Flat Lay photography is an insanely easy way to showcase the awesome items you sell/produce. Whether you want to create some sweet ads for your small business or up your personal branding game, we’ll take you through all the steps to creating the perfect flat lay design. It’s relatively simple to do and all you need is your phone.

The elements of a good flatlay 


The biggest thing to consider before shooting a flatlay is getting the lighting right! It’s all about getting a really soft natural light (preferably late in the afternoon or early in the morning). Direct sunlight is often too harsh, and artificial lighting can make the whole photograph yellow and really unnatural. Try not to use a flash, as this is going to create shadows.


It always helps to have a really simple backdrop for the products. Get your hands on some plain or textured cardboard (it can be coloured too depending on what you’re taking pictures of), some simple floor boards or marble bench tops can work nicely too. The simpler the background is the more product you can include without making it too busy and messy.


Composition is everything, and often less is more! Don’t feel like you always need to fill the entire frame with product, because empty space can work really well, particularly when you want a certain product to pop out! If you have a hero product that needs the most attention, lay this down first and then continue to place bits and pieces around it so as not to distract from the main purpose of the shot! Create balance in your photo by mixing smaller objects with larger objects and placing objects of similar colours on both sides of the image.

Florence H Boutique
Product Photography for Florence H Boutique by DSF Media

Pick a Theme

What’s the theme of your flat lay? The theme is important because your flatlay should tell a story or describe a moment in time, so ensure every piece of the flatlay helps to tell the story and is in line with the overall theme. The theme could be anything, from travel, fashion, beauty and food to ‘a day in the life’ or ‘what’s in my bag.’ Whatever you’re going for, keep your theme in mind while selecting your props so you end up with a cohesive look.


Pick a lot of props (more than you would conceivably use) so that you can swap things in and out while you’re composing your shot. Also, try to pick objects of varying sizes and shapes in order to create visual interest. Lastly, it helps to have a colour palette in mind while you’re picking your props—the colour coordination adds to the overall polish.

When setting up your shot, leave a little bit of space between each object. This will help highlight each prop and keep your shot from looking cluttered.

Get a helping hand

If you want to create a look that has a sense of movement and action, consider enlisting the help of a friend/hand model.

Vane Polish
Product Photography for Grey Velvet Stores by DSF Media. Photographed by Midey Wey

Shoot from above

Climb up on a ladder or step stool and get shooting. Creating distance between you and the flat lay will help you fit everything into the shot. This is also one of the only ways to ensure that your photo really looks flat.

Don’t forget to leave space for text and graphics!



Now post your wonderful creation & don’t forget to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the shiny glow of all your newly acquired likes.

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