Good morning gorgeous friends!
Today, I will be continuing my mini-series on how to create the perfect flatlay! I get questions on this daily so this was something that I was super excited to share. I was absolutely blown away by how much interest the last post generated and I am so glad that I could help you all out so much with my tips and tricks from part one. In today's post, I will be covering the actual steps that I do when creating a flatlay (this is an actual product shoot for my Instagram account) so if you love it, feel free to share or pin! Let's begin!
Lighting & Set Up
Here is a little peak into my "work space" lol! This is the spare bedroom that houses my mini art studio, music equipment, the majority of my closet and my soon-to-be home office (Eek! I'm hoping to reveal it next week). It has much better lighting than any of the other rooms in our apartment and more floor space.
I always put my presentation board on the floor a few feet from the window. I find that cracking the blinds instead of lifting them completely gives the perfect amount of light. This is a north facing window and I find that shooting in the afternoon (1pm-3pm) is perfect.
Additional Set Up
I know all of people shoot on tables or beds or another lifted surface, but I prefer shooting on the floor because it's much easier to get that perfect overhead shot.
You can shoot with a phone camera or a different camera. Either one will take a great photo! I used to shoot with my iPhone, but have actually been using my new Canon for some extra practice. ;-)
Prepping Your Materials (and choosing a Hero item)
If you read part one of this mini series, then you know that I talked about having a "hero item." When I shoot flatlays (is this one word or two separate words? ha!), I have a specific item in mind that I want to be the star. I, then, build around that item and create a believable environment for it to exist in. My hero item for this flatlay is this floral robe. There are SO many ways to do this...I could have shot a full outfit version with the robe fully open and spread out but for my feed, I prefer tight close-ups so I opted to have it neatly folded instead.
I also had two eye masks that I wanted to photograph. I photographed both to see which I liked better in the photo. I think this is an important step because sometimes photos will turn out different than how you perceive it in the moment. I chose the light blush :-)
Now that I have chosen my hero item(s), it's time to play with the layout. Like I said in the last post, it's always fun and more interesting if you add a bit of texture in the background (lace, fur, sequins, a blanket, tissue paper, confetti, etc). Since it's winter, it totally makes sense to add some faux fur. This is actually the bottom of one my jackets (I usually crop it out, but I kept it in for this post). I will first arrange the jacket, then arrange the hero items, and then fill in missing spots and curate it to make an interesting composition.
It should come as no surprise that I love flowers and use them in my photos every chance I get. I have been asked if these are fake since I use them all the time and also why I use the same flower time after time. Firstly, they are real. I love to have fresh flowers around so this kills two birds with one stone. Secondly, I love the consistency of using the same flower and feel that it makes my feed look more cohesive. When my feed was super bright, I always bought magenta. I played around with a few different types of flowers and thought that carnations always photographed beautifully and were much cheaper than peonies and roses. As my style has evolved, so has my feed. While my feed is still colorful, I have lightened the colors and as a result, have switched to using light pink carnations to better compliment it. I've wondered "Is this too much? Are people tired of my pink carnations?" I'm not sure, but I like them. Do what makes you happy! :-)
Choosing Filler Items
For this flatlay, I'd like to add some sparkle. In fact, I like to add sparkle to the majority of my flatlays because I feel like it completes it. A reader in the last post asked how I store my "props?" Everything you see in my photos are things that I actually use and things that I wear. Everything has it's own place to be stored, whether that's a dresser top, a cubby, a shelf, a rack, a cabinet, etc. I am also a fan of storing in a way that makes everything easily accessible, but also looks pretty at the same time. This is my jewelry bar that includes the majority of my necklaces, bracelets and watches. It is situated on top my cube organizer that houses my purses and is right next to my shoe rack. :-) The organizers are from Target and you can find my exact ones here and here.
I've chosen two different necklaces that I think will look great! I can't decide which one to use, so I'll be photographing both.
Arranging Filler Items
I laid out the jewelry (in no particular way) and took a photo just to see how it all looked together. Once I choose a winning combo, I will then begin to arrange the necklace in different ways until I find something that I like. I will then add another filler item and arrange in a similar fashion. I still can't decide so I photographed both haha!
For each necklace, I choose a set of nail polishes to compliment it. I also had a few other items that I shot (perfume, lipstick, etc.). I cropped the rest of my jacket out of the photo and ta da! The finished product :-) Now, I have a tough choice.
*Which one do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!*
I didn't cover editing in the last post, but there are a few additional steps I do before I hit the publish button. I will cover this in much more detail in a future post but for now, I'll give you the simple rundown. These photos have already been (very lightly) edited in Lightroom. Once I finish, I will export to my phone via email. From there, I edit it twice. I use both VSCO and A Color Story to edit two separate images. Once I finish, I will lightly edit both in Instagram and choose the one that best fits into my feed. It's more complicated than it needs to be but I'm a perfectionist haha!
Note: Please keep in mind, that this is just my process for creating a flatlay and everyone is different. It's best to use my tips and tricks from part one to create your own unique take on the flatlay that will best represent you, your brand and your feed. There is no "right way" to do this so just have fun and experiment!
I hope you all have enjoyed a little peek into my flatlay process and hope that you have gained some useful info that you can use for your own flatlays! If you have anything else that you'd like me to talk about regarding flatlays (or anything else), let me know!
*What do you guys think about these informative posts in contrast to my fashion posts? I'd love to have your input!*
Have a great Wednesday!