how to take your own professional flat lay photos

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Jordyn Witko
 author / founder / CEO

As a creative entrepreneur, I know first hand how lonely and challenging starting a business can be with minimal resources, guidance and community. I was desperate to connect with like-minded females, and discover time-saving productivity hacks, and mindset / routine tips of other successful business owners, so I created Boss Girls Society, focused on sharing proven tips, tools and templates to help you build, launch and scale your own empire, along with a free online community.


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mandana yusupova
Blog contributor

Professional looking photos are a key component in attracting your audience. You don’t have to have a professional camera or a photography studio or even expensive lighting and equipment. All the materials you need can be found around your house. Here are a few helpful tricks to make your images look like they came straight out of a magazine!

1. Lighting is key

Lighting is the most important part of capturing well lit, crisp photographs. It is best to take your photos next to an open window, allowing the optimal amount of light to hit your subject. Making sure your scene is well lit will help ensure sharp images. If it is a particularly sunny day, this will create bold shadows behind your products for a very stylized look. You can vertically place a white poster board next to your scene to act as a reflector to bounce the light and fill your shadows. This will give your scene a more evenly lit look.

2. An aesthetic background

Depending on the type of photo you want to take, make sure you have a clean background that matches the theme of your subjects. For flat lay product photos, use an appealing surface such as a marble coffee table, a nice dark wood floor, a fur blanket or knit clothing, or if you’d like to keep it simple and clean, a white poster board or blank wall. You can experiment with different textures and props from around your house. Scouting Home Goods or the Target Home section are always great places to find affordable and trendy props and backdrops.

3. Subject Composition

The arrangement of your subjects is vital. When shooting product flat lays, try to avoid simply lining the items up and instead, try angling or staggering your products around your scene to create the most interesting composition.

4. It’s all about the angle

When photographing flat lays, the most common angle is from straight above. Without blocking the light source, try using a chair or a tall tripod to level your camera directly above your scene. You can also experiment with different angles, try getting closer to one side of your scene for a shallow depth-of-field and blurred background effect (you need a lens with a longer focal length to achieve this).

5. Editing

Post processing is also very important and will give your images a polished look if done properly. All RAW photos could use improvement, whether it’s simply brightening them, color correcting, cropping, straightening or adding a subtle filter. Filters are nice if you want all of your images to look consistent and on brand. For simple and quick retouching, you can use an app with easy to use editing tools and pre-made filters, such as VSCO or Enlight. If you want to further adjust the exposure or tones, etc, we recommend using a more professional solution like Lightroom. There is no right or wrong answer, find some inspo, have fun with it and create your own unique style!

6. Quality over quantity

If you only take away one piece of our advice, let it be this: make sure you are shooting high quality content. That doesn’t mean you have to go drop 2 grand on a fancy DSLR camera or the latest studio equipment, one of the latest iPhones will do. However, lighting and quality are two of the most important aspects of taking a good photo, and making sure you are shooting crisp photos in a good lighting will make or break the content you produce.





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