Design For Instagram: Creating the Perfect Flat Lay Photograph | Anna Kay | Skillshare

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Design For Instagram: Creating the Perfect Flat Lay Photograph

teacher avatar Anna Kay, Spiritual mentor and healer

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      What Is a Flat Lay?


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Theme and Colour


    • 6.

      Props and Backgrounds


    • 7.



    • 8.

      Photographing Your Flat Lay


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Have you seen beautiful 'flat lay' images on Instagram and thought how fabulous they look, but when you’ve come to create them yourself you just haven’t been able to make them look anything like as good?

Or maybe you’ve never tried to create your own but are looking for new Instagram ideas to zing up your gallery?

Well, take this class and I’ll show you how!

You'll learn exactly what a flat lay is and how to choose the right items to photograph.  I'll give you tips on how to compose, style, photograph and edit your images to make your Instagram gallery sparkle!

Whether you use your Instagram for business or pleasure, flat lays are super popular and will be a great addition to your gallery to help you attract new followers and promote your work.

So enrol now and let's get started creating some stunning flat lays!

(Introduction music from Bensound)

Meet Your Teacher

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Anna Kay

Spiritual mentor and healer


Hi, I'm Anna.

I’m a spiritual mentor, intuitive, healer and educator.

I’m super passionate about sharing my extensive knowledge and experience to help you feel empowered to love yourself, to have a strong voice in the world, to feel confident about showing your true self and sharing your amazing creations, and to feel great about getting paid for your hard work and bringing in all of the abundance you deserve.

I have a MFA in Fine Art, life coaching, energy healing and hypnotherapy qualifications and over twelve years’ experience running my own creative businesses, which all puts me in a perfect position to help you with your creativity, self-care and creative business.

Join my Skillshare classes to help you build a life full of freedom, lov... See full profile

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1. Introduction: hi and welcome to this class and how to create the perfect flat lay for instagram. Designing flat lace that really work is harder than it looks and requires practice. But with a few 100 hints and tips, you'll be a pro in no time in this class. I'll show you all the tricks for designing and photographing stunning flatly images to impress your current followers and attract new ones, which could be especially useful if you use Instagram to promote your business. We'll talk about composition and styling, lighting, camera tips and a whole lot more before you need is a camera and some of your favorite objects to photograph and you're ready to begin. So click and roll now and let's get started designing the perfect flat lay for Instagram right away. 2. Class Project: the project for this class is to take the perfect flat lay photograph. Actually, that's a bit misleading. It doesn't have to be perfect at all. Taking really good Flat lays is something that requires lots of practice. So to start off with, just focus on experimenting and improving your images. Firstly, think about the look of your Instagram gallery and about themes and colors that might work well alongside the rest of your images. Choose your favorite themes from these and use the project gallery to let us know what you've chosen to focus on. Secondly, search your house, the nearest gift shop or wherever else you think might be suitable for items and backgrounds that will suit your scene and had a quick snap of the things you find to the Project Gallery. Don't worry about composing an image for this. A pile in the middle of the floor will do next. Find the place in your home that has the best natural light composed your image. They're using the tips in the video lessons and take some photographs. Upload your favorite to the gallery. Finally edit your image, using whichever editing tool you prefer and upload your final image to the Project gallery and also to Instagram, using the hashtag skill share flat plays. If you have any questions about the close project, will anything else please feel free to leave them in the discussion section and I'll check in regularly and answer them happy photographing? 3. What Is a Flat Lay?: hi and welcome to our first class, so you might be wondering what exactly a flatly is. It's really simple. It's just a photograph taken from above of objects that are laid out flat old, a surface flat lays are a fantastic way to create really beautiful photographs. They allow you to curate the objects in the image to tell a story or to look a certain way , depending on the type of thing you're going for. They also allow you the opportunity to arrange things, however you think looks best and change them as often as you like until you find the arrangement that works for you, rather than having to just shoot and hope for the best like you often do when you're photographing something that's in situ and can't be moved, you can play around with backgrounds angles and try taking the photograph from various distances with a flat lay. You can basically experiment as much as you like, and you'll find the possibilities are endless. You'll see flat lays all over Instagram. They're really popular with all sorts of people right now, the great to use for business purposes, such a showcasing your design work or new products that you might be selling, but you can also use them to give your followers an idea of your day to day life. Breakfast shots are especially popular, as are pretty much any beautiful flat lays that feature food. People even post Flatley's of their pets. The latest closing purchases products they use in their daily makeup routine just about anything. So whatever you use your instagram account for, you're guaranteed to be able to find a way to incorporate flat lace for a special extra something. Spend a bit of time checking out other people's accounts on instagram and see if you can find examples of flat lays that you love for inspiration. Think about what it is about the style the items featured. The backgrounds, the lighting, the composition and so on that you love. It might help to write notes or take screenshots so you can refer back to them later. Then you can try to incorporate these into your own images when you come to take them. Have fun browsing and I'll see you in the next lesson 4. Lighting: when it comes to taking great photographs. Lighting is so important. Of course, this isn't just the case for flat lays. Its the same, however you're photographing something. After all, without light, cameras would never have been invented. Light is vital to consider the best type of light to uses. Natural light artificial lighting will give you image of funny yellow close. It's really unattractive. So the first rule of flat lace is to switch off all of your indoor lights, even those that aren't in your direct vicinity, and to move us closer to you can to a window or somewhere else. That's going to give you the best possible natural light fuel image. You may have to think about what time of day and what season it is for this, because the light will differ at different times of day and throughout the U. Depending on which hemisphere you live in, how high the sun is in the sky and which direction it's coming from. And it's not just a lack of good natural light that could cause problems. Sometimes the sun might even be too bright to get a good image. For example, around midday in summer, when the sun is very high in the sky. In this case, you'll need to put a large piece of white card or something similar opposite the light source to reflect the light back. Or put a piece of gauze or other thin fabric up to cover your window and diffuse the light , but still allow enough in either of thes. Things will help prevent shadows like the ones you can see in this image of the camera. Then again, shadows can add something really beautiful to an image, and this may be the look you're going for, in which case there's no need to reflect Will diffuse the light. If you don't have a work surface next to a window, you might have to move some furniture around temporarily, so you have a flat surface such as as a table to lay your objects out on. It would also be fine to put whatever objects you're using down on the floor, either straight on the floor. If you have an attractive floor, we're on a piece of background material. As long as there's enough light there, don't feel as though you have to rearrange your sitting room or anything to get the perfect flat lay. Spend a bit of time watching how the light moves around your home throughout the day and checking out where the most light comes in and I'll see you soon for our next lesson. 5. Theme and Colour: Welcome back. This video lesson is going to cover theme and color. Thinking about a thing for your flat lay before you start will help you design a really focused image rather than an image where things are out of place and make your instagram followers wonder why they're there. A really beautiful flatly image will just seem to make sense somehow, and having a defined thing will help this happen more naturally. Look at this example. It's not a bad image. It looks quite pretty and the color's and ice. But when I look at it, I can't help wondering why the pen is in the photograph. I mean, it's not terrible. The colors go quite well with the other items, and it doesn't stand out that much. It's just, it seems, out of place. The other items all round while the pen straight and to me it almost looks like it's trying to be a fork or something for someone to eat with because it's next to some plates. It just doesn't look right. Of course, you could argue that you don't usually find a rose on your dinner plate, but the roast somehow fits the image. It's round like the plates, and it's sitting in the ball rather than being placed alongside it, so it feels more like an actual part of the image. Now consider this example. This works much better because all of the items in the image follow a theme all of monochrome, geometric and quite simple. But because they have these things in common, the images far more successful, so you'll see that having a theme could really help. It doesn't have to be a complicated thing. It could just focus on a single color. For example, I use a lot of pink or blue or monochrome. Or it could be something the objects have in common, such as well being square, all being made from wood. Your theme could be objects from nature, such as things you found in the forest or on the beach. Floral themes are all always extremely popular on Instagram, and as I said in a previous lesson, food is always a hit, so you're seem could be breakfast or afternoon tea or something similar. It's also acceptable to design a flat lay of things you just happen to like that have nothing in common. But in this case, you may find that arranging them takes a bit more thought to get a coherent look and not just a jumble of unrelated items. Color themes of popular on instagram and color can really make an image look special. If you're going for a color theme, identify sticking to just a couple of colors in one image. Three. Maximum, at least to begin with. Colors can really stop your image from working if you don't use them the right way. If you design a flat lay but feel as though something just isn't working, check the colors in the image because quite often it's a color. That's the problem. It might be too bright or too wishy washy. Well, perhaps it clashes with another color. Look at this example. The layout is fine, but it just doesn't look quite right. And I think it's because the yellow and red are too bright compared to the past, all colors in the bottom left hand corner. So have a think about some possible seems for your own flat lay, and then we'll get on with the Nets. Lesson 6. Props and Backgrounds: Welcome back in this lesson, we're going to discuss props, perhaps are, of course, extremely important when it comes to designing and photographing flat lays, because without props you don't have an image. So you might want to start building up a collection of things you like that might look good in your photograph. Perhaps could really be just about anything, but you'll probably start to discover what you like. I have a lot of beautiful plates and bowls that I like to use in my images. Flowers always lovely things with pretty packaging fit in. Well, you could also use cards, stationery, books, magazines, candles, jewelry, buttons, balls of wool, string ribbons really anything that can lie down flat next year. Other object. You might want to start a prop box to keep all your props in one place out of the way. Otherwise, you might find every corner of your home being taken over by props. It'll also mean that when you want to create a flat, lay all of your props air in the same place and easy to find and try and your image. If he used instagram for business, you'll need to think carefully about which props might be. In keeping with your brand, you'll probably have certain styles and colors that are more appropriate for your business . For example, if you're a graphic designer whose style is minimal and modern, you probably don't want to take busy flat lays full of vintage crockery and lace ribbons. If you sell products, you'll probably want to use these in your flat lace. If this is what use your instagram account for and make them really attractive, so your followers are inspired to go to your website and buy them. Think about other things you could add. It'll go well with your own products and be in keeping with your brand. People also love seeing your work and progress, as this adds a background story to your work. So if you're an artist or maker, then it would be good to include some shots on instagram of how you got to the finished product like thes flat lays of paintings that were the first step in designing water color patterns. The other thing to consider is what background to use to place your objects on. You can't really go wrong with the plain white background. Also be aware that shadows will be worse on white than on a darker color background. But it's good to use a mixture of different backgrounds rather than just sticking to one, as this will add interest to your Instagram gallery. Great things to useful backgrounds are. Would that could be a table floorboards, a chopping board or something along those lines? Fabric linen is especially good as you get a bit of texture colored card. Blackwell Gray Card Wrapping paper. Well, perhaps you could get your hands on something marble like a chopping board. I also occasionally use a blanket or a detail or an item of clothing. Be creative, but be careful. There are lots of things that have the potential to be great backgrounds, but they may not all work with the mood of your instagram gallery or with the objects you want to photograph. Go on a hunt around your house and find any objects that might suit one of the scenes you thought off after the previous lesson and some possible backgrounds, then collect them up to use later on 7. Composition: welcome back. So you thought of a theme. Collected your objects and background found that all important natural lighting. So now comes the slightly tricky apart composition can be challenging. But the more you practice, the more you'll get the hang of it and see your images improved. This would be a good time to refer back to the Instagram galleries you loved in a previous lesson for inspiration. The first thing I recommend when it comes to composition is to keep it simple, especially when you're starting out. You don't want your image to look messy or cluttered by starting with just a couple of items and then adding others in slowly. You'll be able to check how the images looking and hopefully spot if it's getting too busy . The next thing is to think about where you place your items. You might want to use the rule of thirds. This is a great trick for creating images that are pleasing to the eye. Basically, cut your image into three squares by three squares. Like the photograph in the slide. The main focus of your image should be on one of the points where the vertical and horizontal lines cross. There's often a function that allows you to turn on a grid and see the lines on your phone or camera so you can line them up when you're shooting your image. So it might help to keep your camera close by while you're laying out your objects. And keep checking with the greed regularly to make sure they're in the right place. In the example here, I've made sure that the focal point, which is the ball with the flour in it, is exactly 2/3 along from the left. It makes for a really satisfying image that your brain doesn't have to think too hard about something I like to keep in mind, too, is balance both in the objects I use and the way I lay them out. It's good to balance out large objects with small ones, but I try not to use objects that very too much in size, like in this example, where the contrast is too great. See how the tiny necklaces swamped a bit by the other things in the image. The larger necklace on the right doesn't feel so out of proportion. Also think about balance when it comes to placing your object. For example, if you place something on the left side, it's good to balance it out with something on the right side. Even if you have your main focal point on the point by the lines, meet according to the rule of starts, you may need some other things in the image above it or below it, or to the side of it, although not always as the rule of thirds could be satisfying enough not to need anything else. It just depends how busy you want to make the image and what you want it to say. Look at this image of the fruit bowl. The apples in the bottom right hand corner aren't 100% necessary, but they had a bit more interest to the picture. Without them, all of the colors in the photograph would be quite deep. The pieces of apple in the corner at brightness to the image and offset the dark colors Well, now try composing your image, starting with your favorite item that you know you definitely want to be in the photograph and then adding other items. Gradually switch the grid function on your camera on if that helps be creative and I'll see you in the next lesson. 8. Photographing Your Flat Lay: welcome. But in this lesson, we're going to get down to the important job of photographing your flat lay since the flat layers basically to find a shooting objects that are laid flat from above. It goes without saying that you will need to position yourself above your object. You can always use a chair or something. If you need a bit of extra height, it's harder than you think. Toe. Hold your camera over your objects and take the photo without it wobbling. But you'll soon figure out a way to do this. That suits you. If you find it too difficult, or if you want to create flat lays with your hands in them, it's always good to add a human element. Then you can use a tripod and angle it over your objects, or even improvise and balance your phone on something like a pile of books. Smartphones are great for shooting flat lays. They give you the option to shoot square images from the off so you don't need to worry about composing an image that will still look great when it's crocked. Later, when this is perfect for the traditional square format of Instagram, you can, of course, now add portrait and landscape images, too, so you need to decide which of these or a combination that you want to stick to for a coherent looking gallery. I only use an iPhone myself, so I don't know too much about the other types. But I phone is brilliant, as you just need to tap the screen to tell the camera where to focus in your image. When you tap on the item you want to focus on, it'll bring up a little sun icon, and if you swipe up and down, you can change the exposure. Doing this will save time when you editing later. The only issue with smart phones is that you can vary the depth of field, but with a flat lay. You don't really need to worry about this because if you're shooting from above, everything will be it just about the same level anyway. Don't forget when shooting your images that you don't necessarily need to include every bit of every object in your photograph. Here are some examples of the same set up to give you an idea of the different ways you can photograph your flat lay you can cross bits off. If you think that looks good and you can move in closer or get further away and you don't need to photograph the object straight, you could turn the camera a bit to get an angle. You just need to experiment to see what you like and what looks good. 9. Editing: welcome to our final lesson. The last thing to do before you upload your image to Instagram is to edit. If you're anything like me, you'll have taken a ridiculous number of shots of your flat lay at different distances and angles, and with items added or taken away, you now need to go through your photo stream and decide which one's the best on which might work on Instagram. You can edit your image on your camera or phone, but there were also a number of Pepsi can use if you're using your phone, such as BS CEO and picked up go. Sometimes the light just isn't as bright as it needs to be. So you made me to adjust things such as brightness, color and contrast. You can do all of this on your phone. Filters are fun to and can really add something beautiful to your image. Like with a lot of other things. You just need to experiment and find out what works for you. A filter that looks amazing when someone else's images may make yours local wrong and how your photographs turnout can really depend a lot on things such as the weather, the background you use, and whether or not something near to your flat late is reflecting a color onto your image, editing will help even these out. So you get a really stunning photograph. Look at this example of a flat lay I took of a book I wanted to recommend. The original image on the left was dark, and the orange on the spine was reflecting quite badly on the surface. Underneath, you'll see in the image on the right that I up the brightness of the image and adjusted the color balance and shadows to get rid of the orange table. I also added a filter to create a hint of a vignette on the book to emphasize the title. So now you've taken some images. Spend some time selecting your favorites, keeping in mind the look you're going for in your instagram gallery and start editing them , using whichever method suits you best 10. Final Thoughts: to round up this class. I just wanted to add a few final thoughts to help you on your way to designing and photographing the perfect flat Lay. Firstly, when composing and styling your flat lace for instagram, always keep in mind the mood you're going for in your gallery. Having a consistent style throughout your gallery can really make a big difference to how it looks to your followers and attract new ones. So think about how you can make your images that here to this style. If you're using instagram for your business, your images will need to be consistent with your brand image. Secondly, start simple. You can always add later. Don't try to crime too many things into one image. You can always take shots of other things another time and finally, practice. Practice. Practice composition in particular, can be tricky and requires thought and practice to be done really well. So don't be disheartened. If your images don't look how you'd imagine to begin with, they'll improve quickly. Please upload your class project to the gallery so we can see your beautiful creations and give feedback. It would be great if you could also comment on other students project. Yes, this is a great way to not only help other students improve their photographs, but also to get you thinking critically about your own. I'll be checking in regularly to offer feedback and answer questions. So if you have any comments, questions or suggestions about anything in the class, please feel free to leave a message in the class discussion on I'll Get back to you. Don't forget to be brave and add your flat lay images to Instagram. When you do this, use hashtag skill. Share flat lays to share them with the rest of the class. We can't wait to see what wonderful flatly images you come up with. And one last thing. If you've enjoyed this class, it really appreciate it. If you clicked on the thumbs up above the video so the class can reach more students just like you who want to learn about photographing flat lace for instagram. Also, please feel free to leave. Comments and reviews had really welcomed the feedback so I can make my next class even better. Thanks so much for taking this class. I hope you've learned something new that you'll find useful, and I really look forward to seeing your final image is very soon