Creativity Personal Development

How to Take Flat Lay Photographs + Styling the Seasons

19th November 2015

How to Take Flat Lay Photographs | candypop.uk.com

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

I love simple pastimes especially a country walk followed by tea and (a lot of) chocolate chip cookies. So, on Sunday, I decided to create an image for this month’s Styling the Seasons using a few things from my day.

I have a passion for creating flat lay photographs (composed stills taken from above) and I enjoy capturing groups of objects out of context. It’s fun to mix things up and experiment and I always hope my images will make people smile. Here are a few of my tips for taking flat lay photographs.

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BACKGROUND

Your background can be anything, try a floor, table, some fabric, a sheet of paper or wallpaper. You probably don’t want anything with too much pattern and it needs to be large enough to accommodate your objects. That said you should never be afraid to try things out.

LIGHT

Find a well-lit spot to position your background. Ideally, you want to distance yourself enough so there aren’t any patches of sunlight or shadows. I always use natural light and when I can I avoid taking photographs on grey days.

How to Take Flat Lay Photographs | candypop.uk.com

STYLING

Now the fun part! I usually have an object or theme in mind to start with and then I collect things from all over my home. There are no rules so feel free to experiment, I find the best photographs come from happy accidents.

When you have a collection of things start placing them on the background. You can keep your styling minimal and inside the viewfinder or completely fill the space. Experiment with colours and textures and keep moving things until you’re happy with the composition. I use blu-tack on anything that needs holding in place and I’ll admit to making a huge mess as I create!

CAPTURE

As you’re styling, take test shots to see how things are shaping up and when everything is looking gorgeous you can take your final shots. Be mindful of the angle, you want to ensure you are directly over the scene and in the middle. I take between five and ten so I can pick the clearest. I also prop up white card behind the flat lay to reflect the light from the window, this also softens any shadows.

How to Take Flat Lay Photographs | candypop.uk.com

PRACTICE

I love learning and evolving my style and I find the flat lay process extremely therapeutic. Sometimes things don’t work or it takes me time to warm up and that’s fine. Never be hard on yourself, creativity should always be a joy.

**

My image is for Styling the Seasons, run by Katy of Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte of Lotts and Lots who this month have teamed up with the queen of floral flat lay Emily Quinton. If you would like to have a go then do pop over to Emily’s blog for more details.

How to Take Flat Lay Photographs | candypop.uk.com

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22 Comments

  • Reply Eva 19th November 2015 at 3:20 pm

    you always make a beautiful pictures!
    In winter, I used make photos in my terrace because love the natural light !

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 19th November 2015 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks so much Eva!

  • Reply Fiona 19th November 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Your photos are so beautiful, thank you for sharing these tips. You have inspired me to give it a go, well, when there’s some remnants of daylight in the north anyway x

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 19th November 2015 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks so much Victoria. I hope you have fun!

  • Reply Lori 19th November 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Ooh I do love a good flat lay images and I’m just in the process of buying a few backdrops for my images. Loving all the ferns x

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 19th November 2015 at 8:55 pm

      Thanks Lori for stopping by, have a great evening.

  • Reply Sue 19th November 2015 at 9:11 pm

    *sigh* these are lovely images. I’ve decided it’s about time I got a proper camera- what do you use? X

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 21st November 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks Susie. I use my man’s iPhone (6 plus) and a Canon 5D mark II.

  • Reply Jess @ Along Came Cherry 20th November 2015 at 6:22 am

    Great tips! I am terrible at styling photos but I really need to get better at it as I have to take so many photos for my craft blog. I am definitely going to do some more practice 🙂 These photos are gorgeous x

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 21st November 2015 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks so much Jess for your kind comment! 🙂

  • Reply Penny 20th November 2015 at 12:19 pm

    What a great post, so useful! many thanks x

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 21st November 2015 at 12:28 pm

      Thank you Penny for popping over!

  • Reply tinajo 22nd November 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks for reminding me – I´ve forgotten how fun this can be! 🙂

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 23rd November 2015 at 10:53 am

      Haha, thank you!

  • Reply Kathryn 23rd November 2015 at 10:51 am

    Love your images – styling flatlays is fun and so therapeutic like you say, as long as I have lots of time and light to play with! xx

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 23rd November 2015 at 10:54 am

      Thanks Kat. Yes time and light are definitely helpful when taking photos! Have a great day.

  • Reply Katy 23rd November 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I love this and great tips! My biggest issue is figuring out how to use the light to my benefit – definitely an area for improvement xx

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 23rd November 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Thank you Katy for your kind comment. Light can be tricky, my issue is often the white balance.

  • Reply tracey witts 23rd November 2015 at 4:32 pm

    brilliant advice something we need to think about more!

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 23rd November 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Thank you Tracey!

  • Reply Katie Albury 24th November 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Love your photos…flat lay images are my fave! Thanks so much for sharing these tips- I’ll defo try the white card idea x

  • Reply Julia @ Rainbeaubelle 16th June 2017 at 6:23 am

    Brilliant advice thank you! 🙂

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