How to take flay lay photos.  Lighting, tips and tricks you need to get the perfect flat lay photo.  More on

One of my goals this year was to become a fit exercise-loving mum improve my photography especially for my beauty blog so I’ve been poring through plenty of photography books trying to understand all the jargon, pushing all the buttons on my cameras and scrolling through Instagram every hour.

If you haven’t noticed, flat lays are the new black!

All flat lays are equal, but some flat lays are more perfect than others.

If you want to learn to how to take flat lay photos like a boss, then read on for my 10 tips :-

lighting for flat lay photos

1.  Lighting

This will help create a clear photo highlighting all the details.  Set up your flat lay near a big window where natural light will shine through and don’t forget to position yourself to avoid lurking shadows in the photo.

2.  Background

Plain backgrounds work best as a bold backgrounds can drown out the items you are trying to highlight.  If you don’t want to go for the same old solid white backgrounds, try using wallpaper, wooden floorboards, bed covers or your partner’s bare back!  { << just joking and making sure you’re paying attention! }

3.  Use Blu Tack

Tack down the items that have a tendency to roll away, e.g. lipstick

4.  Make it pretty

Use your common visualising senses here.  For example – think carefully of product positioning, don’t post up dirty stained clothes, don’t use too many clashy colourful items, do think of negative space, sometimes less is more and sometimes more is less… { and sometimes I don’t even understand what I just wrote!!! }

flat lay tips, flat lay photography, flat lay tutorial

5.  Square format

If you’re uploading your flat lay onto Instagram, then remember they like square format photos so you may want to set up your items in a square { or if you have an iPhone, select the Square option }.

However, if you haven’t shot square then don’t panic because just download the free Whitagram app as it adds a white border to your rectangular photo to make it square.  Or just crop it till you’re happy with it.

6.  Camera

Nowadays, smartphones can take great photos…but if you want to go one up, use an actual  camera.  A lot of cameras these days are Wifi enabled which means you can snap the photo, send it to your email and then download onto your phone to upload onto Instagram.  { Unfortunately, none of my cameras have this Wifi function… *hint hint* to the Camera Giving Gods }

7.  Props

Get prop happy to add a special touch to your photos, e.g. flowers, candles, inspirational quote prints, MacBook, magazines

8.  Steady hands

Nobody likes a blurry eyeball-hurting shot.  Hold your breath as you take the photo.  Or if it is possible, use a tripod.

9.  Practice makes perfect

Nobody is a flat-lay-born pro!  Just keep practising and take a number of shots till you get it right.

how to take flatlays, flatlay photo tips, flat lay photography

10.  Get flat lay inspiration

Search the hashtag #flatlays on Instagram and follow the people that catch your eye.  Obviously, don’t be a copycat but identify what you like about their style and find different ways to incorporate that into your own flat lay photos.

Read my 5 favourite flat lay Instagrammers you should follow now for inspiration.

I hope these 10 tips have been helpful.  Now, go forth and flat lay like a boss!

P.S.  If you aren’t following me on my Instagram account @LingOutLoud { beauty / food / baby / life photos }, you are dead to me!!! 😛

Do you have any more flat laying tips?  If so, pop them down in the comments because sharing is caring!

23 Comments on How To Take Flat Lay Photos Like A Boss – 10 Tips

  1. Adeline
    November 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm (3 years ago)

    I love flatlay shots! Great tips Ling! And HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS BLOG?

    • Ling
      November 11, 2014 at 4:01 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you Adeline <3 <3 And yay, now you know! 😀

  2. Johanna
    November 11, 2014 at 9:36 pm (3 years ago)

    So informative! I was just thinking about how I needed to improve my flat lay photos, and voila, I find this post. Thank you!

    • Ling
      November 11, 2014 at 9:58 pm (3 years ago)

      Yay! I’m glad I could help Johanna! 🙂

  3. Sonia Life Love Hiccups
    November 12, 2014 at 9:19 am (3 years ago)

    Love this tutorial Ling. I will have to share with some of our sellers on Down That Little Lane as their flat lay attempts are ummmm not the best to say it lightly 😉 xx

    • Ling
      November 14, 2014 at 9:43 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Sonia 🙂 I’m glad this was useful 🙂 Happy Friday x

  4. Jess - alittlepartoftheworld
    November 18, 2014 at 8:24 am (3 years ago)

    Great tips Ling! I love a flat lay and have been know to bust out a few. Loved reading this… thanks Jx

    • Ling
      November 18, 2014 at 10:46 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Jess! 🙂 Funnily enough, I haven’t taken any flat lays since I posted up my tips haha! Need to fix that asap methinks 😛

  5. Gina
    June 26, 2015 at 9:05 am (2 years ago)

    Great tips! I want to start creating flat lays for a more creative look for my jewelry pieces and these tips helped get me started. Thanks! 🙂

    • Ling
      July 9, 2015 at 7:27 pm (2 years ago)

      You’re welcome Gina 😀

  6. AlamHati
    August 20, 2015 at 11:37 am (2 years ago)

    i love flatlay shot… I’m still improving my photo…thanks for the tips…

    • Ling
      September 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm (2 years ago)

      Yay, you’re welcome 😀 Practice makes perfect!

  7. Simply Uneeke
    December 25, 2015 at 9:07 am (2 years ago)

    The only reason why i don’t flat lay is because i dont have space and my room is carpeted with an ugly color and i cant even remove it lol. but thanks for the tips

  8. Beautyandthedressblog
    February 5, 2016 at 9:50 pm (2 years ago)

    You made me laugh in otherwise sad day with your bare back joke!!… Thanks for the tips. Very handy!!

    • Ling
      February 14, 2016 at 7:43 pm (2 years ago)

      Haha, I’m glad you found that funny 😛

  9. Gita
    March 10, 2016 at 3:38 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi….like the bare back joke. It means I’m pay attention, right? ?

    One more about flat lays, I think the composition is important too….u don’t want the poi (point of interest) dissapear among the props right… Like the article and tips thanks!

    • Ling
      May 27, 2016 at 1:57 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, you are paying attention Gita! Thanks for getting my sense of humour

  10. Farrukh Naeem - Social Media Consultant in UAE
    March 29, 2016 at 5:46 pm (2 years ago)

    Dear Ling,

    I didn’t even know what these images were called until recently and then I looked up how to take them and found YOU!

    I have been blogging since 2006 and really loved your writing style and humour. Your Irish exposure must have something to do with it!

    Look forward to visiting your blog again…

    • Ling
      May 27, 2016 at 1:57 pm (2 years ago)

      LOL, thanks for the feedback Farrukh!

    • Ling
      September 13, 2016 at 8:32 pm (1 year ago)

      You’re welcome 🙂

  11. wella
    March 4, 2017 at 5:39 pm (10 months ago)

    Thanks for the tip, it’s really helpful. Really need to follow you for more!

  12. Gina
    July 30, 2017 at 2:49 am (5 months ago)

    Just what I was looking for. Thanks for the info and inspiration.


Leave a Reply