Tips To Conquer The Flat Lay Photo Like a Boss - Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka

Tips To Conquer The Flat Lay Photo Like a Boss

For the Instagrammer in you.

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Who doesn’t love a good flat lay picture? If you’re an Instagram addict like us, then you’ve probably noticed an eruption of these images from brands, bloggers, photographers and enthusiasts. This bird’s-eye-view type of photo is the ideal way to showcase your OOTD, what you’re having for brunch, what your desk looks like, where you’re travelling to next and much more.

So you’ve drooled over amazing photos on social media, and decided to give it a go yourself. But it’s just never coming out right and yes, we know you’re probably wondering how the gurus upload such beautiful photographs. Try these tips and bring your A-game the next time you pick up your phone or camera!

Square Template

Although Instagram now has the option of uploading content that’s in portrait or landscape form without cropping, it’s always best to opt to shoot photos using a square template. If you’re shooting on your phone, flip to this layout and you’ll know if everything will fit. You won’t have to worry about cropping when it’s time to upload. If you’re using a SLR camera, set image dimensions to 640×640 pixels, or as close as possible. This way the whole image is in the frame.

Lighting Is Key

It really is. Without good lighting, your photo can look dull and uninspiring. Your best bet is to use natural light, during the morning or afternoon. Take your pictures outside or next to a window for best results.

Tell A Story

Flat lays are all about the narrative, whether you’re showing people what you’re reading or the make-up you just purchased. So pick a theme and stick to it. If you’re showcasing your favourite things, ensure that each element compliments each other and conveys the same message.


Mexico, I’m comin for ya ✈️ ?#getmeouttahere #christmasinmexico #travelessentials

A photo posted by Regina Gomez (@reginaagomez) on

Colour Scheme

When shooting, it’s important to pick colours that work in harmony with each other. Pick the shade and then stick to it, but resist the urge to add contrasting colours. Opt to embellish with black, white and metallic.

Simple Backdrop & Props

Background is important when shooting a flat lay. Perhaps invest in a white poster board which is ideal for creating a cheap and quick surface. It’s reusable and can be stored out of sight once you’re done. Other background examples are wooden floorboards, marble tiles, table tops, bed sheets or rugs. When choosing props, do so sparingly, as too much can diminish the focal points of your photo.

Less Is More

When prepping your accessories for photo taking, it can be tempting to add every element into the frame. But avoid piling on too much. Another important aspect to a good flat lay is composition. Keep lines clean and crisp; consider symmetry on either side of the frame and create space between each object. Use a blank space to unite your photo and make it more interesting. If you’re unsure, stick to the rule of thirds where the main features are on the gridlines of an invisible 3×3 grid.

Fuss-Free Photo Editing

Now that you’ve finally taken an amazing set of photos, it’s time for post-production. Try to avoid the typical filters when editing. Instead, use an app to tweak contrast, structure, highlights and brightness, and image correct to make colours pop.


Warm weather essentials ? ?Jetting off to catch the sun for a few days ✈️

A photo posted by Alyssa Stevens (@alyssakstevens) on

With these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this social media fave and be the #flatlayqueen in no time!

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