A beginners guide to flatlays

Flatlays are a term that almost everyone is familiar with, especially in the blogging industry. No matter where you go online, chances are you’re going to come across a flatlay which is essentially a photo you’re shooting from directly above with items beautifully arranged or styled on a flat surface. Today, I’m running through the basics of creating one and how to get those Instagrammable shots easily.


I always say a digital camera is always best to get started when it comes to creating the perfect flatlays and avoid using phones where possible. You can use any type of digital camera from point and shoot to something much more advanced such a 4K Wildlife & Sports Camera. The reason I say this is that the better the quality of the image, the better the flatlay will look across your blog, Instagram or Facebook page. Whilst smartphones have amazing picture quality nowadays, using a more advanced camera allows you to get used to the manual settings which is fantastic knowledge which will help you identify ways to improve your style shot after shot.

Lighting plays a huge part in flatlays and photography as a whole. However, natural light is your friend and I’d recommend you use it as much as possible for a perfect balance of highlights and shadows in your image. I have since bought lighting forblog photography which means I can mimic natural light at any part of the day, but where I can I still always choose the natural sunshine to help brighten my images.

This is where everything gets a lot more creative! I began flatlays with just a white card background but then covered one sheet of card with marble sticky-back plastic. You’d never know in a flatly it was just card covered in a particular pattern. I also love getting wrapping paper and using that as a background, plus you can get them so cheap and a great, seasonal option.

Something else that doesn’t have to be expensive but can really bring your flatlay to life. I’m currently loving fake rose petals but you can get anything from fake flowers to printed quotes to add depth to your photographs. The more fun you have with them, the more they’ll show off your personality.

Have fun:
That makes me to my last point and photography is all about expression so it’s important to have fun creating fun flatlays that show off products as well as show your style. You can be minimal, bold or colourful and all work fantastically for flatlays. There are no rules!

What are your top tips when creating flatlays? Let me know.

Amy x


*This post is in collaboration with Panasonic, all opinions are my own. Read my full disclaimer for more information.