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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Flatlay Like A Pro: How to Creatively Perk Up an Otherwise Plain View


Wazzup Pilipinas!

"Walked into my office and husband had electronics all over the floor. I'm like, what are you doing? And he's like, "working on a #flatlay." - Lena Almeida
You've seen almost everyone posting flatlays, may they be fashion, beauty, lifestyle, food, travel or any kind of blogger or social media enthusiast, celebrity or not, veteran or newbie, or whatever else there may be out there. We are always snapping our - food before we eat it, clothes before we wear them, gadgets before and after we unbox, make-up and accessories right out from the box, etc.

It's also not exclusive to women (though I see this done by more ladies), since men do follow what's "IN" too, regardless if it's only a fad (as long as others do it). It would also look bad if you're the only one not doing it in a group. Feeling OOP or "Out Of Place" is not cool. Trust me!

The trend has gone so infectious that nearly everyone with a smartphone or tablet (or phablet) could not help but make extra efforts to lay-out what's infront of them in their best top view, (photo or even video since it's also neat to video flatlay). Everyone's doing video nowadays that combining it with your flatlays add so much fun as well.

Of course, the shot could also become "unnatural" especially if they add on extra stuff that are not really part of the normal experience(who puts their watches or jewelries right beside their food on top of the dining table), but the photo does become a bit more interesting seeing a variety of items to spice up the otherwise boring photo.



The secret to a good flatlay? It's all in the details!
"A good flatlay is carefully constructed and pieced together with purpose, yet effortlessly tells a stylish story." - Teagan West
It's not only about what items you use, but also on the background and lighting, plus the camera or smartphone you are using - thus the overall effect is crucial and extras like using filters, and photo-editing software would help, but it's best to invest already on a good camera, whether it's integrated on a smartphone or the latest DSLR.

Sometimes, if you don't have the convenience of natural light, you need to bring your own lighting system, portable is highly recommended, since you need to get rid of the pesky shadows of your head or hands,...or if with a group, there should be an agreement to alternate shots so you won't ruin each other's flatlays.

To make the shot a "drool-worthy" post for social media like Instagram, Facebook, and the rest, you have to patiently re-arrange stuff (leave some space between items so it won't be confusingly cluttered) ...while others wait or join you in the painstaking (if you're seated with a group that's too old to even bother to take photos) but necessary process (if you are seated with like-minded Millennials who also seek for celebrity attention on their posts.

Think of a theme for every particular shot or series of shots. To make the shot either more colorful, detailed, matching, proportional, etc., let a specific  theme guide you so you could flatlay them right focused on a certain objective. So you may add flowers picked from the garden, gadgets from your tech reviews, toys from your little brother's collection, and whatever you can find near you.

Add the necessary "oomph" to get noticed easily fro among the many flatlays out on social media. Sometimes, it is necessary to put some of those biscuits, cereals or whatever is available, out of the plate or bowl, and literally put them on the table as if a messy foodie has joined you. You could do something like an action shot as an alternative to project the reverse of neatness - like coffee spills, lipstick stains or candies spread across the table top.

If you want to raise the stakes high, maybe you can do a life-size flat-lay. Go to the top-most part of your house and shoot the top views of bigger items like cars and furniture. If you have a steady hand, use a drone with camera to capture images from above. They've been done already and imagine the other possibilities available for you to explore.















Flatlay inspirations are everywhere. You just have to be creative enough to think beyond the box. ...or think like there is no box.

When the most adorable flatlay comes to life, for sure you'll get a lot of Likes or "hearts" which translates to tons of followers.

But the "online influencers" or brands (since companies already caught up with the trend) should have a social awareness stronger than their flatlays alone. We need to remind ourselves that we are showing off to our followers what to expect so they may be frustrated if we go overboard with our creativity by incorporating those "extra" bits and pieces of stuff that are never part of what we really want to promote or offer. If we go further to edit using photo or graphics editing tools, then we falsify the real "look" of our products.

Just as how food shots are made more sumptuous by professional photographers but then in reality we are served with something less appetizing, we tend to feel we were scammed or duped.

In short, the story that you want to tell with your flatlays should reflect your true intentions - that should be noble and sincere so your credibility would not be sacrificed.


*Credits to all photo owners as mentioned from the photos' respective filenames. Cover photo by Nesting Place.

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