Last week I told you about my new project with flat lays on Instagram right? @coolflatlays has new posts almost every day and I’m really enjoying it. If you are still not following me there, keep an eye because some of the tips I will share here today I showed in real time on the Instagram stories and I have answered questions by direct.
But continuing the first post with 6 tips for a perfect flat lay photo I decided to share some more tricks and details about this type of photography. Take a look!
I use the flat lay photos basically only on Instagram (@coolflatlays!). So for me the ideal photos are in square format so the feed looks more beautiful and harmonic.
As I said on a previous post with general photography tips, I make all the photos with the Canon 6D, including the flat lay ones. But I can not always scale the square photo correctly just by looking before shooting, so I use the iphone camera in the square format to preview my composition.
This way I can make sure that the photo will be in the square size without the need to cut a piece or much margin left. To make sure that it was exactly as I imagined it, I still take the photo from the camera to the cell phone through the wi-fi and already check with some editing program if the framing was perfect. Nothing worse than undone the entire composition and then realizing that the format was not square!
For me the flat lay is an art of patience to get the best result. One of these days I will count how many times I go up and down the ladder to align some object or improve the framing or simply change everything and start over again.
Often just looking I can not identify if the overall harmony of the photo is good, so I need to shoot and analyze in the camera if the result is as I imagined. And being very sincere, it rarely gets perfect at first.
Look below for some records I made while I was producing a flat lay. I started with an idea, then I decided to change everything and not satisfied I changed everything again. It’s like this most of the time, take a look:
All this to arrive at this result here:
3. Objects in the right place
This tip I showed 2 times in @cooflatlays ‘ stories while shooting. Properly positioning objects is essential to having a perfect photo, but this is not always an easy task when you have rounded or sloping pieces.
This is the case with most glasses! When you put it on the table, usually the glasses are tilted, because of the format. To ensure that it is positioned up and well looking in the photo I use a blue glue, like a clay, which is reusable, glue on everything without ruining it and can be used in the size and quantity you want.
Mine is the one from the photo below, Blu Tack. I’ve had it for about 10 years and it’s still perfect and very useful. I did not find this brand to sell in Brazil, but there a few similar version, has anyone tried it? Anyway, I highly recommend this, because it saves our life when it comes to positioning objects.
Down here I gave an example with glasses, which I use a lot. Notice that in the first photo the glasses are in the original position and in the second, already with the glue, it is facing upwards. In this case it is a detail, but it can also be used to hold a pencil, for example, that does not stand in the correct position.
Anyway, the possibilities are many and this glue can facilitate a lot the positioning of the objects.
In flat lay photos inspiration can come from anywhere! I have, for example, loved to look for sources other than fashion. Of course, clothes and accessories keep popping up around here, but I’ve had fun trying to photograph them with food, flowers … So now I find a lot of inspiration going to the supermarket (yes!). Sometimes I see a different chocolate or some colourful candies and already imagine a photo.
Another unusual place that can inspire some pics: those general stories that sell almost everything, you know? There are a thousand items and between candles, stationery and artificial flowers you can find new ideas. I would rather have used real flowers, but since I did not find in the flower shop near here what I had imagined, I went to one of these little shops to take the picture down here. The bouquet of flowers was not exactly beautiful, so I cut the branches and thought it worked super well.
That is, you do not have to spend a lot or have incredible things to do flat lays, the inspiration can be in the simplest places!
I have said many times that the ideal is always to photograph from above the composition of flat lay. I usually use a ladder to get a good distance and so I can position myself exactly on top of objects.
Sometimes even though you take several photos and try to guarantee this ideal positioning, the photo may not have the correct perspective and this is visible especially in straight objects. But some small perspective mistakes can be easily corrected while editing photos.
As I mentioned in the post about photography in general, I use the Snapseed app a lot to edit the photos on the phone. And in this app yourect can correct the perspective problem, it’s really easy.
Just click on: Transform > Horizontal and/or vertical perspective (to change the options just keep your finger pressed on the screen and drag down)
Below is an example of before and after. I did not edit the edges of the photos so that you could better visualize the perspective correction. Note that in the photo on the left the top edge of the photo and the stripes are tilted down. The objects on the left seem closer to the lens right?
I used Snapseed’s horizontal perspective tool and corrected that error. It looks like the stripes and the edge of the photo appear straighter and the objects at the same distance from the camera.
How about these new tips? I tried to put some things very practical that anyone who is already trying some flat lays can practice now and see the difference! I’ll keep posting on @coolflatlays and as soon as I have new tricks and tips to share I’ll post here.
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