Things you NEED to elevate your flat lay photography game

I used to spend so much time scrolling through instagram being like “Wow, I want to do that. I want to be able to piece flat lays together!”. Like many things, it just got to a point where I was like ok now let’s try this out and see how it goes.

also, for reference:

flat lay is a picture taken from a birds eye view of a collection of items laid out on a flat surface. Usually there will be one item that is the main focus of the shot, all the other items in the flat lay are there to complement that piece.

thanks google
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I am in no way an expert, in fact, I’m a huge amateur. I guess delving into flat lay photography while being stuck at home has become another creative outlet for me. I go more into how I started getting into photograpy here.

First and foremost, I created a pinterest board containing my current flat lay must-haves! So check that out here. More recently I’ve realized how great of a tool pinterest is to link things in bulk.

Let’s break my list down!!!

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The equipment

The camera I’m using that I got maybe 3-4 years ago…. is the Nikon COOLPIX L830 16 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 34x Zoom NIKKOR Lens and Full 1080p HD Video (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer).

I also don’t really use any equipment other than my tripod (which I 10/10 recommend as it comes with the bluetooth remote & also an attachment to use for your Iphone). It’s super easy to use and it was super reasonable.

The backdrop

Although I’m very grateful to be living with my family during quarantine, there isn’t much space in the house to use to take photos… and as cringe as it is to say…. most of the house is too dark and doesn’t match my ideal aesthetic.

To fix that I bit the bullet and purchased a backdrop off etsy. I wasn’t too sure which one to go for but this one had great reviews and honestly it’s such great quality too. I really recommend this brand.

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The main props

Lately I’ve been using a couple main props that my flat lays focus around. As you can guess from my instagram, or from my past posts like Staying Organized in Quarantine, I love using coffee as the star of the show.

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Another favorite prop of mine is my Savor Life Planner which I’ve ranted about a bit in past posts. I not only love the function of it but how well they photograph. It also just reiterates how I thrive off productivity!

The filler props

These are just some examples of some of my favorite ones to use but head to my pinterest board to get the full list.

Okay, so

These macrame are everything. I always get so many questions about where I got them from and it makes me so happy because this artist is SO talented. I love not only functionally using these coasters at my desk, but also to add texture to my photos.

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Although I’d prefer to have real flowers and plants as props, Target just kills the game with all the fake flowers what can I say. They are super affordable.

The “brand” I guess from Target called Hearth & Hand has been coming out with so many cute basket kind of accessories and this one is my favorite as of now. A great addition to add dimension and texture into photos and also its just super cute.

What’s your opinion on flat lays?

What are your favorite photography props to use?

*disclaimer* some of these links are affiliate links, but not all. Thanks so much if you’ve read this far. I appreciate it so much.

Lots of love,

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Instagram Aesthetic 101: how I edit, plan my feed and make spaced captions.

I am no expert but this is my take on how I make my instagram content look pretty.

For reference this is my current feed over on coffeeenut (my coffee blog). I’ve been meaning to put something like this together and there’s more room to do it on here over instagram so lets get into it!

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Photo Editing: I use the free app Adobe Lightroom. I purchased a lightroom preset over a year ago from a friend and have been obsessed with it ever since. But!! If you aren’t looking to spend anything its still a great app to get a consistent feed.

For example, when you upload a photo on the app and go into to editing it click on the three circles on the top right. This menu will pop up. As you can see there is “copy settings” so if you have a photo and you like the way it was edited you can copy all the edits to another photo within the app (or 48443 photos if you really want)! There also is “create preset” which basically means you’re creating your very own filter that you can copy the settings on in the future.

In my case since I purchased an Adobe Lightroom App filter, I would copy my preset’s settings and then go to a new photo and click on “paste settings” and this would then paste that preset onto my photo.

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Normally I would then go and adjust settings (like light, color hue & saturation) to get it the exact way I’m envisioning it. Here is just an example of some settings I mess around with.

The app is free to download and also has their own filters to use.

Okay so you got the photo, whats next?

The Feed: does it match your feed? do the colors go? do you even care if it goes? does it flow? am I overthinking this? probably.

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I’m sure there’s multiple apps to plan your instagram feed but I use Planoly.

It’s also a free app to download (gotta save that hard earned cash!!). The only thing is with this app there is a limit to the posts you can add and it refreshes every month (i think its 30 posts…). But if you’re after planning more you can pay to get some sort of premium membership.

To be honest I’ve never posted directly from the Planoly app, I just like to use it to visualize.

Okay so now it goes with your feed, what’s next?

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The Caption: Again, I’m sure there’s other ways to do this but this is the way I choose to! It took me a while to find a website/app that worked for me to get the clean spacing in my instagram captions. It’s definitely not a necessary thing but especially when I’m doing a lot of ranting I find the post much easier to read.

I use hashtagie. I found this website by googling ways to get the spaces in my captions (gotta love it!!). I’m pretty sure the website has a couple different offerings but I go here. Super straightforward to use and super easy to copy and paste over to the instagram app.

The Extras: A more recent thing I’ve gotten myself into is using extra symbols and cute fonts throughout my captions and stories.

This is another free app but you can purchase more fonts within the app. Once you open it, it’s clear with how to add the fonts to your normal keyboard. Again, not a necessity but a fun little touch!

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Once I go through these steps I would then post, cross my fingers and hope for the best!

Let me know if you’d be interested in a part two or if you have an tips yourself! Also check out my instagram here.

Lots of love,

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