Flat Lay Photography: The Ultimate, Easiest, and Coolest Guide

Updated on April 23, 2022 in Photography by

Flat Lay Photography: The Ultimate, Easiest, and Coolest Guide

The world of photography has yet again reformed the way to capture your products. This time it is the Flat lay product photography or simple Flat lay photography.

It is a simple, minimalistic, and value-adding style of showcasing a product(s) in their most natural way- played down. Now that this isn’t a rule that laying down will be their natural “habitat”.

It’s your creative liberty whether you would like to show your product in a new way or would you like it to make it look the way in the day to day life. But as the new trend is demanding, in this article we will discuss Flat lay photography.

flat lay photography

Some key points discussed here are

  • What are “Flat lays”?
  • What is Flat layus used for?
  • Why are Flatlays so Popular?
  • Best Kinds of Flat Lay Photography with Examples

What are “Flat lays”?

Nothing complex here. Flat lays are the products that are laid down and are captured right from above, thus, called flat lay photography. Here the ground acts as the backdrop, with the camera focused on the product like a “bird’s eye view”. Sometimes different complementing objects or props are also added in the Flat Lay Photography, but this is completely your choice or the situational demand whether or not would like them in your frame.

As you are aware, flat lay photography has turned out to gain a lot of popularity. Hence everyone is trying out their own versions of flat lay photography. Be it minimalistic or cluttered, symmetrical or irregular, complementing or contrasting it is all up to you how you would like to present your product.

What are flat lays used for?

flat lay photography

Frankly, these can be used for anything, but most commonly these are used for product photography. These are some of the most artistic and popular images right now on the internet.

Hence many of the eCommerce brands are preferring Flat lay product photography for their eCommerce, banners, ads, and social media too.

Why are Flatlays so Popular?

It might be hard to quote it, but the reason for such popularity of flat lay photography is the fact that we are attracted to the things that are arranged in a particular manner. Remember that flat lays are just lying down, but are arranged down in a manner to either make it appealing or eye-catching.

Just to give a heads up, symmetrically arranged products in a frame, as well as complementing colors are more appealing and eye-pleasing. Whereas asymmetrical and contrasting colors grab the attention of the eyes quicker.

How do you Take Good Flat lays?

Flat lay photography might be among the easiest and budget-friendly product photography techniques. But in order to take good flat lays, you would need to remember the following tips.

Understand the Purpose

flat lay photography

The purpose and the use of Flat lay product photography must be very clear from the beginning.

If you are doing mass product photography for an eCommerce, then make sure that all the images have consistency, symmetry, and complementary backdrop to make it more appealing.

Moreover, you can use contrast and asymmetry in capturing ads such as in banners or ads.

Show Off the Styles (Bundle)

flat lay product photography

If you are capturing a product that has a distinctive part, which is essential in the overall look of the product rather than holding back show-off in your flat lay photography.

If you are doing apparel flat-lay product photography, you may also use pins, double-sided tapes, and sticks, etc. to make it look more appealing to the customer.

In addition also make sure that before you capture your images, you remove any unwanted dirt, mark, loose threads, or links in the frame. It is essential as this would make the product look fresher.

Arrange the Product

flat lay photography

In flat lay photography, the core theme is the arrangement of the product. This means, arranging your products is the most important thing that you must take care of. If you are just starting out, you can try different, yet proven composition techniques. We highly recommend you read our recent blog on Top 24 Composition Techniques That will Improve your Photos.

Use your light wisely

flat lay photography

Light plays a key role in sharing the tone in any photography. But in flat lay photography, it decides where to focus. So have natural lighting like from the window and make sure you face the light. This will force your shadow on the other side hence your frame won’t be affected.

Now adjust the lighting and your camera in a manner to set a focus on the desired product. Make sure that even though the frame might be in focus your eye should catch only a particular product. That is the main product.

Bring In Layers

flat lay photography

Flat lay product photography can sometimes become too flat. In order to resolve this issue, you can add layers to the frame. The most common practices are either to put a piece of paper below the object or by placing a complementing object near the camera while the focus is still set on the product itself. 

Capture in RAW

flat lay photography

RAW as you might know is a file format that saves all the details of the image. It is very important you use this format in flat-lay product photography as the need for image editing is very high.

The RAW format might take a lot of space on your card, but when you outsource your product images, to the best product image editing service you can expect to get your desired result.

Best Kinds of Flat lay Photography with Example

Now with all the above tips, we hope you are set to start flat lay photography. So here are some of the most interesting, eye-catching Flat lay product photography kinds that you can use.

1. Negative Space

Here the product is placed strategically in order to leave enough amount of space around the product. This way the image looks more milimistics and the focus stays on the product itself as there is nothing more in the frame.

flat lay product photography

2. Cluttered / Un-grid

In the following image, there are numerous products in a single frame that looks scary. But in order to get these flat lay photography right, you would need to place all the products in a way that might look cluttered but aren’t annoying.

Flat Lay Photography

3. Grid

If you believe that clutter was not your way of photography then Grids might come in handy for your flat lay product photography. You can either create symmetry with similar products or if you have a bunch of different products, you can arrange them systematically.

flat lay product photography

4. Contract

Bring contrast in the frame gives you a great range to bring attention to the frame. Moreover, this is a great start if you are just starting your flat lay photography.

Flat Lay Photography

5. Adding Props

Props are a great way to fill in the frame, especially in flat-lay product photography where the goal brings in a new perspective. But make sure that props drive attention to the main product and doesn’t catch the attention of the viewer.

Flat Lay Product Photography

6. Layering

As we have been saying before, adding layers is one of the finest ways to bring frames to an image. Adding different layers in your flat lay photography can help enhance the image and make the image look more professional.

Flat Lay Photography

As per your part, you can start by trying all the above kinds of flat lay photography to find out what works for you the best. In addition, you can also mix up these photography styles to find the sweet spot where the image is different and attractive at the same time.

Bonus Read

In saying that, we conclude the following article. But ending it, we’d recommend you to read apparel photography mistakes. If you would like to keep yourself updated on topics like photography, Product image Editing, Clipping Path, model photo editing, marketing, and more, subscribe to the PixelPhant email newsletter below.

Subscribe to our news letter

Hex PixelPhant Private Limited © 2016-22. All rights reserved.