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The Flatlay – Photography Tips For The Hottest Trend On Instagram

Like almost every aspect of life, Instagram is highly influenced by trends.

Selfies dominated Instagram for a very long time {and are still quite dominant in all of our feeds}, and after them the “Foodies” trend took over, and countless pictures of appetizing food filled up our feed, up to the point where clicking on the Instagram icon was a real danger for our diets.

You might not know the new trend by its official name – FLATLAY, but there’s no doubt that you all came across it in your feed at some point or even outside it.  


So what is the FLATLAY ?

FLATLAY photos are photos of various objects placed on a background in a “flat” arrangement, and photographed from above.

There’s a good reason FLATLAY photos are the latest trend on Instagram… If they are made correctly – they are extremely aesthetic, and this is what visual social networks like Instagram are based on.

Another reason these photos are so common is that this photography technique could be used in any field you could think of – fashion, beauty, traveling, food and anything else you feel like documenting – the possibilities are limitless!

So what’s the story?

It’s true – anyone could easily take a FLATLAY photo…

But if you want to learn how to take FLATLAY photos “like a pro”, you should continue reading 😉


5 tips that will make your FLATLAY photos absolutely amazing

#1 Lighting

The key to taking a successful FLATLAY photo is the lighting.

A photo taken in dim lighting, or god forbid with a flash, will look bad even if you have the most beautiful accessories and you managed to arrange them in the perfect composition.

This is why you should always take pictures in natural and soft light – the kind that won’t create unwanted shadows on the picture.

Pro Tip : Look for a spot in your house with the best lighting, like near a big window, or you could even take the photos outside

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#2 Background

The background of your photo plays a major role in the vibe received from the picture.

FLATLAY photos of fashion or beauty products often look best on a neutral background – white or any other light shade – because it makes the accessories stand out more.

But if you want to create a more edgy and dynamic picture, like in FLATLAY photos taken while traveling, don’t hesitate to use the raw materials around you, like sand, interesting tiles, or even the luxurious linen in your hotel.

FLATLAY photos of food can get an interesting twist if they’re taken on a special table or on a picnic blanket.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have a neutral background in your house – the simplest white hard paper will do the trick 😉

Homemade-Minestrone-Soup-Recipe-מתכון-למרק-מינסטרונה-בייתי-1-copy IMG_9397

#3 Photography

You really don’t need a professional camera to take amazing FLATLAY pictures – today, most cellphones have cameras that can shoot gorgeous photos.

If you’re using a cellphone, pay attention to these two things:

  1. Only take pictures with the camera app, and don’t be tempted to use Instagram’s camera – it just isn’t as good.
  2. Take pictures with different cutting options – the pictures that look best on Instagram are square and vertical images; try setting the camera to take pictures in the 1:1 dimensions (square) to avoid cutting the picture in the app in case you choose a square photo.

Pro Tip: Don’t cut back on the number of pictures you take! It’s always better to take more pictures than to find out in the end that the picture didn’t come out exactly as you wanted it to.


#4 Accessories

Whether your FLATLAY revolved around one central object or a number of different objects, try to create a certain vibe with the accessories in the frame.

Play with the positioning of the props in the background – try to change the angles and placements, adding or removing accessories from the frame until you get a great photo.

Trying to photograph a round object, like a glass, lipstick or mascara and it won’t stop rolling away? Double sided tape is the perfect solution

Pro Tip: You won’t believe how many amazing accessories you have for these photos in your house! Jewelry, books, bags, cool decorative items and flowers can really add an interesting personal touch to the photo and complete your vision.

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#5 Details, Details, Details

When you take FLATLAY photos it’s important to pay attention to all the little details.

If you’re taking photos of makeup or beauty products, make sure that they are clean and shiny. Same regarding the serving dishes in photos of food.

In fashion photos, make sure the clothing isn’t wrinkled and that it’s folded or placed in an aesthetic way.

The distance between the products is also important for the final look of the photo – pay attention to the spaces between the products and the flow the arrangement created.

Pro Tip: Before you snap a million pictures, take one “test” picture to make sure everything is in the right place and that nothing is interfering.


If you enjoyed this post, “like” it and share it on Facebook with your friends!

Do you have more tips for taking FLATLAY photos? Share them in the comments below ? ? ?

If you took a FLATLAY photo after reading this post, post it on Instagram with the hashtag #hedonistit and I’ll regram my favorite one

  • The header photo was taken from @flatlays on Instagram




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4 Responses

  1. Many many thanks for sharing such a superclass tips. I really appreciate your wonderful explanation. It’s a great learning for me. I will certainly dig it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this website.

  2. Thank you for your great tips for taking flatlay photos. So enlightening, love it, and appreciate it.


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