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Digital content that wows is key to both retain and grow your audience, and creating the perfect flatlays for Instagram is a great way to showcase your product and create and overall vibe. Some people prefer to take pictures of landscapes or people and while balancing your Instagram content is extremely important to keep people’s attention over time, flatlays are a favourite content style of brands, bloggers and Instagrammers alike. Whether you’re running a brand account and looking to generate product focused content that isn’t your boring product shot or looking to share your favourite eats or beauty picks you might want to keep reading. Here are some great tips for taking great flatlays that will have you standing out from the rest!

1. Choose The Right Background

Probably by far the most important part of your flatlay is what you choose to use as a background, as it can really make or break your image. Your best bet is to go with a solid or simple patterned background, especially if you plan on having a lot of components to your content. If however you choose to only use a few items in your flatlay, a patterned background like animal print, stripes or marble might help add some interest to an otherwise boring product image. Playing around with textures too like cements, furs and skins can also add some great dimension to your image.

2. Good Lighting

As with all other types of content, good lighting plays an important role on the impact of your flatlay. Most content creators and photographers will agree that natural lighting is the best to shoot in, so looking to set up beside or near a window is ideal. If however you cannot get natural light, you can try things like cool tinted light bulbs, foam boards as reflectors and if your budget allows, even studio quality lighting. But overall good lighting is not the only thing you can do to help your flatlays, but playing with shadows can also add some interesting character to your visual content.

3. Use Props

The thing that sets aside flatlays from your average product shot, is that they really tell a story with the items within it, which is why props are an intricate part of creating flatlays. Using things like trays and fabrics are a great way to section off areas of your flatlay and can be used to highlight specific items. The important thing is to keep your props on theme with your overall flatlay. Looking to highlight beauty products? Think of using items like brushes, jewelry and flowers to decorate your flatlay. Or shooting some food themed content? Look to using kitchen tools, ingredients and other food related items. The goal is to make the flatlay look natural, and combine things that compliment each other rather than have no correlation.

4. Item Placement

Now that you have all your items and props ready to go, it’s now time to start focusing on your placement of the items. We always recommend starting with your blank background, and then first adding any props designed to highlight items, such as trays, fabrics and other surfaces. You then want to look at placing the item you’re featuring to then surround it with your props. If your flatlay isn’t particularly highlighting anyone item, place your bigger items first, and use your smaller items as fillers. Working with rounded items that cannot sit flat? Trying using a small amount of tape to hold things in place. The last piece of advice is looking at each flatlay as a scale… and ensuring you have balance overall within your image. Once everything is ready to shoot, you can either do aerial fews to play around with the angles to change the look of the flatlay.

Using all these steps tailored to your content style is a foolproof way to create the perfect flatlays for Instagram everytime. These tips can be used individually however combined all together is your number one way to great flatlays! Looking for more Instagram content tips? Checkout our Photography & Content section!