How to Create the Perfect Instagram Flatlay

If you're an avid Instagrammer like we are then you've seen that lifestyle faltlays have become a huge hit and are taking the social media platform by storm. From scrumptious breakfasts, new outfits, makeup sets or houseware, flatlays are themed birdseye images that draw your followers in. They are a simple way to tell a story, showcase items or give your followers a clear feel for your brand. If you're new to flatlays and are wondering where to start we've got tips and tricks just for you. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.


There you have it, it's as simple as that to create the perfect flatlay. Take your time creating your setups and pay attention to the details and you are sure to create some fantastic images. We would love to see your creations so be sure to share with us on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook


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