Flat lay photos connect with audiences.
“It isn’t just people selling things. It’s people showing their audience what their world is like, how they stay organized, what a morning looks like for them, or what they take when they travel,” says Elkady. “Flat lay photography has been a great way for people to get to know the person behind the scenes and the world that they live in.”
Flat lays give the creator complete control over the composition, which means complete control over the message the image sends. With the right setup and some simple props, anyone can try the flat lay style at home. That makes it an accessible photography style, and it makes your content relatable, by showing how anyone with the right ingredients or tools can complete a recipe or project.
Equipment for photographing flat lays.
The most important items you need for flat lay photography include a good source of light and a way to hold your camera steadily above the items you shoot.
Invest in a good tripod.
You can take a flat lay simply by holding your phone or camera over an arrangement of items on the floor. However, it can be a challenge to hold your camera completely still and level. A phone or camera tripod that can face downward with a small bubble level will be a huge help. Alternatively, a C-stand — a type of scaffolding for camera equipment — can hold your camera in addition to lights and other equipment.
If you plan to shoot a large array of items or shoot on a raised surface like a table, you may want to invest in a more high-quality tripod or C-stand that can rise up higher than cheaper options. This will give you enough space to shoot large compositions.
“I’ve found that my clients like those larger scenes with lots of objects and lots of storytelling,” says Elkady. “They can get more out of that image. When you have a larger scene, you’re able to crop it into micro scenes, and the content goes further for the client.”
Get a tethering app or cable.
Control your camera from your laptop or mobile device with a digital tethering app or physical cable. You can then adjust camera settings and see your image results without the need to take your camera off its tripod or C-stand.