How to Take and Edit Branded Flat Lay Images
Flat-lay pictures are the hot trend on social media (Instagram especially) and I know you want in on it!
Flat-lay images are the perfect way to create your own stock images that are reflective of your brand and stand out in the crowd of all the other business out there!
I have had so many followers tell me they always slow their scroll when they see one of my images because they know it's mine! That means that I get more engagement and my followers know what to expect from me! Pretty cool right?
*Video tutorial in this post!*
How to Take Branded Flat Lay Images
How to take branded flat lay images: Tip #1
Before you can take a flat lay image, you need a surface/background to place your props on. Now, this can't be just any surface. No no no, it needs to fit in with your brand and add interest to your image as a whole. So, think about things like texture, color, brightness, etc.
What we do here at LCC is either use a marble background or one of the boards we have painted in our brand colors. Rarely, we will also use a plain white poster board as a background as well- but I tend to like more texture or color in my images.
How to take branded flat lay images: Tip #2
Choosing props is where things get fun! This is where you can pick items that reflect you and your brand and really pull together unique combinations in your images!
Keep in mind, you don't want your images to be "flat". To avoid them leaning in that direction, here are a few tips:
- Layer your props by stacking
- Keep items in a cohesive color palette
- Add in some personality pieces (i.e lipstick or essential oils)
- Add in some life through plants or your hand being strategically placed in the image
- Only use props that serve a purpose for your business
I buy almost all my props at Target in the dollar section. I also use items from around my house such as plants, pictures, beauty items, coffee mugs, my phone, laptop, etc.
Download your Flat-Lay Prop Shopping List!
How to take branded flat lay images: Tip #3
The Lighting and Equipment:
The equipment is just as important a the props you use! Making sure that your image is well lit and good quality will make the difference between an amateur looking image and a professional picture.
Just because you need equipment doesn't mean you need to empty your bank account though! You can absolutely start with nothing but the sunlight and your phone. But, once you decide to up your flat lay game, a simple $40 lighting kit is really all you need! Other items like a DSLR and a tripod will help but don't let those things hold you back from starting to take pictures.
Pro Tip: Take all your images at the same time of day each time you decided to have a photo shoot. This will ensure that your images have the same lighting every time!
How to take branded flat lay images: Tip #4
The LCC Flat Lay Formula:
Nearly every image I take for LCC follows this exact formula...
- Decide on the purpose of the image- Sometimes I am showcasing a freebie, other times I just want an image for the sole purpose of adding color to my Instagram feed. Decide what your image will be used for and then create your image to reflect that!
- Choose the background- Depending on what you are showcasing in the image you are taking, you can then choose a complementary background.
- Pick the main prop- This is the prop that the image will focus on, and the rest of the props will compliment. For LCC the main prop is usually a freebie, notebook, electronic device, or a piece from my portfolio.
- Create layers- To add some dimension, layer some items below your main prop. I like to layer multiple notebooks on top of each other or add pens and pencils on top as if I am about to write on a calendar or in a notebook.
- Add in some "life"- whether it's a plant (a fake one is fine!) or a human element such as your own hand, adding life into your images will make it more relatable and less staged looking.
- Add in your personality!- Choose something that speaks to who you are. I like to add in my glasses, or a cup of tea, or an essential oil to show a little bit about myself in my images!
- Finish it off with sprinkles and sparkle!- To tie the entire image together, sprinkle some sort of confetti into it! This can be anything from paper confetti to sequins to paper clips. This step ensures that you add a shiny element and another texture to the picture that won't take away from the main prop!
Watch my process in action!
Oh, and subscribe to LCCtv channel on YouTube!
How to Edit Your Images
Okay, now let's talk about how to edit those images after you've taken them!
How to EDIT Your images: Tip #1
While there are softwares like Lightroom and Photoshop that can create beautiful images, those come with a massive learning curve. So, unless you are a photographer, it will better serve your headspace and your workflow to use a user friendly app.
I use a $3 app to edit all (yeah, literally all) my images for LCC. This includes images for my website and the images on my Instagram. It takes less than a 30 seconds to edit an image and you can push it directly to Instagram or save it for future use!
So what is this $3 unicorn of an app? PicTapGo, babies.
How to EDIT Your images: Tip #2
What I love about PicTapGo is that you can create recipes of filters to apply to images over and over again! That means you can edit one picture from your whole photoshoot and apply it to all your images and BAM all your images are edited!
I like to keep LCC's pictures light, bright, and ever so slightly pink. To achieve this look, I use a combination of the following filters:
- Lights On- I usually turn this one all the way up (or as far up as I can without blowing out the picture)
- Air- This filter will brighten the image a little more while also adding a slightly pink tone. I usually only have to turn this one on about 1/4 of the way up.
- Crispity- I always finish off every image with this filter because it helps refocus the items in the picture and regulates the colors and clarity of the props I have used. It adds that pop factor!
If I have a particularly orange or blue image I want to adjust, I'll sometimes add on the warm it up or cool it down filters to help even out the tone. But in general, I only ever need to use the 3 filters in the recipe above to achieve a light and crisp image!
Are you ready to take on the flat lay image trend?
HEY BABE. I'M ALEX.
I'm the branding coach and the lady behind Lady and Company Creative. I adore helping other female entrepreneurs kill it with their business by creating badass brands that showcase their passions. I create websites that work and brand strategies that will put your business on the track to success.
I know that each of us holds innate qualities that make us the amazing humans we are. And, I believe we are meant to use those talents to better the world around us. Who we are is purposeful and our calling is built directly within us- sometimes we just have to uncover it.
That is exactly what I help you do.
We work together to discover your passions and then we use them to create a sustainable business that will fulfill you and speak directly to who you are. Learn more...
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