If you follow me on Instagram you will know am quite partial to posting a flatlay, I like how they mix up my grid and allow me to be a little creative. I find them really quick and easy to shoot and lighting is rarely an issue (natural lighting only). In no way I am claiming to be an expert but I have learnt a few tricks along.
The backdrop is a key element of my flatlays. I tend to use two different textures layered together, this could be a white bedsheet and faux fur blanket or wooden flooring and a throw. I like to change the textures seasonally, in winter I favour faux furs and in summer lighter fabrics. I find using the same backdrop several times gives continuity to my feed and inkeeping with the tone.
Theme & Colour Pallet
Before creating a flatlay I always have rough idea in my head if how I want it to look or what I would like it to portray. The image also has to fit in with my current instagram grid colour pallet. For example when creating the image below I wanted it to have a calm and festive vibe so I chose to use pops of red on a neutral background. Or it could be that I have a particular product that I would like to be the main focus of the flatlay so I will chose a mood and colours to compliment it.
I've actually starting filling a basket of flatlay props so I have them to hand when creating my images. My basket currently includes a white sheet, faux fur fabric, faux flowers and foliage, pinecones, a couple of books, and a pretty plate. It is all things (apart from the plate) that I had around the house ready. Items in my basket will change seasonally, for example in December there was Christmas decorations and ribbon in there also. As alot of my instagram and blog posts are focused around family life I often add wooden or soft toys from my boys collection into the shot. I try to include objects of various sizes and texture. You will notice that almost all my flatlays include a hot drink as I think it helps create a relaxed and cosy feel.
I tend not to spend much time arranging the layout of my flatlays. I usually lay everything out and then take a test shot to see how it looks. I will then make a couple of tweaks where necessary. I might decide to include my legs or a hand in the shot if I think it will look better. I will then take about 10 different photos from different heights and distances so I have a few to choose from. This whole process is very quick, maybe 5 minutes.