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How to Style a Flat Lay | 5 Ways to Kill it on INSTAGRAM

Instagram has nowadays a really popular type of photos, (aside the selfie of course), is the Flat Lay.

The flat lay is iconic in the world of Instagram and Outfit or Beauty Blogs, for a good reason. The art of arranging object in a visually pleasing way and shooting from above is something everyone is able to do. And you can showcase nearly anything you want. The possibilities are endless, from food to Beauty Product to random object nearly everything is possible

To demonstrate and to show you how you create a Flat Lay I have put together five different Flat Lays.



The traditional grid is a Flat Lay which you will achieve by line up your object in a “square format” when framing your photo. Imagine grid lines while laying out object on a flat surface. Keep the items straight and balanced in composition. It is helpful to have a tripod to keep things from shaking. If you use a Smartphone and Instagram it is easy to get the “square format” just use the Instagram Photo tool. If you use a normal camera you will get not a “square format” you have a “rectangle format”, according to this circumstances you have to left some negative space on the right and left of your image so that you can crop the image later on in the Instagram App, Photoshop, Gimp or any other Image manipulation Software. 



Let’s call this style “Controlled Chaos”. The trick is to achieving the right framing and balance. If you want to highlight an item then use the other items to create movement around it. This Flat Lay does definitely looks like everything fell perfectly out of your bag, closet or hand onto your desk. But believe me there is more the just throw some items on a table, there is a lot of handiwork involved to create a “Lifestyled” Flat Lay. This style works even for food. But Food Photography is much more then just a Flat Lay and I will cover Food-Photography for Bloggers in another Post in the future.



This Flat Lay is basically a hybrid of the “Lifestyled” photo style. The key or difference is that items have to been removed or pushed away from the “highlighting” area. Just work intentionally to leave some space open so you can add your text message. While working on images like this it is always a good idea to check the framing through your camera or on your Smart Phone. A good way to arrange the object is to via the “Rule of Third” or the “Golden Ratio”.



It is always a good idea to have an handful of options when shooting your setups. The image is an example for that. Just turn the camera angle a little bit. This gives you a totally different look and composition. If you missed to shoot in an different angle you can always alter the rotation and the visible frame using Photoshop or Gimp or whatever you use.



A Flat Lay with Negative Space gives you a lot of space to put some Text in or just let the layout breathe.


All the Styles above are the basics. There is much more to tell about the Flat Lay Style. I will cover that in some future Posts.




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