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09/09/2015
Because it’s harder than it looks.

Words by

Salil Kumar

We here at FJ are a little bit obsessed with a good flatlay. But those of you who have attempted the feat that is laying a handful of oddly shaped items on a flat surface, will know it takes a lot of work.

So to help you out we've put together a list of tips and tricks to help you to nail that flatlay you've been dreaming of, and revel in the social media love that will surely follow.

1.      DIY Background

Now not everyone has crisp white or expensive marble surfaces to work with, but it’s a problem easily solved with a bit of creativity and a trip to your local craft store. Buy a sizable strip of vinyl fabric in white, grey or even marble, or for a more textured background, gravitate towards linens, pleather or chunky wools. Pile on your products and you’re almost good to go.

2.       It’s all in the Blu-Tack

This is the trick that makes flat-laying look effortless and can save you a lot of hair-pulling. Break off a small piece of Blu-Tack, strategically place it behind the area of the product or item you want to face forward, and voila, it will roll no more.

3.       Lighting is everything

Natural light is without doubt the best source of light (and it’s free). But it can be a pain to rely on when the blogging bug hits you at 8pm, and can also bring with it unwanted shadows.

So if you’re really serious about flatlaying, invest in a box light with a daylight bulb. Not only will you be able to blog at night, but it can also be put to good use for after-hours selfies.

4.       Mount something

Now we all know how hard (and embarrassing) it can be to get a good aerial shot of your squad’s brunch orders, and you’ll encounter a similar problem with a good flatlay.

To actually see what you’re getting into the shot, stand on a stool or chair to put a little distance between your body and the surface. This should ensure the camera’s aligned directly overhead, and that you’ve avoiding any shadows from your own body.

5.       Edit, Filter, Post

Now that you have an image to work with, upload it to your favourite photo editing app, and edit away any imperfections. Click here for a shortlist of our five favourite apps that precision editing at the touch of a button (well finger).

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