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Tips and Tricks for Capturing Stunning Flat Lay Images

Flat lay photography has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people turning to this style of photography to showcase their products or capture visually stunning images. Flat lay photography involves taking photos from a bird's eye view, with the subject or objects laid out flat on a surface. This type of photography is often used in fashion, food, and product photography, as it allows for a clear and concise representation of the subject.

One of the benefits of flat lay photography is that it allows for a lot of creativity and experimentation. Photographers can play around with different angles, arrangements, and lighting to create unique and visually interesting images. Additionally, flat lay photography is a great way to showcase multiple products or items in one photo, making it ideal for e-commerce websites or social media marketing.

Whether you're a professional photographer or simply looking to improve your photography skills, flat lay photography is a technique worth exploring. With its versatility and endless creative possibilities, flat lay photography has become a popular choice for many photographers and businesses alike.


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($110 off)
ecomm starter pack
13 photos + 2 animated GIFs + 1 hand model for 5 products
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hand model demo video pack
($219 off)
hand model demo video pack
15-30 second video featuring 3 angles + 1 hand model + 1 music track
designed for
model demo video
($420 off)
model demo video
30-60 second video featuring 5 angles of a model interacting with your product + music
designed for

what is flat lay photography?

the art of flat lay photography

The art of flat lay photography, which involves taking pictures of objects arranged on a flat surface, is a technique used to capture a wide variety of subjects, including food, fashion, and beauty products. It shares similarities with the concept of a still life photograph, where the photographer carefully considers the placement, size, and color of the products and props to create an eye-catching, and scroll-stopping, image!

the importance of flat lay in social media

Flat lay photography has become increasingly popular on social media platforms such as Instagram. It is a great way to showcase products in a creative way. You can incorporate relevant props, different backgrounds or scenes, and really convey the story of your brand and products. This style of photography typically increases engagement. With the rise of influencer marketing, flat lay photography has become an essential tool for influencers to create sponsored content.

when to use flat lays in PDPs

Flat lay photography is also important in product detail pages (PDPs) on e-commerce websites. It allows customers to see the products in a visually appealing way and helps them make informed purchasing decisions. Flat lay photography can also be used to tell a story about the product, creating an emotional connection with the customer.

essential equipment for flat lay photography

choosing the right camera

When it comes to a flat lay photo, the camera you choose can make a significant difference in the quality of your images. A high-quality camera with a good sensor and lens will allow you to capture the details and colors of your subject accurately. However, you don't need to have the most expensive camera on the market to take great flat lay photos. A DSLR camera or mirrorless camera with manual controls and a decent lens is usually sufficient.

grab your tripod

A tripod is an essential tool for flat lay photography. It helps to keep your camera steady and prevents blurry images. A tripod also allows you to adjust the height and angle of your camera easily, which is crucial when taking flat lay photos. A sturdy tripod with adjustable legs and a ball head is ideal for flat lay photography.

wide-angle lens vs regular lens

When it comes to lenses, the choice between a wide-angle lens and a regular lens depends on the type of flat lay photos you want to take. A wide-angle lens is great for capturing a large scene or multiple objects in one shot. However, it can also distort the image and make the objects look stretched or curved. This can, however, be fixed in post production. A regular lens is better suited for capturing individual objects or smaller scenes, as it provides a more natural perspective.


how does soona photograph a flat lay photo?

At soona, we use a combination of high-quality cameras, tripods, and lenses to capture stunning flat lay photos. Our photographers use DSLR cameras with manual controls and a wide-angle lens to capture the details and colors of our clients' products accurately. We also use tripods to keep the camera steady and ensure sharp images. Lighting is also key. In our studios, we primarily use artificial light, meaning two professional two lights, to create even shadows. By using the right equipment and techniques, we create beautiful flat lay photos that showcase our clients' products in the best possible way.

In conclusion, choosing the right equipment is essential for flat lay photography. A good camera, tripod, and camera lens, can make a significant difference in the quality of your images. By using the right equipment and techniques, you can create stunning flat lay photos that showcase your products in the best possible way.

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mastering the lighting

natural light vs artificial light

When it comes to Flat Lay Photography, lighting is one of the most important aspects to consider. The type of lighting you choose can affect the mood and tone of your photos, as well as the overall quality of the image.

One of the first decisions to make is whether to use natural light or artificial light. Natural light can be great for creating a soft, natural look, but it can also be unpredictable and difficult to control. Artificial light, on the other hand, can be more consistent and easier to manipulate, but it can also look harsh and unnatural if not used correctly.

It's important to experiment with both types of lighting to determine which works best for your specific setup and style. Some photographers prefer to use natural light for certain types of shots, such as portraits or food photography, while others may rely solely on artificial light for more controlled and consistent results.

how to manage shadows

Another important aspect of lighting in Flat Lay Photography is managing shadows. Shadows can add depth and dimension to a photo, but they can also be distracting or make certain elements of the image difficult to see.

One way to manage shadows is to use reflectors or diffusers to bounce or soften the light. Reflectors can be used to bounce light onto the subject, while diffusers can be used to soften the light and reduce harsh shadows.

Another technique for managing shadows is to adjust the angle and position of the light source. By moving the light source closer or further away, or changing the angle of the light, you can control the amount and direction of the shadows in your photo.

In conclusion, mastering the lighting in Flat Lay Photography is essential for creating high-quality, visually appealing images. Whether you choose to use natural light or artificial light, and how you manage shadows, can greatly impact the final result. By experimenting with different techniques and equipment, you can develop your own unique style and create stunning photos that stand out.

styling and composition techniques

creating balance

Creating balance is an essential aspect of Flat Lay Photography. It involves arranging elements in a way that creates visual harmony. To achieve balance, one can use symmetry, asymmetry, or radial balance. Symmetry involves placing identical or similar objects on both sides of the frame, while asymmetry involves placing objects of different sizes or shapes on either side of the frame. Radial balance involves placing objects in a circular pattern around a central point.

working with colors and textures

Colors and textures play a crucial role in Flat Lay Photography. They can add interest, depth, and dimension to an image. When working with colors, it is essential to consider the color wheel and complementary colors. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel and create a vibrant contrast when used together. When working with textures, it is important to consider the surface the objects are placed on, as well as the texture of the objects themselves.

using negative space

Negative space is the empty area around the objects in the frame. It can be used to create a sense of openness and balance in an image. Negative space can also be used to draw attention to the objects in the frame. When using negative space, it is important to consider the size and shape of the objects in the frame and how they relate to the negative space.

implementing the rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is a fundamental principle of composition in photography. It involves dividing the frame into thirds both horizontally and vertically and placing the objects of interest at the intersection points. This creates a sense of balance and interest in the image. When implementing the rule of thirds, it is important to consider the size and placement of the objects in the frame.

Styling and composition techniques are essential in Flat Lay Photography. By creating balance, working with colors and textures, using negative space, and implementing the rule of thirds, photographers can create visually appealing and engaging images.

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choosing the perfect background

When it comes to photography, the background can make or break the shot. Choosing the right background can enhance the subject and create a visually appealing image. Here are some tips for selecting the perfect background.

fabric vs colored paper

One of the first decisions to make is whether to use fabric or colored paper. Fabric can add texture and depth to the background, while colored paper provides a solid, uniform color.

Fabric can be draped or hung to create a natural, organic look. It can also be wrinkled or stretched to create interesting shapes and shadows. However, fabric can be more difficult to work with as it may require steaming or ironing to remove wrinkles.

Colored paper, on the other hand, provides a clean, simple background. It is easy to set up and can be quickly changed out for different colors. However, it may not provide as much depth or texture as fabric.

creating depth

To create depth in the background, consider using props or layering different materials. For example, placing a vase of flowers in front of a fabric background can add depth and interest to the shot.

Layering different fabrics or papers can also create depth. For example, a solid colored paper can be layered with a patterned fabric to create a visually interesting background.

It's important to consider the colors and patterns of the subject when selecting the background. A busy background can distract from the subject, while a plain background may not provide enough visual interest.

In conclusion, choosing the perfect background requires careful consideration of the subject, colors, and textures. Fabric and colored paper both have their advantages and can be used to create depth and interest in the shot.


props and hero products

selecting props

When it comes to Flat Lay Photography, props can make or break the shot. Selecting the right props can enhance the overall look and feel of the image, while the wrong ones can detract from the hero product.

It's important to choose props that complement the hero product, without overpowering it. Neutral props, such as white or marble backgrounds, can provide a clean and simple canvas for the hero product to shine. On the other hand, using props that are too busy or colorful can take away from the focus of the image.

When selecting props, consider the theme and style of the hero product. For example, if the hero product is a piece of jewelry from a beach collection, seashells and sand can be used as props to enhance the beachy vibe.

highlighting the hero product

The hero product is the star of the show in Flat Lay Photography. It's important to highlight it in a way that makes it stand out from the props and other elements in the image.

One way to do this is to use lighting to draw attention to the hero product. Soft lighting can create a dreamy and romantic feel, while bright lighting can make the product pop.

Another way to highlight the hero product is to use angles and composition. Shooting from above can provide a bird's eye view of the product, while shooting from below can create a dramatic and powerful effect.

In summary, selecting the right props and highlighting the hero product are essential to creating stunning Flat Lay Photography. By keeping the focus on the hero product and using props that complement it, photographers can create beautiful images that showcase their collections and jewelry in the best possible light.

photo editing techniques

editing with photoshop

One of the most popular photo editing software is Photoshop. It is a powerful tool that allows photographers to manipulate their images in a variety of ways. With Photoshop, you can adjust the brightness, contrast, and color of your photos. You can also remove unwanted elements from your photos, such as blemishes, dust, and scratches.

adjusting saturation, vibrance, and clarity

Saturation, vibrance, and clarity are essential elements of photo editing. Saturation refers to the intensity of colors in an image. Vibrance is a tool that enhances the saturation of muted colors without oversaturating already vibrant colors. Clarity is a tool that sharpens the edges of objects in an image.

When adjusting these elements, it's important to be subtle and not overdo it. Over-saturation or over-sharpening can make your photos look unnatural.

perfecting exposure

Exposure refers to the amount of light that enters the camera sensor. A well-exposed photo has a balance of shadows, mid-tones, and highlights. Overexposed photos have too much light, resulting in washed-out colors and loss of detail. Underexposed photos have too little light, resulting in dark and muddy images.

In photo editing software, you can adjust the exposure by increasing or decreasing the brightness, contrast, and highlights. You can also adjust the shadows and midtones to achieve a well-balanced exposure.


Cropping is the process of removing unwanted areas from a photo. It's a useful tool for improving composition and emphasizing the subject of the photo. When cropping, it's important to maintain the aspect ratio of the original photo to avoid distortion.

In conclusion, photo editing software such as Photoshop is a powerful tool for photographers to enhance their images. By adjusting elements such as saturation, vibrance, clarity, exposure, and cropping, photographers can improve the composition and visual impact of their photos.

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specialized flat lay photography

Flat lay photography is a popular and effective way to showcase products, food, and still life objects. It involves arranging items on a flat surface and capturing them from a bird's eye view. Specialized flat lay photography takes this technique to the next level by focusing on specific types of subjects.

product photography

Product photography is one area where specialized flat lay photography shines. By arranging products in an eye-catching way, photographers can create images that are both informative and visually appealing. For example, a photographer might use a used flat lay technique to showcase the features of a new smartphone or highlight the ingredients in a skincare product.

food photography

Food photography is another area where flat lays can be highly effective. By arranging ingredients and dishes in a visually appealing way, photographers can create images that make viewers hungry or inspire them to try new recipes. Flat lays are particularly useful for showcasing multiple dishes or ingredients at once.

still life photography

Finally, flat lays are also well-suited to still life photography. By arranging objects in an aesthetically pleasing way, photographers can create images that are both beautiful and thought-provoking. Flat lays can be used to showcase everything from flowers and plants to books and stationery.

Overall, specialized flat lay photography is a valuable tool for photographers looking to create eye-catching images of products, food, and still life objects. By using this technique, photographers can showcase their subjects in a unique and visually appealing way.

creating a cohesive theme

When it comes to Flat Lay Photography, creating a cohesive theme can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of your images. By using a consistent color palette, props, and styling, you can create a visually appealing and professional-looking collection of photos.

minimalist vs layered approach

One of the first decisions to make when creating a cohesive theme is whether to take a minimalist or layered approach. A minimalist approach involves using a limited color palette and simple props to create a clean and elegant look. On the other hand, a layered approach involves using multiple props and textures to create a more complex and visually interesting image.

Both approaches can be effective, depending on the style you are going for. A minimalist approach can be great for showcasing a product or highlighting a specific element, while a layered approach can add depth and interest to an image.

creating cohesion

Regardless of the approach you take, creating unity is key to a cohesive theme. This can be achieved by using a consistent color palette, repeating certain props or textures throughout your images, and paying attention to the composition of each photo.

For example, if you are using a specific color palette, make sure to use those colors consistently throughout your images. If you are using a certain prop, try to incorporate it in different ways throughout your collection. And when composing your photos, pay attention to the placement of your props and how they interact with each other.

By creating unity in your Flat Lay Photography, you can create a collection of images that looks intentional and polished.

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soona 🤝 flat lay tips

Flat lay photography is a style of photography where the subject is photographed from above, creating a flat and symmetrical image. This style is often used in product photography, food photography, and social media posts. At soona, we are experts in flat lay photography. Don't believe us? Check out our top 8 flat lay tips. We recommend using soft artificial light, i.e. studio lights, and a neutral background to make your products stand out.

Ready to get started? Review our flat lay photography tips, inspiration boards, or chat with our team to help you achieve your flat lay goals!

Frequently Asked Questions

what are some key elements to creating stunning flat lay photography?

To create stunning flat lay photography, it is important to consider the composition, lighting, and props. A balanced composition with a clear focal point can make the photograph more visually appealing. Good lighting is essential for capturing the details and colors of the objects in the photograph. All your props can add interest and texture to create the perfect shot, but it is important to not overcrowd the image.

what are some popular backgrounds for flat lay photography?

Popular backgrounds for flat lay photography include white or neutral-colored surfaces, wooden boards, marble, and textured fabrics. The flat lay background should complement the subject of the photograph and not detract from it.

what are some tips for beginners in flat lay photography?

Beginners in flat lay photography should experiment with different compositions and angles to find the most visually appealing shot. It is also important to pay attention to lighting and use natural light whenever possible. Props should be chosen carefully and arranged in a way that complements the subject of the photograph.

what are some popular software options for editing flat lay photography?

Popular software options for editing flat lay photographs include Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as several mobile phone apps such as VSCO and Snapseed. These tools can be used to adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and other elements of the photograph.

what equipment is essential for flat lay photography?

Essential equipment for flat lay photography includes a mirrorless or DSLR camera, a tripod to keep the camera steady, and a variety of props relevant to your industry. Good lighting is also essential, and a diffuser can help to create soft, even lighting for the photograph.

what are the best camera settings for a flat lay photo?

  1. Set your camera to a narrow aperture, like between f/4 and f/11. Boom! You'll get that awesome wide depth of field.
  2. Don't want any pesky noise ruining your shot? Keep your ISO low-- like at 100 or 200. That way, your photos will be as clean and sharp as can be.
  3. Want those images to be crystal clear? Snap them at a fast shutter speed, like around 1/125th or 1/250th. No more blurriness.


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