A flat lay is a photo taken of an outfit from a bird’s eye view. Usually items are laid out flat on a surface. The outfit is fully styled with accessories and usually has props that compliment the overall look of the outfit. Here’s exactly how our resident “flat lay fashionista” Lexi shoots ours at Grace & Lace.
- Come up with a game plan! Write out some items you’d like to take photos of and think of how you’d like to style them. It’s helpful to have a guide to follow as you are creating your flat lay.
- Pick out a background to lay your outfit out on. You can get creative with white or colorful paper, patterned paper (wood floor, marble, fake grass, etc.), textured rugs/blankets, etc.. Make sure your background makes sense to the season you’d wear that outfit in. EX: dark wood usually looks good for fall/winter outfits!…Fake grass looks great with spring/summer outfits. You can use things around your house or easily order a roll of paper off amazon. Keep in mind a plain colored background gives off an overall cleaner look, busier backgrounds can clash with certain items. Use your best judgement!
- Set up your lighting. Determine if you want more of a natural “cozy look” or a bright studio lit shot. Up to you! I think plain colored backgrounds look best with overhead studio lighting. Natural wood and textured backgrounds tends to look nice with natural light set up next to a window. Depends on the look you are going for.
Studio VS Natural Window Lighting
- Strategically lay out your outfit. Make sure that the clothing isn’t super wrinkled and lies flat (you may have to steam it out). Sometimes you have to play with how you fold and lay out the items so the shot looks balanced.
- Add accessories and props that coordinate and compliment the clothing. Purses, jewelry, sunglasses, shoes, socks, mugs, leaves, flowers, hats, twinkly lights, etc. Get creative and add things that make sense to the overall look of the outfit. Cohesiveness is KEY!
- Keep in mind you want to maintain overall symmetry and have the photo look balanced. Fill in empty spaces with props/accessories. Over time with practice you’ll be able to train your eye as to what looks best in photos.
- Use your phone or a camera to capture a shot. It’s best to not use flash as it will create shadows.
- Get above your flat lay. Using a ladder or step stool can be helpful. Take a photo and review. Adjust props as needed until you are satisfied with your shot.