FLAT LAY PHOTOGRAPHY

A GUIDE TO FLAT LAY PHOTOGRAPHY (Beauty & Skincare Edition) || MYSRANNE

I finally thought I’d do a proper, comprehensive guide to taking flat lay photographs. As much as this is one of my most asked question, I can only give general advice. You’ll need to add your own spin, edit and character to. However this is the way I like to do it and maybe you can take some ideas, hacks and  tips from it. PS: There is no right or wrong way…

A few basics to consider before you even press SHOOT!
. First: choose the best place to do your photos.  It’s a flat lay, meaning you create your own background, so definitely go wherever the light is! Due to the nature of my schedule and how the average Lagos apartment is designed. I do not have the luxury of large windows. Hence, I use artificial light from my ring light
 which i tweaked with 1/4 orange filter to give me a sun-kissed effect.
I also ensure I give the products a bit of a wipe-down (I always keep baby wipes on hand for this, swatches and any mishaps). It’s good for products to look well-loved but not dirty! I do take majority of my flat lays before I use the products, this way they are clean and full…

FLAT LAY PHOTOGRAPHY : CAMERA AND SETTINGS


I have taken all my flat lays with my phone, not that I don’t have a camera. I do own a Canon M50 with different lenses ( a kit lens and a nifty fifty) but when i think of the process of setting up all that, the ginger would be gone. Before I got my iPhone 11 Pro, I used an Infinix S3 for close to two years which has a 12MP and also a portrait mode (i.e blurred background feature). Any phone/camera offering above a 12MP is more than fine for the shot.


FLAT LAY PHOTOGRAPHY : BACKGROUND AND PROPS


Now you’ve found your perfect spot, it’s time to choose a background. If you notice, I like Marble which is actually a contact paper stuck on a wooden board (BUY HERE and Fur (BUY HERE) a lot, lately I incorporated a woven mat just to bring some some warmth to my background. Personally I don’t play too much with props, I tend to use my own jewelry, sunglasses, old magazines or books and sometime shredded paper (BUY HERE) and foil  that comes with PR packages

Usually, I have an idea of what I want the image to look like but it doesn’t always work out, so I often spend a bit of time playing around. I usually follow the rule of ‘the more products, the less props’ so the image doesn’t end up looking crowded and it’s still clear what I’m actually talking about. I also try to make the colour and name of the product visible, however that also depends; sometimes for the main picture I’ll just do what looks prettier if I know I have closeups in the rest of the post.


FLAT LAY PHOTOGRAPHY : ARRANGEMENT AND COMPOSITION

Once you’ve picked your props and you know the products you are working with, it’s time to have a play around and decide how you want your image to look.

 Try and make sure your phone or camera is parallel to the table or surface you’re photographing. You might like to climb on a sturdy chair to get a little bit more height.

real deal foundation

When you’re writing a blog post, you already know which products need to be included. A lot of the time it doesn’t work for me the first, second, or even third time so don’t be disheartened if you can’t get it to look how you want it to right away!

 Make sure you can see everything that needs to me in shot (like product names, the colours of the products and so on) and so on. Also ensure that you have all the products you want to be in the shot! I still always make this mistake whereas an important detail is cropped out of the frame.

Just to show you how different your shot can look depending on composition, I’ve taken the same few products and props and arranged them in a few different ways. This is your chance to get creative. I always pin or save any images that I love the look of so I have some inspiration when I need it, which I’d definitely recommend doing. In the meantime you can check out my  Pinterest Board if you like.

 

WHAT FORMAT?  Depending on the platform where it would be shared, 99% of the time, I take Portrait shots. It goes perfectly into my 1080 X 1350 Instagram feed, fits my Pinterest board as well as my blog.

 

FLAT LAY PHOTOGRAPHY : EDITING


Now you’ve got the shot it’s time to get editing. Here is a before and after. I use mostly Snapseed, because it is faster and gives me my result. I mostly brighten the overall picture with the ‘brush tool’, I sharpen as well as increase the warmth cos my feed is bright but also has a golden undertone. Editing is another  way to let your personality through, so it can be bright and airy, brown and moody, whatever suits you! You can read about some of the favorite apps I use in editing here

Before                                         After

I hope you found this super helpful? What setup, props and editing do you like to use for flat lay photos?

 

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