in almost every flight lie. Our prince here have magazines, notebooks in robes and postcards and some prints here and handmade colleague graphic cards . It works well when I make Claire's. I put magazines or notebooks while on the dope off another, and it brings depth to reflect light. I really love to small props. It creates a rhythm in the composition and makes pictures more interesting. I use thescore Fergie really often I have different colors and use them depending on colors I have in my composition. Also, I have these Golden and Ciller's pars. I also feel the composition. I have the student letters, either in case to write some words 6. Composition: and finally, we're going to talk about one of the most interesting, exciting and creative part in photography. Composition do off turns. This is basic composition room. Imagine. Your picture is divided into thirds horizontally and vertically. Your picture oral good and best when you place the most important elements of the composition. Other words from hero pieces in the intersections or a wound lines eternal. Agreed on your camera before taking a picture. It will help you to find intersections and composer slightly effectively germinated compositions. You can builder composition cupping the shape of geometric figure. There are few geometric figures which are common in flight like photography. Triangle square and circle drawn Invisible geometric. Figure on her background and put your major pieces there. Or you can use some paper templates, which will help you to build a German composition diagonals, arranger, middle piece diagonally and then complement with props. The secret is that our eyes look at the picture from bottom to the top and from the left to the right. That's fine. If there is an object on the picture, place diagonally are isil for diagonal, and look at that object reason and butter. Repetition is a simple but very effective composition technique. Repeat, simmer or the same objects to create the pattern or written in the picture while creating a partner tried to keep the same distance between objects. And if you want to highlight some object, then break the pattern with that object. Greed. Imagine agreed and Putin products for men, horizontal and vertical lines. You can also use a ruler or some straight object to create a perfect greed. Negative space. It can be used a standard on technique in flight like photography or in order to add some text to the picture. We're objects all around the inches or to one edge or corner and live out of negative space in one part. If you want your own composition in practice, I invite you to visit my curse cold seven. Floodlight composition In practice I explained her and show step by step, how to create each composition I just mentioned here you were practiced a lot and better understand how degree different compositions I will live dealing down below. Discuss or you can simply find it in my skill share profile. I feel excited to see you in my class 7. How to Style a Flat lay: How does Tyler flatly start a bill your composition from hero piece and gradually add props because Hero Piece is the main object on the picture and props are just complimented. It started builder composition from the large pieces and then at middle pieces. The smallest objects places the last in case to fill the space. Don't our crowder flatly live some negative space around each item, and London breathed, Don't you scrubs? Just in case to put more products in the picture, try to keep each object in your friendly evenly spaced. Also, remember that all pieces should complement Chandor. Better to have less than toe are Crowder. Picture more things out on your big ground. Trite. Place them a totally different way. And once you like this stallion you made, take a picture but never stop on one style. First homeless and dead and more. Start from a minimum, set off objects and step by step at more props at each step. Make a picture, and after a few steps, check your pictures. Compare. It will help you to understand when to stop and in props. Layer is a good method to make a composition more complex. It adds step and warning to differently. Don't be afraid to experiment with layers 8. Preparing for Shooting: in this video, we will talk about feel things you need to do before shooting first of whole, check the weather in advance. Otherwise, you can be really surprised when you will urge everything and there will be no proper light outside. I'll check the weather before shooting, especially in autumn and in winter, when the chance to have a good life Israel prepare references, find and safe for two ideas you like. It is better to have some ideas before then to look for inspiration while shooting tryingto plant. How many pictures you want to take and think in and ones which compositions you want. Toe orange. You can even write it down. Really playing makes our life easier. 9. Shooting: finally reached the most interesting part. Stylization and shooting. If you prepare some references and you have a list of what a soon to take you just simply following dental plan. If you're improvising, here are a few advice is start to build your composition from minimal amount of props and gradually add more. Take pictures continuously each time when you add something to the composition or more your object different way. As a result, you have many pictures, and you can choose the best one or use a couple of them. Try different composition with the same object. Sometimes the same objects in different composition look much better, so blame Buser composition and enjoy the process. You can build a composition for Cameron to meet. It will help you to composer objects based on golden ratio or roof hurts. Position the camera closer and more fire. Shoot a focus and what is the most important? Take a little for those and a few more in my opinion, really useful things. Clean up your camera before shooting your pictures. We look better. Turn on greed on your camera. It will help you to build a composition if you like square for month or 1 to 1 ratio should straight in square mold. Always take your pictures well. Shooting to ensure yourself you don't crop something and figure ever since in the frame, remember that flatly is a picture taken at a 90 degree angle, so be sure that you holder camera horizontally and perpendicular to the surface. Also produce purpose. You can use tried port and one more thing. Focus. It is really common mistake for all beginners. They don't focus, and as a result, picture is much too. That's it for early video Syrian Next one. 10. Editing: in this lesson, I'm going to show some basic evidence. First, let's talk about one. Buns depended on light and conditions and time off. Today, the temperature off her pictures may differ. Photos taken at Sunset sunrise or on the sunny day haven't warm temperature well for just taking on a cloudy or any day or twilight have a cool temperature. Our eyes are really good at adapting to different lighting conditions. That's why we always see white objects as pure white. But when we see on our camera, it can be orange or blue ish. We need to edit The white bones are pictures to Roquemore Nature, as received in real life. White bones in photography is the process of adjusting colors so that objects which are white in real life are white. In your picture, I'm going to show how to adjust wide balance on this picture. So I opened this picture in light through mobile app, and I'm going to open car tab by temple ones on the color I can on the bottom. And here you have two options off Justin wide ballons. First is to adjust temperature Antin sliders, and second is by using eye dropper. So I talked once on the eyedropper Aiken on the right side, and the loop appears. I can drag the loop over the area in my picture where I think is pure white color. So let's say I will set it here and now. You see, that picture was adjusted automatically. So what happened? Now? We said the simple toe these area and light room adjusted all the whites. Based on this simple, I'm on top on the check mark in order to apply that. And now we can check before and after. Yes, you consider is core temperature now and pinkish sting and you can see it on these area. That's temperature and steam. Sliders were changed. Let me undo this. Changes by tapping undo button on the top. Let me show you what will happen if you will choose the wrong area for your wide ballons. So I really tapped eyedropper one more time and let's say I will set that these pink color off the perfume is my white. Look what happened. The app now things that your whites are pink, so it tries to adjust it by adjusting detained two degree or the same if I will choose thes green color. It's my white Now considered picture is pains. That's why it's so important to choose the right area for your whites. And now I'm going to show how to just wide balance by using temperature and teen sliders. If I move the temperature slider all the way to the right, picture is orange, and if I move it all the way to the left, the picture is blue to reset it, I just double tap on the circle and the same with steamed. If you move it to write, the picture is pink and all the way to the left and the picture is green, and now it depends on your preferences. If, like cooler pictures, you sent it to negative Williams. If you like Worm Pictures decided to close the two bellows, I personally prefer one pictures we Spink ting, so I will set the temperature toe Does it do for and teamed toe positive seven and now I can check mine before and after. Now I'm going to be just a single color ranges, and for this purpose I will top discard the circle button and here I can select the color I wouldn't work with by just tapping day color. I come for each color. I can adjust its your saturation and luminant. It's first. I want to edit a green color by dragging a few slider toe right. I can change it to more green color by dragging it to the left. I can change it toe, yellow car. I will bring it to the left. Then I'm going to bring up the situation and I want to leader in tow up a little bit, so I will bring up dominance. Then I go to yellow car. I'm going to bring it's hugely left to make my yellows more orange, and I will bring up the ruminants. Then I will switch toe dread, and I want to make its hue pink and bring up the situation and bring up the ruminants. No, I can check before in Doctor. Now I'm going to just like a little bit. I can see that this image needs to increasing exposure, but before doing that, I'm going to decrease shadows. As you can see, they're awesome shows in the picture, especially next to the candles on the left top corner. So I'm going to degrees Shadows. As you can see, picture is bitterly now, but the way I bring Abdel shadows my picture lost its contrast. So I will bring back the contrast and now I'm going to increase the exposure. And now we can see before and after, and one more step here I will goto effects. And what I like to do is to bring Abdi clarity, especially in the situation when the contrast was lost. I like toe add clarity. It brings these texture. Look to the picture and I'm satisfied with the result. Let's check before and after. 11. Final Thoughts and Class Project: That's it for the class. Thanks for watching. I hope you found something useful for herself for a class project. I offer you too stylized and photograph a flight like picture. So find some topic for flight light. You can capture breakfast, sure artwork or just create mood floodlight. It would be great if you make several pictures. You can have the same props, but just change the composition. Oregon started builder composition from a minimal amount of props and gradually add more. Take a picture continuously each time when you add something to the composition. Or remove your objects in a different way. And then you can post a serious of fort assume made during this exercise and remembered practice a lot. You can challenge yourself and take fled life photos one week in row. Every day it will improve your skills out. If you decide to make this challenge, it will be great if you share a results down below this class in the project section. I am really excited to see beautiful works. If you have some questions or you need an extra help, feel free to ask me. You can write your questions in the Commons down below in the class or open your discussion If you want to get a notification next time, I will publish a class. Make sure you're for with me on a sculpture. And I would really appreciate if you will live feedback for these cars. See you next class.