My Process For Taking Flat Lay Photography

Besides creating beautiful logos and building wonderful websites (Tooting my horn), I found a new passion! That is taking flat lay photography! Y'all, I have so much fun doing these! I even do it for free, ha! So, if you follow me on instagram and periscope, you have seen a behind scenes look on how I take my photos. But I wanted to take you guys through my entire process! 

First, What the hell is flat lay photography? 

Flat Lay Photography or FlatLays are photographs that are taken from the top view of a desk, table, floor, or any kind or surface. It is usually used to show off products or a desktop. They are perfect for Instagram pics and even to fit the layout of your website. It is also  a great way to show off your brand. 

What are the tools I use?


A Camera

You can take photos with your phone, I used to and some came out beautifully. But If you want to take it up a notch and possibly sell your lay photos, I would invest in a great camera. 

I have the Nikon D3300, it is fairly easy to use...but you do have to learn how to use your cameron and learn how different settings can benefit you photographing process. Don't just open the box and start me, I learned the hard way. "Why are all my photos blurry?!"  Ha!

You can purchase, the Nikon D3300 here, or get a the complete photographer's suite here.  Another great cameron is the Canon EOS Rebel T5, which can be purchased here


Appealing Surface Areas

You can use a marble or wooden table, which is great for food flat lays. I use white poster boards or colored scrapbook paper. White poster boards is great for doing desktop/tabletop lay photography  where you are displaying desktop accessories such as notebooks. Colored backgrounds are also great for contrasting colors.  Any solid and textured background can be used, but be mindful of what you photographing when choosing a background for your flat lays. 


White Poster Board

White poster board or a white sheet of paper is great for reflecting natural sun light.  It adds some exposure to your photos. 


A Step Stool or Chair

To get that top view perspective, you need to be able to take your photos above your objects. So I use a step stool or my desk chair (which is not safe, ha). 


Natural Sunlight 

This is so important when taking flat lay photography. A simple Daylight lamp, simply will not cut it.  You need natural reflections and shadows to take a great flat lay photo. Sometimes, I have to wait days until the sun is right for photography. The sun light makes a hug difference on how  great your photos turn out.  It is so worth it to wait util the sun wants to come out and play. 


Adobe Photoshop

You almost always need to edit your photos. Sometimes you need to adjust the exposure, the contrast, and get rid of some shadows. Photoshop is the perfect software to edit your photos  and give them that extra umph and Pop! 


Where do I shop for Objects to Photograph? 

Shop Smart & cheaP

I shop for notebooks and journals mostly at Target and Walmart. Target has a great aisle that has items for $5 and under. This aisle is usually season themed, for instance, if it is around Valentine's Day, this aisle will have valentine's day themed items. However, they will have other items that you can use that aren't necessarily holiday themed.  Also, buy items that you might use in the future, like candy or pencils. 

Use what you have

There is nothing wrong with recycling objects for your flat lay photography. I use the same gold Kate Spade paper clips, it wouldn't make sense to buy new ones or new ones that are of a different shape. 


Be Creative

My biggest tip is not to look at other flat lay photography when creating your own. You can easily get distracted and think that you need certain items or objects, when you don't.  I always think of color combinations that I love, and then I try to recreate it when taking my flat lay photos. 

Do not overthink it. I rarely take too much time taking flat lay photos. I position my objects how my desk SHOULD look (now how it looks now, lol)  and based on the colors. I always put contrasting colors together. But that is my preference.  The most time that I take on the photos is when I am editing them and packing them for my subscribers. 

So I hope I helped you get a little familiar of my process of taking flat lay photography.  If you want the above image and other stock images, Please sign up to receive access to my Ultimate Photo Stock Library!


xo, Rekita

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