cupcake stories

Fantastic Flat Lay

Fantastic Flat Lay

Our photographer’s favourite creative approach

Flat lays have become a popular approach in recent years, particularly in fashion, food and beauty circles. The consumption of these on image sharing platforms like Instagram and Pinterest have made them a social media staple.

In this short post i’m going to tell you about why flat lays are a favourite of mine, and give you some things to think about if you’re putting your own together. We use this thinking when designing flat lay photography for our own clients.

For me, a good flat lay feels comfortable to view: I like symmetry, balance, obvious elements that catch the eye, and enough complexity to encourage you to look around. It’s important to consider shapes, angles and patterns to get a good balance, and not lose sight of the what you want your viewer to take away from the image.

The beauty of photographing a flat lay is that is can do many jobs. Are you using the elements in frame to contribute to a single story, such as ingredients surrounding a meal or food product? Or are all the elements of equal power, such as a combination of winter fashion garments telling us what we could wear for the cold season?

Typically, the brightest or the biggest object in a frame will catch our attention first. The rule of thirds also has an important impact, so be aware of these three things when designing your own.

But playing by the rules all the time isn’t the most fun, and certainly doesn’t always deliver the best results! What you’ll see in our own designs is that we like to play with random particles to help soften any overpowering shapes or patterns that might exist in the products that we need to feature. These particles might be anything from powders to liquids, often spices or scatter-friendly food like nuts.

Lastly, the background. What you place your products on top of will have a huge effect on the end result. Anything with too much texture is likely to steal focus which might reduce the overall impact. My usual rule is to think about how much I need to place on top, what the sizes and colours are, and then work out how bright or detailed my background can afford to be.

I hope this has given you a little insight into our process – some of my favourite flat lays are in the gallery below.

Thanks for reading!


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