master flat lay photography

We are so excited that Jordan from petiteMODERN is sharing her amazing tips for perfecting your flat lay photography. Jordan has been part of Style Collective since the Fall of 2015 and is really known within the group as having strong branding and AMAZING flat lay photography skills! She is a superstar for sharing her tips and tricks with the SC community and we couldn’t be more excited to share this post with you! I now turn this post over to Jordan (Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Bloglovin | Twitter).

I absolutely love creating imagery for my blog, and one of my favorite compositions is shooting Flat Lay Photography. As a designer, I am a sucker for geometry and minimalism, so uncluttered photographs that tell a story quickly are a must-have for my blog! You all have shared so much love on insta over my fun flattery’s, and I love shooting them so much. Which is why I wanted to share some of my favorite tips and tricks with you in this roundup! Here are 6 simple steps to creating the best flat lay photography and upping your insta-grid game!

Flat Lay Photography Tip 1 - Keep It Simple


I wanted to start with this tip, because it is the most essential rule of all! Any good flat lay is, at it’s core, quick and easy to digest! They are fun to create, but should be easy to understand, and create a great first impression to your readers/followers! I like to shoot on a large sheet of Matte Board, thrown down near my windows during the morning or early afternoon. The use of daylight also helps keep your flat lay photography crisp and neutral. No need for studio lighting or heavy photoshopping to do away with the yellow tones of overhead lighting, just utilize the sunshine to create your picture perfect lighting.

Flat Lay Photography Tip 2 - Play With TextureFlat Lay Photography Tip 2 - Play With Texture


In addition to my matte board, I have a large 2′ square tile that I pull out for some shoots that add a bit of texture to the composition. I invested in a matte (non-shiny) tile, so that it isn’t bouncing reflections when I shoot. I also love taking shots with seasonal materials like a fun beach towel for summer or cozy furs during the fall/winter. I snagged a fur shrug for a winter wedding last year and I fell in love with it’s Texture. Remember this beautifully blush  COMMODITY post?  To add a pop of color, I love to use a sheet of colored paper for some posts to dress things up or add a pop of color to the mix. When it comes to adding trays and accessories, I like to use a mix of shiny items and bottled products that handle light well. They make the overall flat lay photograph feel high-end, natural, and provide a depth that really elevates the feel of the photo.

Flat Lay Photography Step 3 - Show Us Your Outfits


Whether you always sport the same pair of sunnies, or have a go-to top, show it off!  Show us why they are your favorites, and teach others how to remix them! I love the idea of consistency in my flat lay photos, so as of late, I have been sharing my signature scent (this NEST fragrance), and loads of stripes. I almost always reach for stripes when I am getting ready in the morning, so finding creative new ways to shoot  those looks and quickly share them with you is what I love about these styled shots! I  love being genuine and sharing my absolute favorites with you all, so even when I can’t nail down a photographer, this is a quick way to share my favorite #ootd looks with you!

Flat Lay Photography Tip 4 - Play With Shadows


Our studio apartment doesn’t always have the most picture-perfect daylighting during the hours on the weekend that I shoot. I have learned to embrace the shadows, and have started integrating them into some posts! Even with the summer sun on high, I have learned to love shooting outside, and playing with the harsh shadows that are created in a composition. I vote that we all start embracing the shade and find creative new ways to shoot using these fun, and natural, happy accidents!

Flat Lay Photography Tip 5 - Shoot Multiple Angles


One of the earliest instal-lessons I learned early on was to creatively reuse your flat lay photos! Finding a way to rotate, crop, or zoom in/out on your images to utilize a favorite flat lay is essential. Some weekends are busier than others, and when I don’t have time to shoot, I love finding ways to recycle old photos that are still relevant. Add a refreshing quote, post a Call to Action, or just create a fun new post with your recycled photo. If it’ is on brand and in line with your blog, it will feel natural to your readers and they may not even notice! 
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  1. Jannine

    Great ideas! I love the tip to play with shadows and totally agree with the benefit of taking multiple angles. I always try to switch up angles and rearrange items to get a good variety of photos and find that awesome shot.
    xo Jannine

  2. Maria

    Where do you buy a matte board? I also always see bloggers with marble backdrops and I know they just have a piece of marble to shoot their flatlays on. Hope someone can help!