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How-To: 3 Steps to Ace A Flatlay

For all my photogs who might need some help with styling product, here are quick tips to perfect the flatlay.

Flatlay How To Guide
Flatlay: How-To Guide

The classic flatlay. The most trendy and stylish way to showcase product, ideas, and with good reason. Flatlays allow bloggers and influencers to tell stories in an organized and aesthetically attractive way. But for anyone who has tried to make a flat lay, I'm sure they've found that there are some tricks to the trade. Like everything, there is a science. Below I illustrate my three tricks to making a good flatlay: 1.) Numbers Are Everything

There are a few design laws that apply to flatlays, and one is that odds are in your favor...

Flatlay How To Guide
Flatlay Numbers Rule

Odds are a feng shui law as well, and it turns out ancient Chinese knew what they were talking about. Our human brains can't help but pair everything together, so when we hang a symmetrical even number of something, while it could look fine, our brains pair those things together and it doesn't hold our interest the same way odds can.

In the above photo, I have seven different things grouped in five:

Flatlay How To Guide
Flatlay: How to Group Objects

2.) Start with your Focal Point and Frame with Props in a Spiral

Rule of thumb, there should always be a focal point, and to accent that focal point, you should frame it to focus the viewer and grab attention.

Flatlay How To Guide
Flatlay Spiral Rule

If you notice, everything is connected with imaginary lines. The text in the scrips hanging is slanted to point to the stamps, which point back to it. The deer is turned into the picture opposed to out of frame, the twine and "O" in "hello" almost connect. Then in the bottom right corner the package stuffing literally reaches toward the text. The props are curated in a cohesive manner to maximize focus and minimize distractions from the center.

3.) Props are Everything!It seems obvious, but if your flatlay is disconnected from what you're talking about, it will show. Flatlays are the easiest way to curate and connect a visual to a message you want to give. There are a lot of factors that go into picking props: color coordination, relevance, shape, material. As you can see my props are pretty monochromatic in the flatlay above, but below, I have an example of a flatlay I did for my 9-5, and I kept it pretty monochromatic. You can absolutely have bright colors that pop, or complementary colors, whatever works, just make sure it's consistent.

Flatlay How To Guide
Flatlay Color Tip

Anyway! I hope this helps! It's always a fun activity to practice flatlays. I feel like I've said flatlay 1000 times. Flatlay, flatlay, flatlay. There. 1003. Happy making, Jess

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