• Nina Mackenzie

How to Create a Beautiful Flatlay



Flatlay has been a trend on Instagram in recent years, once you master the skill, you can create your own beautiful flatlay easily and you might addict to it as well!

Choose your style/theme

First and mostly importantly, choose your own style/theme. There are many different styles, you can explore with #flatlay on Instagram to get inspiration! I like pink, girly style with blossom flowers. Flowers are one of the easiest and prettiest element you can use to decorate your scenery, as it helps create the depth of view and you can choose the colour match the spread most. I use artificial flowers in a vase so it comes in handy and with a bit of height from the vase can create a dynamic shot. So, get some flowers to start!


Getting related elements/objects

Once you have the highlight item/main object, you can now go search for little bits and pieces that are related to it. And a few of the items that are simply for decorating, such as patterned handkerchief, sea shells. You don't need too many, otherwise your shot will lose the focus point.


Composition & Lighting

Get a nice cloth or textured worktop for background. It also depends on the colours of your items, choose a contrast colour, or a white silky cloth will never go wrong. Lighting is definitely plays an important part, natural sunlight is always the best. Try to place them in front of the window so you won't need extra lighting.

Then start placing items, this can be the difficult part to beginners, but remember that you can keep trying new composition! You might have to keep moving the small bits around to get the right place. It is easier to start from the highlight item, place it in the middle of to the left, then start building around it, just enjoy being creative. Then put flower or decorative items around the border. Remember that you will have to crop out some parts, so you have to spread them wider to get a good shot.


Shooting time

Get your camera setting ready, or even your phone will do! Make sure you are taking in a straight line, standing up can make it easier. Take as many as possible, all possible angle and zooming. And don't afraid to re-composite if you are not happy with it during shooting. I always use manual focus for this as I can create s depth of view and make sure the highland item is clear.


Editing time

What is left to do it editing it to the style/tone you want. I love mine bright, vibrant and sharp. There are many software you can use, I have been using Adobe for all my other design works, so I am sticking on their tools. I use Lightroom for photography all the time, it's very easy to use and the functions are awesome. The setting I always edit including: exposure (try not to go over +62), clarity, vibrance and individual colours. In here I changed the temperature and tint as well to achieve the bright white tone.

Lastly, crop to perfect! You have to pay attention to the border for a good cropping, those items around the edge has to be cropped out a bit to look natural and the whole picture looked filled and packed.

That's all! Now you are ready to create your own beautiful flatlay!

#photography #flatlay

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