Flatlays can be such easy photos to take, especially if you want some pretty blog pictures. You just need some good props. Obviously, you can use whatever you want/whatever fits in your flatlay, but when I take mine there are a few main props I always reach for to add some colour and texture.
Backgrounds & Textures
This is probably the most important thing you need to consider when taking your flatlay. I like to look at the main colours of the focal props I am using and then judge what kind of background I would need. So for example, if the items are quite bright then I am going to need a light background. In this case, I would always go for my marble background. I made this using some marble printed sticky-back plastic and a piece of wood. I can’t even tell you how useful it has been for blog photography! However, on this occasion, I went for a big slab of grey stone. I thought it went well with the purple.
If the items are quite light/minimalist then a more textured/coloured background might be more appropriate. This could be as easy as using a wooden floor or a blanket. You will be surprised at how many things you would have around your house that can be used as backgrounds for flatlays. But if you don’t have a wooden floor, you can get sticky-back plastic for that too.
Notebooks are super easy for adding a splash of colour to a flatlay – especially ones that have really funky prints on them. There are two really cool ways you can feature them in a flatlay. 1) Use them for their front cover. Those with cool prints on like this notebook* from Sophia O’Connor are perfect! The ombré effect is absolutely gorgeous and the purple adds the perfect amount of colour to a flatlay without being really intrusive and taking over the photo. And 2) You could get really creative and use them open with a little bit of text written inside or even some doodles.
My MacBook is one of my favourite flatlay props, purely because and always fills a gap. It is so easy to use in a flatlay and actually always looks really nice. I particularly like styling it so it is at an angle but sometimes it can be difficult to match up the edges if you are going for a really straight and square photo. Acing those is very difficult as you might think you got the shot, but then you get it up big to edit and realise it is wonky…
Flowers are great for using in flatlays because they again can fill those awkward gaps that nothing else will work in. The also add some height to an image which makes it that little more interesting. But as well as flowers, big leaves also make a good prop. You can lay these behind magazines which I will be getting on to next…
Even when I’m not shooting flatlays, magazines are an absolute essential for the majority of my blog photos. They just have so much potential to add to an image! I particularly like using the pages with loads of text to add a bit of context to the background of the flatlay, just so it isn’t all white or plain.
I know that a lot of blogger’s love using postcards in their flatlays as you can get so many cool ones with different prints and slogans on. Much like the notebook, Sophia O’Connor also has so really beautiful printed cards* that work amazingly in flatlays (as you can see!). I’m so obsessed with the marble print as it has a lovely satin and pearlescent to it. The Circular Glow Print card and Speckled Card are also really stunning and match the marble print card with the purple.
Top tip: Blue-tac is your new best friend! There is nothing worse than having props rolling all over the place because you can’t get them to stay in position. I always recommend using a bit of blue tac to keep them in place. It also means you have much more control if you need to line something up to create the right angle.
What do you like to use the most in flatlays?
*I was kindly gifted the products marked with (*), but all thoughts are 100% honest and all my own.