Flat Lay Photography: the Key to Your Instagram Success

Valeriia Cherpak, Graphic Designer,Photographer & Traveler

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14 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. Flat Lay Intro

      2:01
    • 2. Class Project

      0:35
    • 3. What is a Flat Lay

      0:52
    • 4. Types of Flat Lay

      3:07
    • 5. Inspiration

      2:46
    • 6. Tell Your Story

      1:11
    • 7. Background

      1:52
    • 8. Props

      2:09
    • 9. Light

      4:19
    • 10. Color

      5:39
    • 11. Composition

      6:21
    • 12. Shooting

      12:57
    • 13. Editing

      11:17
    • 14. Final Thoughts

      2:35
21 students are watching this class

Project Description

You will create your own flat lay picture.

For your class project you need:

  • Camera (smartphone camera, DSLR or compact - it's up on you).
  • Your smartphone for editing pictures.
  • Background for your flat lay.
  • Some props for decoration.
  • Objects you will take a picture of.

Flat lay class project step by step:

  1. Decide which kind of flat lay you'd like to create.
  2. Look for some inspiration, using the sources of inspiration I told you about.
  3. Ask yourself questions: what is the meaning of my picture? What do I want to tell with my picture?  
  4. Depending on your answer choose the main object and props. Remember, that all pieces in your flat lay should be placed there logically.
  5. Choose a color scheme (color combination) for your flat lay. Check the colors of your props. Try to stick to the chosen color scheme. Remember about color complimenting.
  6. Chose background for your flat lay. Remember that color and texture of background have to match flat lay items.
  7. Choose the best time for shooting (when the light has a neutral temperature).
  8. Find a well-lit place. Remember to do not shoot under harsh, direct light. Use a reflector to decrease shadows or to light dark parts of the flat lay.
  9. Think about composition technique which you will use. Try different compositions.
  10. Prepare your camera for shooting:

    -Clean up your camera.
    -Turn on the grid if you use a smartphone.
    -If you want a final picture in 1:1 (square) aspect ratio you can switch straight to 1:1 mode.
  11. Shoot at a 90-degree angle. Try to go closer and move away while shooting. Try different positions and different compositions.
  12. Always check your pictures!
  13. When you finish shooting go ahead with editing.
  14. Post your finale picture to project gallery (and to your Instagram :p ). It will be great if you post a few pictures with different composition and styling.

Class project example
For the class project, I decided to create my workspace flat lay. I used a few simple objects and minimum props to achieve a minimalistic and simple look.
I used a calm neutral background in case to complement a simple look of the picture. For the same reason, I used neutral colors of my objects.
I used negative space technique and diagonals technique.
Here is the result:

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