If you are reading this article chances are you are familiar with flat lays but like to know more about how you can yield maximum benefit from them. If you are a regular content producer, flat lays are great both providing inspiration and subtly selling products to your audience. They are also a great visual option to vary the type of content you post on Instagram and your blog. Of course every blog is different but influencers that diversify the type of images they post on their Instagram do better that influencers that post homogenous content like the look of the day.
Creating a flat lay for your blog and Instagram is very much a styling activity and the more you plan your content ahead the more bridges and synergies you will create between present and future content. For example you can follow a consistent publication strategy where you publish a full look followed by a fashion portrait, a detail shot, a flat lay and an inspiration or a quote. If you know the theme of your blog, and equally important the theme of that week or that month, styling a flat lay is a piece of cake.
For example Pyjama is our main theme next month for @mimagazine and we are creating content including flat lays that match that topic. Once we have a theme we start with a mood board for the flat lay. Not all pyjama themes are girly; you can create a theme which is androgynous, edgy or sexy, it depends on what matches your content in general.
We are making our first pyjama flat lay pastel and girly, for the woman who likes to dress like she lives in a doll house and we take you to the process through how we made the flat lay
Finding a suitable base
For lounge wear, beauty products and some home accessories, depending on the season faux fur blankets are a good base. For the spring and summer something like a plain white surface or white marble are ideal. Also some types of printed paper can really make a unique flat lay especially because Instagram is saturated with products on marble surfaces.
Organising your products
Choose a star element for your flat lay and accessorise accordingly. We chose a pair of pom pom slippers as our star element and sourced the rest of the items to match the slippers.
5 is the magic number
The tendency for some flat lays is either to clutter them or to keep them too minimal. I believe that 5 is the magic number of elements to include in the flat lay. If you want to make your flat lay more rustic you can take the petals of a flower and tear them apart to make it appear like there is more substance on the flat lay. For our five elements we chose slippers, a satin clutch bag, a nightgown, sleeping mask and macarons.
Include a differing element
Form the 5 elements you chose to feature in your flat lay choose one that is not from the same category- for example if you are showcasing just beauty products include a plant or a book or a food item to diversify.
Stick to 3 colors
The universal law of styling is to stick to 3 colors. Of course you can choose similar shades of the same color and not count them as a separate color but always stick to 3 distinct colors- no more and preferably no less.
Shoot different angles
Try different angles when you shoot the flat lay- top down is not necessarily the best way- you can try sideways, or focusing on one object and keeping the rest out of focus. There is room to play and we all could use some variety
Perfect opportunities to shoot a flat lay
When you are organising your closet.
When you are visiting a nice coffee shop.
When you are wearing a lot of accessories
When you are cooking with a lot of different ingredients
When you are organising your makeup case