So, what the heck is a flat lay?

Coming up the Photo A Day prompt is flat lay. Oh my goodness, this has confused some people in the cutest way possible. So today I wanted to tell you AND show you what a flat lay is.

A flat is basically when you’re shooting items from directly above. Usually those items will be arranged or styled on a flat surface.

Let me show you a few examples…

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Get the idea?

So, take a flat lay photo, you can take a photo of anything or anything, but here’s my tips.

? Use a light or white background. You can arrange your objects on a white piece of cardboard, a sheet or table. If you don’t have anything white, work with what you’ve got! A flat surface is best.

? Do a bit of styling. Look at what is laid out in front of you and see how you can make it more visually appealing. Do you want the focus to be in the centre of the photo? To the bottom third? To the top third? Or evenly placed {like the donut photo}.

? As with any photography, pay attention to your lighting. Natural light is beautiful, so why not move your arrangement closer to a window. Or if you’re heading out to a cafe for the day, pick a light table area to sit.

? 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. Take a few photos and try and make the camera as stable, and straight as possible {having the camera on an angle will make it less ‘flat lay’}.

? All sound too hard? It’s not. I promise. But just work with what you’ve got, where ever you are. It’s fun to play around.

Have fun with it! x


12 thoughts on “So, what the heck is a flat lay?”

    • Hi Lolly. I know exactly where you’re coming from…except I haven’t missed a photo since January 1, 2014. I’m as grateful for Chantelle and this group as much as you are and started for similar reasons. My sister passed away 2 and a half years ago. I came across this group four months afterwards and it was exactly what i needed because it helped me change my focus. It helped me look at all the little things; to see how much beauty there is around us every day. I’ve also enjoyed seeing where people from all over the world live and have marveled at how many different ways a prompt is interpreted. Another important thing I’ve come to learn about this group is that I’m not alone; there are so many others going through exactly the same things as me and complete strangers have the most caring and generous souls in their offers of care and support.
      All power to you…

  1. Jeepers Creepers! I popped over here to read your Emma Kate interview- because I ALWAYS look at her gorgeous shots and wonder how she creates them- then ducked in here to brush up on my flat lay knowledge- and GASP! There’s my random “let’s just whip up some flower crowns when I should really be cooking dinner” shot. Thank you so much for including it, Chantelle. I’m chuffed. And now I’m off to follow all those other people you’ve featured- those donuts! Those tarts with faces! Oh my!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I’m really not good on flatlays. I read few tips around the www as well on taking flatlay photos — try to like add accessories besides the main item like leaves, flowers, beads, or stones.

  3. Fab tips! I defo need to improve my flat lay but it’s something I love to do so why I haven’t put more effort in I don’t know. I obvs needed your post to prompt me ?

  4. Oh so love the idea. Gonna try it out. have been doing some flat lays without being conscious of it. Thank you!

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