Evan Lang


How to Master Instagram Flat-Lays

Everyone knows that selfies are the most predominant images on social media these days. But did you know that flat-lays are also supremely popular on Instagram?

Flat-lays are a cool way to photograph and share anything and everything on Instagram by laying objects flat on a surface and shooting them from the air at a 90 degree angle. These four-by-four images allow you to document your experiences while putting your creativity to the test.

But how can you make your flat-lays pop and give them that professional look? Here are the secrets to getting the perfect flat-lay for posting on Instagram.

Use Different Backdrops

Although it may seems counterintuitive, the background of your flat-lay often sets the tone and determines whether it will have a professional or amateur look. Experiment with different backgrounds and see what makes your subjects jump out of the photograph.

You can try simple, single-color backgrounds, backdrops with patterns, or monochrome black/white backgrounds.

Here’s an insider tip: if you are traveling, use location-based items for your backdrop. Some examples are pebbles, sand, or seashells from a beach, cobblestone streets, unique hotel bed sheets, or a stack of travel documents.

Choose a Focal Point and Theme

Before beginning to organize and lay out your shot, pick the piece that will be your focal point. Think about what the flat-lay is about and try and create a visual representation of that thing. Use that piece to serve as the central point in your frame and then surround it with other pieces. This will create a sense of unification and evenness that will lead to a well-composed photograph.

Be Quirky

Take advantage of location specific items to spice up your image and give it some character. Use accessories that are unique to the country you are in or time of year you are taking the picture. Some examples are your passport if you are traveling, holiday-related accessories, and sea shells or stones from the area you are in. These small accessories add detail to the image and can help incorporate charm and humor to your shot.

Keep It Simple

This is an important tip that is often overlooked. Cluttered and complicated images can be difficult to understand and may even confuse your Instagram followers. Make use of white space to give the items breathing room. A well-arranged scene should be casual and well executed but shouldn’t look cluttered.

Don’t try and cram every related item into the scene. Be decisive and add only the most important pieces or the ones that are most visually appealing.

Shoot From A High Vantage Point

In order to get the proper look for a flat-lay, it is important not only to shoot directly above your arranged items but also to shoot from high up. This gives the flat-lay its unique style and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Keep this in mind when you are planning your flat-lay. Don’t be afraid of using items around you such as higher ground, chairs, and steps to get up high enough. Sometimes the scenery is the perfect tool to get the right vantage point.

These are just some of the most important tips to consider when planning and shooting a flat-lay. Whether you are an amateur photographer or a professional with years of experience, these tips will help you get the perfect shot for your Instagram followers.

Evan Lang