Natural light flat lay photography for social media or blog | Jana Land | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Natural light flat lay photography for social media or blog

teacher avatar Jana Land, Photographer and business consultant

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

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 (34m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. What is flat lay

    • 3. Equipment

    • 4. Lighting

    • 5. Choose your main theme

    • 6. Backgrounds and props

    • 7. Color schemes

    • 8. Composition

    • 9. How to shoot

    • 10. Editing

    • 11. Project and final thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

When you open social media you are surrounded by those beautiful flat lays that seem to be made easy and effortlessly but once you try it on your own, it just does not seem right? Or maybe you can make decent flat lays but each time you want to make one you struggle with ideas and make flat lays without knowing the exact system how it works?

If you recognized yourself in any of these situations, this class is the right one for you. In this class I'll be teaching you the exact system how the flat lays are created. You will learn about:

flat lay types

how to choose the theme of the flat lay

 how to choose your main props and additional props

 composition types and tricks

 lighting tips and tricks

 how to choose the colors of the flat lay

main editing apps I use every day for flat lays and main editing steps

and exact system how to shoot a great flat lay.

This class class is aimed primarily at the beginner flat lay shooters with lots of examples and suggestions but will also be valuable for those who already shoot flat lays but do not have a system in place. It will be ideal for small businesses, bloggers or anyone looking to add lifestyle images to their social media feed or blog.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jana Land

Photographer and business consultant


Hey, I'm Jana. 

I am your pricing strategist and mindset coach. And I am also a portrait photographer. Confusing? 

I know. But our life stories are rarely straightforward. For 11 years I worked at Big4 consulting firms helping international companies solve their pricing and tax issues while actively working on my mindset. Then I burned out and needed to regain my joy of life by quitting my job. It is an interesting story that you can read on my Instagram (@pinkunifox). You will easily find it in my feed.

Once I quit I decided to turn my hobby (photography) into a career. I used my knowledge of pricing strategies to increase my prices 10x and went into a higher end of the price range very quickly.

I kept consulting on a side since I am a co... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Intro: Hi, I'm Yeah. And today I'm going to the gym. Last about national lead Flatly. Photography for social media are block. I'm very logical person. I let both voice Alexis the best of instructions and like systems. So today I'm going to show you a system A system based on what she will be able to produce . Amazing flat lace that you picked your meats. This last will be particularly useful for blurs small business owners and just anyone who wants that additional lifestyle with their feet. You will be able to use a camera or just any smartphone you have, because both will produce equally great results. We will talk about lighting, involved demon props, colors and composition. How short and a little bit about editing. Just because I think editing flat laces are tickets on separate course at the end of the class, looking an assignment along with media that will make your life a little bit easier. And I don't give a bonus to anyone who accomplishes the assignment. By the way, I have photographer and this could be my passion for over 10 years. If you let know about any future, be us and make you can click a button about the CDO and then you will receive gratification . So seeing the class 2. What is flat lay: what is actually a flatly well, flat light is a product photography type taken directly from above. Flatley is becoming more and more popular on social medium, especially on Instagram, and it is a very useful type of photography for a book as well. Brothers can be photographed also directly from the front or slightly above at around 45 degrees angle that gives more dimensional field to a photo. I like to call this type of front line. One reason why flatly became so popular is that you can get cradles results with your smartphone, and there is no need for camera at all. In fact, many times it'll be difficult to distinguish which flatly is taken by the camera and which by the smartphone, like with those two pictures, one is taken by my smartphone and the other one by a full frame camera with an expensive lengths. Both have similar presets applied. Can you guess which one is taken by the phone and which by the camera? Well, if I didn't know the answer, I would definitely struggled with it myself. This is the reason why they're slightly different so I can distinguish them. Where is with the front lay smartphone cameras did not perform that well. Yet the background blur that leads the main subject. Stand out is not as developed in smartphones yet, and it is much easier to distinguish between camera and smile of smartphone photo. Well, today we're going to talk specifically about Flat Lassiter taken directly from above. And that's it doesn't matter if you use a camera or a smartphone, both will produce excellent results. As you saw from my sample photos. I like to categorize flat lice into three main times, the 1st 1 as minimalistic. It is where you will see 123 objects only without a busy background. This is the easiest type off, lad lies in terms of composition and color. Thus, I suggest you start exactly what this one if you are new to flat lace, how I work to make the photo stand out, you have to turn on your creative brain, and I really believe that every person on this planet has the creative side. So don't hoarding minimalistic photos are also great if you are planning to act, text to the photo later. But even without a text, those photos give the feel of freshness and allow your social media feed to breathe. This is one of the reasons I love minimalistic photos so much. The second type is linear, linear, flat lays will have many objects that are placed particle or perpendicular to each other. Here it is important the placed objects in straight lines, which sometimes it's not as easy as it sounds. So check the photo. If the lines are straight, it will be more noticeable on the photo that in real life, and the third type is perfect use. Or at least it seems like it if you have never tried to make one yourself. In fact, objects are carefully placed and styled so that they look credibly place but still pleasing to our eyes. I think this is the most difficult type of flat lice are there. There are so many things to consider. But don't worry. We will talk about all of them in the future. Future sections of this glass 3. Equipment: Now let's talk about equipment you will need. As I said in the previous section for Flatley's, you can use a camera or a smartphone. In fact, many times I prefer to use my smartphone for flat lace. It iss lighter than the camera, and I can get final results to post on social media much quicker than with camera. However, if I need larger files for any specific reasons, then I would use my camera. You will obviously need a daylight since we're talking about natural light, flat life photography. But that also means you will not need any fancy lighting equipment. You will need a background were you will place your objects and we will depth deeper about how to choose a background in the next sections of this class. You will, of course, need the main subject or subjects to photograph, and you will also need some additional props to young main subject, which will discuss further as an optional thing. You can use a tripod for a camera or phone. Well, I live in a place with dark winters when the days might get really great and how, in fact they're so great that I have to turn on the lights in the room during the day. So in this case, tribal really helped to reduce camera shake. Otherwise, you will be completely fine without a tripod. I have also prepared a class B F that will make your life easier. When preparing for your first flat lace. I suggest downloading and printing it. Then you will be able to fill it out as you follow this class. And in the end of it, you will be prepared to make your own amazing flat lace. 4. Lighting: Let's talk about lighting. Lighting is one of the most important things in the photograph, and I'm sure you have heard about it already. As I mentioned in the previous section, you'll need a daylight more specific. You'll need soft defused, a light. You can choose to shoot your flat allies inside or outside if you will be shooting and said , Look for a window light. It could not only be a window, but it could also be balcony or porch if today's overcast opened the curtains and let the light and fully. But if it is a sunny day, then you will probably need to close the day curtains to diffuse the light. Also, be careful, but Derek son, it will create harsh shadows that will not look great in a flat lake unless you're targeting a specific artistic look. Also, don't forget to switch off all the lights inside the wood Funky light casts. You can also shoot outside. If this is an overcast day, find the spot where nothing covers the sky, if possible. Ah, word shooting in the greenery as it will cast greenish flight in your photo, which will be hard to get rid off in anything. And if it is a sunny day, then look for a shadow without any lights. Boats, depending on the light you will have that day. You might need a white reflector for that purpose. You can use a piece of white foam core form board or just any white paper. You can find them in any art store or even in construction shops. I prefer to use foam core as it is light and sturdy Incan stand on its own. Or, if it doesn't really stand, you can put them against the chair or any other stables objects. 5. Choose your main theme: before they even consider taking a picture off your subject, it is important to sit back and think you can have corgis. Take a flat light off any subject, but it will be most useful if lad laser planned around your social media feed or blogged Mitch. So what is your blah about, or what is your social media about and what I, the object that could be directly related to the theme off your block or social medium? Let me give you some examples. If you're a lifestyle blogger, then you probably right about a lot of topics. Typically, subjects related to your block would be closed. Cosmetics, accessories, homemaker, stationary flowers or meals, drink or even candles. If you're a travel agency on instagram, then your feet, of course, related to beautiful destinations. But travels also include such objects as passports, sunglasses but issued stick, its cameras, close keys, travel monks and a lot of more. If you're a business, Garst related products would be stationary block books, planners, phones, your computer business cards and many more. If you're a designer, you would want to include fabrics, stationary design samples, technology related things, such a smart phones, head phones, tablets and many more. If you are essential oil cellar, those would be oils, obviously branches, herbs, candles, flowers and anything that's related to nature. If you're a family for Doug Affirm, you would, ah, make flat lace with camera posing guards. Your computer, your tablet phone. Also the photo product you're offering to your clients. If you're a food blogger, then it could be coffee, all kind of foods, dishes and many more stuff related to food. If your hair and makeup artist those objects could be cosmetic products, Brushes make a bag. Do you get the field where I'm going? So before we go any further, I would like you to take the class PDF or a list of paper, and write down your theme for flat lace and brainstorm all the objects that are related to your theme. Be specific. I mentioned stationary, but be more specific than that. You can write Black Ben, my big planner, my white pencil, my notebook kindle ruler. And whatever your objects are, this will give you ideas. What to shoot. First, I suggest brainstorm. At least 20 items. Onda. If you don't have to Indy, then you can just keep the paper invisible place and add with something pops into your head . If you have problems with brainstorming on your own, do it together with your friends, spouse or any other person. You know another thing that might help you was brainstorming is their content plan, or at least the ideas, but you are going to write about that might help some additional ideas. Pope in your head Once you have done that, I think if the time of the year impact your topic, for instance, if you're a travel blogger and you want to add some flat lace to a post about hot summer location, the photo snowbird and gloves will not quite fit in, so take that into consideration as well. 6. Backgrounds and props: now that we have ideas of the main object to photograph, let's go a little bit deeper and shape our vision in floodlights. Props can be divided into two main, perhaps, and additional group's main props are the main objects you brainstorm in the previous section, and I also consider backgrounds to be my in props as well. As they said the mood of the photo. Additional props are the ones that complement main props but are not the center of the attention. Well, sometimes additional props can become main props. And why Syverson? Let's talk about backgrounds. I choose the background space on the mood. I want my photos to show I distinguish between four main types. The first is light and airy. The 2nd 1 is dark and moody. Then there is fun and colorful, and the last one is where you have just one dominant color that shows in all of your photos . Like, for example, being which is very popular amongst bloggers or warm browns. Here you have to distinguish what is your brand or social media about, Or, if you're just starting out, consider which stop your most drawn tomb. Don't try to make them all as it will not give your feet a cohesive look. So, for example, you can mix light photos with dark if this is what your brand is about, but the key is to do it consistently. If you decide to go for it, you will be able to find backgrounds all around you, For example, I used my wooden floors of background, my wooden table, my window sills, my kitchen. 1000 the ones you see right now. Andi, I really love them all. I think they make a perfect background. I sometimes also use my chairs like black and white chairs, also for Mikey. And they will not be good for bigger items. But for smaller items. I think they're just perfect, because I can move them close to the window where I want where I want and need them. So just look at the surfaces around your house. I have the ones that they're close to the window or the ones that you can move close to the window because sometimes you have just an excellent background just around. You just haven't noticed it at all. Another thing to consider with respective backgrounds is maybe you have made a renovation project in your house and there there are definitely some left doors you have. Like, for example, I have those like this, this brown tile from my bathroom renovation project. This is just perfect for dark and moody photos for us. We really well light brown, light brown or white gray. It is a smaller, larger style, and I cannot forget off large interest in it. But I can still for have some really small ones, and it looks really great the thing to consider with House that they have to have a matter finish. So yeah, definitely. That's the thing to look out for if you don't have any cows left from in the renovation project. One thing. One thing I can suggest you just going to a shop that specializes in tiles and ask them if they have some leftovers in their storage from the collections they're not selling anymore . I am quite sure they will have those, because that's what I did when I miscalculated the amount of dollars I needed from my project. And I really found a really similar one on, and they gave me the style completely free of charge because they actually don't need them . And you need only want out S O. I suggest you trying this dip s so it's really a budget friendly optional. You don't need any budget at all for that. Another thing you can consider is using fabrics. I will show you that the fabrics use I like to use. And these pillow covers, for example, this is, uh, linen light went green and winked color on its from my Kia. I really love love within in front of us. Really Well, then you can use like napkins. This is also for Michio Blue and really, really great to photograph another type of napkin. They're also work these napkins. I got them from a thrift store specifically for photography. You can use it as a background or you can use it all sorts of crops. So it's whatever you wish. Whatever suits your project, then I also love these kitchen towels. He's also a great also for my Kia and I also to use my swears like junking it. It's where's like this small of the back room one they looks They look also really, really good in the photographs. So you probably have those items already in your home. But if you don't, then the last option, which is also really budget friendly, is to go to art store and get some papers. I will show you the papers. You doing it. I get, like, this white, sturdy paper. Or you can get also white foam core or white foam board. I always also have the black option, and these are like a bigger ones. But you don't necessarily need, like, really big pieces off paper. Well, just depends on the size of the objects you are going to photograph, and I also like to get some color for colorful paper options. I usually take them in pairs just because I like to photograph them, prepares to get the really fun. And why Brent flat lace. But it doesn't really matter. You can get us smaller. Thes are You can get large er's weather ones, and there's also a somebody crafty. They make a beautiful bedroom, so it's actually up to you. No, it's time for you to choose the mood off your flat lace on bliss some 3 to 5 backgrounds that would fit your flat like mode. And for that at being African download from this class will be really helpful for you. So I suggest doing that. Or you can also just list the those background options own just the sheet of paper. Now that you have chosen your backgrounds and main objects, you will have to choose additional props. Additional bumps will help you feel the scene and add to the story and highlight the main object. Typically, additional props could be Flores tickly related, such as flowers, leaves, branches glands. It could be technology related paper related like magazines, guards, envelopes, books, re bunds, everything from stationery. All kinds of blades, mugs, utensils, full related and additional props could be also like people parts like hands, legs, uh, boss off cats and dogs and something from your kids. All those with it will be additional props. As I mentioned, additional props could be also main props. For example, if your florist flowers mostly will be your main object, not additional problems, but branches and some leaves could be additional props to your main object. Before we move on, take your PdF or the paper, and for each main object, the brain stone right? 123 Additional props. You can use my list on the screen to see if anything bears busy your main object. Those don't always have to be different. Additional props With the main object, you can have the same pen to different scenes, or you can add different pence. Two different photo. This is just up to you. Then burn each idea with one or two or maybe three backgrounds you selected well. At the end of this exercise, you will have 20 ideas for your flat lace. 7. Color schemes: colors are really important. They can make or break photo. That's why I always valued the colors before I take my flat lace. There are several types of color schemes. If you had our to color dot adobe dot com, you will be able to see all of them and play around. On the left hand side, there is a menu called Change Color Harmony. Click on it and you'll be able to choose one of the color schemes which are monochromatic, analogous, complementary or try them the way it works is you. First, use the color scheme and then on the color wheel. Take any point, drag it to the primary color you want, and then all the corresponding colors will be dragged automatically on the color wheel. You can also drive the color points closer to the center that will make the color slighter Onda. Once you finish laying ground below, you will see the colors that will look great together for beginners. I suggest to start with monochromatic or analogous colors. Those will be the easiest wants to tackle, and in fact, those are also my favorite. Once I use them all the time, my photography but Once you get used to flat lace, your brain will pair the colors automatically, and you will not have to return to coal riel each time you want to take a photo. Anyway. I find this to were useful, especially what I want to try out something new now that you have written down the main object backgrounds on additional props threat to choose which colors to use. It might mean that some drops will not fit in, and then you'll have to choose different ones. Or, for example, instead of pink pen, you have to use a blue one. But if you have chosen small objects that are black or white disregard of colors, it will not impact your aural feel. The photo will not mess with the colors. If you choose only two main colors, then the tone of the color can be slightly different from what the color wheel shows. For example, if you choose complementary colors, let's say blue and yellow. Then instead of blue, more of a say young color will also will great with yellow. Where is if you choose three color combination? The towns of the colors can look awesome or can completely ruin the photo. This is the reason I suggest using throughout the Onley. If you are an advanced user, 8. Composition: Now let's talk about the last thing to consider before you take photo off your flat lace and it is composition. I think this is a part people struggle the most. You can, of course, play around and intuitively decide which one you like the most. But if you're just starting out, it is good to know the rules. If you know the rules, it'll guarantee you end up with an eye pleasing photo from the first time. Once you're familiar with the rules, you can play around and lecturing station kick in. Remember at the beginning of the class, we talked about three types of flat lies. Now I will give you composition rules for each of them, and afterwards I will walk you through the details off each of the composition type. So for minimalistic floodlight type, Gridley works rule of thirds symmetry and golden ratio, and the same actually works for linear flat light type as well. Whereas for perfect kiss, you have to know the rule off Golden Triangle on golden ratio. With the rule of thirds in your mind, you will have to divide the frame into nine equal rectangles, three across and three down as you can see in the screen now, place the objects on the points were lines intersect. You can choose one point, which works great for single objects are make triangles. If there's more than one object, which will also great. This composition type is great if you want to add text a photo later as it creates negative space or just empty room in your image. Well with or without text, it looks simple and elegant, both in social media feed and the block. The next one is symmetry. Symmetry means that one side of the photo looks the same as the other side. If we split the photo into parts, for example, if you place one objects in the middle, that will create symmetry and will really draw your eyes to that object, it looks really pleasing to the eye. If the object in the middle is round, somehow, our brain find symmetry satisfactory and relaxing. The next one is golden ratio. The great to use for creating a golden ratio. Composition is similar to the rule of thirds. However, the intersecting lines are much closer to the middle of the frame than it is with a rule of thirds for flat lies in golden ratio. You would use zones. The greed is creating not the points, as in the rule of thirds, you don't have to feel the zones completely, and the objects don't have to be the same size. But look out for composition to be balanced. If, in the photo on the screen sunglasses would be missing, the composition would not be balanced. But at the same time, it would create a space for text. So if I plan toe Texter Forum, I would have photographed ID without sunglasses. Aztecs with balance My composition later Golden Triangle rule is more difficult compared to previous rules. Here, you have to draw an imaginary. They are gonna line across your frame, and it actually doesn't matter from which corner you do that now. Draw imaginary lines from the other one or two corners, which each meet the LAT long line in 90 degrees angle. Or those lines can actually be drawn until the end. You can see how it looks on the screen. Now again, you have the zones to be filled by the main object and props. This is how perfect cows photos air created here it is important for object never to be parallel or perpendicular to each other as this is what gives a feel of chaos, taking mind that in all those composition types, your objects did not have to be placed precise. It is more off a general direction rather than mathematical precision. Objects can be placed on the lines and be between the zones and borders. That will be completely fine. Once you have enough practice with flat list, you'll get the feeling without looking at the rules or sometimes your rules can be broken, but it is good to know the basics. 9. How to shoot: now that you have filled your pdf have lots of ideas written down. You're ready to should on your phone. In the setting section, you can change the size off your photo from rectangular to a square. It is useful. If you know you will be posting photos on instagram only another thing you can do. You can turn on the grade for your photos. That will show you the rule of thirds great, and you will not have to wonder where those in their second points are or you could do the square grip. Thus, you will be able to see how the photos will look square but will still take a rectangular photos. I have something smartphone, but I'm sure you can change those settings on any phone. I suggest you taking many photos. Even though you have looked down, your composition should, at a different angle, take closer and further shuts. Then you'll have more photos to choose from. Here, you can see my set up, how close it is to the window and how my white form words are placed. Now there is nothing else left between me and shooting a scene I usually shoot to the three scenes in her own. I consider it once seen if I add or remove additional props, but main object stays the same. Sometimes I change the background as well. I always started with placing a main object and then fill the frame with additional props. I would suggest to start with one scene to not get too overwhelmed. If you try to shoot all the ideas on your pdf, you will get confused and overwhelmed and tired. Maybe even you not want to start another flat light project, so try to tackle it one by one. The set up is not really tan comes fuming, so I live by the saying less is more. 10. Editing: Now that you have already shut several flat lace and have chosen your favorites, it's stand to edit. I love Adobe products for camera photos, I used Adobe Light Room and for phone photos, I used Adobe Lateral Mobile version, which is a completely free app. It has almost the same features as a paid desktop software, which is one of the reasons I love it so much. I can edit both my camera and phone photos in the same style. Other popular APS edit phone photos are snap seed VSC Oh, big monkey or even just Instagram because apart from filters, Instagram offers also some basic editing functions, which will work for your flat layers. Just great. What I almost always end up doing is with my flat light, is bump up exposure a little bit off. Contras and clarity. Leave the shadow slur reduced the blacks a tiny bit on. Sometimes I looked the whites. This will help your flat late to stand out and look gorgeous in your social media feed a book. In addition to that, I sometimes at colors and shadows or highlights with the scholars and curse, which I promised to show you in a floodlight editing course later, I usually play with the editing off my flat lies in a way I can repurpose them so that they do not look like from the same shoot. This is a topic for a separate course, which I will make on skill. Scher later on, if you want to be notified when an editing classes ready, you can follow me on Skill Shirt, in which case you will receive an email. 11. Project and final thoughts: As I said in the beginning of this glass, it comes with a pdf that will help you create your first flat lice. It goes through choosing your theme, your main objects, your backgrounds, props, scholars and composition. Filo, the BDF imposed your flatly results in a class project. I would love to see your results. You can also tag me at pink. You know, folks, if you want me to check out how your flat lies will look in your instagram feed for everyone who accomplishes their Simon, I will give to you my two presets that you will be able to use in adobe lighter mobile version. If you don't know what presets are, those are just filters that are specific to adobe light room on. They do the heavy lifting for you in the editing process. Mostly these flat lace. I use my own presets. I have made a bunch of them on. I just click through them to see which one works the best. They're just good to go with one click or really small adjustments. Just post the results in the class project and your email. If you wish. The presets and I will send them to you. There is one color and one black and white. Brace it on the screen. You can see the photo with color precept that I will be gifting. You can also follow me on Instagram at thinking folks or on my website you see on the screen. Right now, I really hope you enjoyed the glass and I can't wait to see your results.