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.
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.
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.
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 or the local woods as was the case above. There are no rules so feel free to experiment, I find the best photographs sometimes 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!
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.
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.
Do you have any tips for flat lay photography?