Flat-lay photography can elevate your next fit, fashion capsule, or clothing photoshoot. We see this aesthetic all the time on Instagram, Pinterest, and Tiktok's “Get Ready With Me” videos.
It’s a great way to showcase how clothes fit together. And, it can even act as a POV for when you’re trying out a new fit.
But, you can’t just grab a phone and take pics while going hunchback, arching to angle the shot right. Like winter, the season fits—there are layers to this. We’ll show you how to get it right!
In a nutshell, flat lays are photos taken from a bird’s eye view, top-down, or if you want specifics, a 90-degree angle, parallel to a surface. Here are a couple of examples:
Men’s Fashion Style Feed does a great job with its flat flays. It’s even more effective because they don’t only show the clothes—they provide inspiration for your next fit.
With the basics out of the way, here’s what you need to get started.
If you’re a clothing brand, flat lays are going to be your bread and butter. Here is the equipment you need to ensure you get the perfect shots:
Aside from the equipment, lighting is another important factor to consider. Remember, how light hits your subject directly affects the vibe of the shot.
You can go for natural light but it’s not optimal for flat lays. If you want to streamline your photoshoots, invest in a good LED or ring light.
With the proper lighting equipment, you don’t have to be at the mercy of mother nature. You can shoot anytime that you want, even during the night.
If that’s not an option at the moment, be sure to take your shots close to a light source. Make sure to diffuse the light coming in with a curtain or similar material if the light’s too harsh.
Got your gear ready? Good! It’s time to take your flat lays! Here are eight ideas you can draw inspiration from for your next photoshoot.
Iron your clothes. It’s not just for making clothes look presentable. You want people that look at your flat lay to go “Damn, I want to pick that up and wear that fit today—where can I get this?”.
Nobody’s gonna get that reaction with wrinkly clothes. Imagine it being a POV. It’s not your clothes, it’s your audience’s. To make it even more effective, add a story to it.
Picture this, you’re looking at a flat lay on Instagram. It’s cute. You see sunglasses, a pearl necklace, and an adorable yellow dress. The first thing that comes to mind? We’re going on a beach trip!
During the product staging phase, arrange the clothes in a way that allows your audience to envision themselves in real-world scenarios.
Share your flat lays with a clear purpose in mind. It can be a gateway for your Instagram or Pinterest followers to learn more about your brand on your website.
Plus, they’re simple enough that they can fit anywhere, be it on your fashion blog, Instagram feed, or short videos for Tiktok and YouTube.
Props are like adlibs in your favorite song. Think of Taylor Swift’s Bejeweled. That “Nice!” adlib is like ear candy but it doesn’t take away from the song. In fact, you don’t even need it.
Props do to flat lay photos what adlibs do for music. You don’t essentially “need” them. But they enhance a lot of what you’re trying to feature.
Try adding props that complement the hue of the clothes or arrange them in a way that directs the focus to your main subject.
Different backgrounds help determine the feel of the shot. For example, wooden tables give off an earthy and rustic vibe. Marble table tops give a cleaner look and help emphasize the clothes.
Even wrinkled bed covers can add familiar elements to your flat lays (let’s be real, our beds are wrinkly most of the time). But, when choosing your background, be mindful of the color.
Backgrounds with the opposite hue to clothes make them pop. You wouldn’t want a white backdrop for an all-white fit.
There are a lot of options for highlighting the details in flat lays. Two of the most practical are styling clothes to purposely showcase the details and using lower-angle lighting.
You can get even more detailed by adding the product details or dimensions of the clothes.
Anything other than a 90-degree shot won’t be considered flat lays. But, we can make our photos more diverse and dynamic by rotating the lens or shifting the composition.
Layer complementary props under your subject to add depth. Another tip is to use low-angle lighting to highlight imperfections on the clothes such as tiny wrinkles.
Once you have your shots, edit them. Granted, not everybody knows how to edit, especially with software like Lightroom. Luckily, Pixelcut’s got you covered!
Flat lay photography is an engaging way to highlight your clothing photoshoots. But, before hitting the shutter, consider the following:
If you want an editing tool that’s free, easy-to-use, and available on-the-go, look no further than Pixelcut! Sign up today and streamline editing for your next flat lay photoshoot!