Let’s start with the possible elephant in the room. Are you asking yourself, “What’s a flatlay?”
If so, you’re not alone! It’s a coined term to describe a staged photo of a grouping of elements laying flat. Makes sense, right?
Flatlays are often used to showcase a product for a brand, but they can also be used to help you determine whether or not items work together as you’re designing a room or refreshing a space!
Think of them as mood boards in a way — helping you tell a story through your design.
For this example, I staged a flatlay for my fall porch refresh, pulling in warm blush tones, lots of creamy neutrals, texture, and cozy vibes!
So let’s jump on into the styling!
HOW TO STAGE THE PERFECT FLATLAY IN 4 EASY STEPS
STEP 1: START WITH THE BACKGROUND
It might sound simple, but start with what you want the background to be! Make sure it ties into everything you envision for your flatlay. I love to use neutrals that have a little texture.
For this flatlay, I chose a creamy cable knit blanket and layered two warm rose-colored throws I had found for my porch. All the textures play into the cozy fall vibe I was going for, and the layers add that dimension!
Make sure you choose a level area with lots of good natural light. I’ll sometimes use a comforter as a background for smaller items! It makes it easy. I also always add layers to my backgrounds!
STEP 2: CHOOSE YOUR FOCAL POINT
If you have a particular product you want to showcase (for example if you’re taking pictures for a brand collaboration), use that as your focal point.
If you don’t, you’ll likely want to choose the largest item. I chose the sign I planned to use on my porch to be my focal point above. Make sure to center it, making sure it’s level with the ground so your photos don’t end up looking crooked!
STEP 3: PLACE YOUR OTHER ITEMS AROUND FOCAL POINT
Now gather all the smaller items you plan to use in your flatlay. These items should help tell the story of what you’re doing. I chose white pumpkins, rose-colored flowers, and pillows to tell my cozy fall porch story.
If you’re showcasing a product, choose items that go with that product to show how it will be used. Make sure your items make sense and have a reason for being there!
Then, start with the largest items and balance them around the focal point.
Use your smaller items to fill in any gaps, still making sure there is balance around the focal point so it’s pleasing to the eye.
STEP 4: FRAME IT UP AND TAKE YOUR PICTURE
Last but not least, frame it up! Grab your iPhone or your camera and see what your flatlay looks like in a photo. You might need to adjust your items a bit in order for everything to fit into the frame.
Make sure you get your phone or camera directly over your flatlay and even with the ground so you don’t have to do any unnecessary cropping or perspective shifting after you take the photo!
You may want to use a step ladder, chair, or in my case, climb on the back of the couch. Whatever it takes to grab the perfect photo, right?
And it’s as easy as that! With those 4 simple steps, you will be well on your way to staging the perfect flatlay in minutes!
Whether you use it as a mood board to determine whether or not the items you’ve chosen work well together, or you’re staging the perfect photo for your big collaboration, make sure it tells a story and gets your point across!
Are you a fan of flatlays? Let me know in the comments!