1. Use a Plain Backdrop
The first step is to choose your flatlay backdrop. Using a simple or plain white backdrop will allow your items to pop and really stand out. A busy background will be too distracting and will force your items to blend together, which defeats the purpose of a flatlay.
2. Shoot with Natural Light
Shooting with natural light gives your images a bright, clean and even look. Artificial lights from overhead lighting and lamps produce odd colours and deep shadows, so shoot as close as possible to a window and turn off any other lighting.
We love these backgrounds and the lighting used by littlefamilylondon on Instagram, check out her page for great inspiration.
3. Think about Proportion
Next is to think about the design elements of your image. It is important to think about the proportion of your items and whether or not they fit nicely together. As a general rule, you want your elements to be similar in size. Having one really large item and then small items around it will dwarf your components and simply look awkward.
4. Think about Spacing
When setting up your flatlay ensure that you have space between your elements so that they don't all blend together. Having a gap of about 1-2 inches between most items is a great place to start.
5. Choose a Colour Scheme
Aim to have similar tones and colours in your image to create a consistent and branded look. Pops of colours work great but having too many colours will be distracting to viewers and will cause their eyes to jump around instead of focusing on the images as a whole. Here are a few more fab examples from littlefamilylondon on the use of colour.
6. Stick to a Theme
It is essential that your flatlay has a theme. Whether your theme is simply autumnal, floral, travel, tech-based etc it is imperative that your theme is clear and concise.
7. Shoot with a Wide Lens
Now that you have set up your design and theme it's time to take your images. If you are shooting with a DSLR shoot with a wide angle lens so that you can step above your flatlay and create a birdseye view.
8. Use a Step stool
If you do not have a wide lens or you are shooting with an iPhone use an step stool to get high above your setup.