8 Great Flat Lay Photography Tips For New Photographers

by | Composition, Profitable Photography | 0 comments

Flat Lay Photography Tips

Photo by George Milton

Flat Lay Photography Tips

Flat lay photography has gone so popular on social media posts. It’s widely used for so many purposes, such as food photography or any kind of product photography. Its usage and significance are also increasing day by day with the rapidly growing online market places. 

So you may need to take flat lay photos to sell your product or anything else. But, unfortunately, many people don’t pay enough attention to flat lay photography with a miss-perception that there’s nothing much to do! 

If you’re one of them and not taking flat lay photography seriously, then you are missing one of the vital key points that can help you in many ways. Because in 2021, the flat lay photography trend has become popular and is widely used in eCommerce sites.

So you shouldn’t underestimate this major segment directly related to your business marketing and brand value. Here are a few tips that can make a mentionable difference in any flat lay photography. 

Before we jump into the tips, let’s get a clear definition of flat lay photography.   

What is Flat Lay Photography?

Simply put, flat lay photography means photos that are shot from above on a flat surface, typically with an arranged set of objects. These types of images offer a bird’s-eye view of any products and accessories. However, a single object can be seen taken sometimes in flat lay photography.      

Flat lay photography is getting so popular because it can show the product and its accessories clearly without any distractions. And mostly, flat lay photography is used to take images of food, products of fashion items, toys, etc.

Why Flat Lay is Important for eCommerce Sales?

Product photography has been evolving since the eCommerce business started to grow faster than ever before. Now flat-lay product photography has become a popular trend of product photography, and it’s commonly seen used for eCommerce marketing immensely.

Simplicity is the actual reason why flat lay photography is getting much more popular day by day.

Creative typed eye-catching flat lay photos are apparently effective in attracting their target customers, helping to boost eCommerce sales. And online consumers are also feeling comfortable with watching their products & accessories from a bird’s eye view. Because a single photo describes much more about the whole package of a product. 

So, online marketers are also happy to use flat lay images to sell their products online. Furthermore, it’s very easy to work with. Besides, flat lay photography is very versatile and can be used for almost every kind of product photography.  

Wanna know how to sell your photos online? Check out How to Sell Photography on Etsy – A Complete Guide

On the other hand, flat lay photography has attained a good prominence on social media like Instagram Business and image-based social media network Pinterest. Hence, flat lay photography has become so important for eCommerce and plays a vital role in boosting sales. 

Flat Lay Photography Tips 

To make your flat lay photography successfully done here, we’ve found 8 tips for you which are essential. If you can follow these 8 tips, you can expect to get some professional flat lay photos. All these tips are so easy and interesting to apply but bring you effective outcomes. So don’t miss it. 

#1 Lighting: Make a Perfect Schedule

Unarguably, lighting is the vital key factor for any kind of photography. No exception for flat lay photography too. Lighting determines just everything of brightness & darkness, also the tone, atmosphere, and vibrancy of an image.

Flat Lay Photography Tips

Photo by Hobo_018

Great-quality flat lay photography requires a certain amount of lighting. To do this, you’ll have to make a perfect schedule for shooting photos to get the natural light.   

It can be best to fix your schedule in the morning or late afternoon to get the daylight perfectly. Try to set up everything near the windows. Choose east or north-facing windows for soft light, but south and west-facing windows for direct sunlight. 

Direct sunlight can produce shadows, however. You can set grey or matt whiteboards around the set-up to avoid the shadow. And try not to use any flashlight because that will create shadows which are not easy to avoid.        

#2 Choose an Appropriate Background

Choosing an appropriate background is a must-doing job for flat lay photography. Typically you can use a white background for a clear view of props. You may also use a table or wooden floor. 

Flat Lay Photography Tips

Photo by Amy Grace

Make sure that the background isn’t distracting for your props. With this condition, you can actually make anything for your background.     

There is another option for you which is to change the background through photo editing. But if you don’t want to go for photo-editing, then it’s absolutely alright to choose a real-simple background.   

#3 Managing Space 

Manage the plenty of space that is required to display all the props. Put every object while maintaining the same gap between each other. Leave enough space if you want to add text, graphics, or logo in the post-production segment. 

Flat Lay Photography Tips

Photo by Diana Schröder-Bode

Inspirational quotes or slogans are often seen in flat-lay product photography, which is a good idea. So don’t forget to leave an adequate amount of space to add this sort of creative stuff.

Once you’ve taken the shot, analyze that shot. If that doesn’t seem nice to you, then reconsider the arrangement of props and rearrange the items.

#4 Use a Tripod

To take the shot for a flat lay photo, your camera position will be above the flat lay. In this situation, a tripod can help you to make your job easier. Some tripods offer to tilt your camera position vertically downwards. Besides, your camera needs to be steady enough to get a sharp and crisp shot.  

#5 Shoot from Above

Theoretically, a flat lay photo needs to be shot from right above the lay composition of objects. As you are supposed to take a flat lay photo, you should keep in mind that if you don’t shoot from directly above then, it won’t be a flat lay photo at all.

Set the camera parallel to the flat lay so that the lens is aimed straight down. If you want to capture the shot by a camera phone, then use the square crop mode and turn on your grid to help line up your shot.

The main reason why flat lay photos are taken is to make sure that the photo looks actually flat so that all objects look clear. So pay attention that your photo remains as a flat lay.

#6 Depth of Field

You’ll have to make sure that all the objects get well-focused. To do this perfectly, select manual mode to choose a narrow aperture around f/16 with a shutter speed of 1 second. 

Check out 4 Steps to Creating a Beautiful Blurry Bokeh Background to get more Depth of Field insights.

Flat Lay Photography Tips

Photo by WDnet

This is another reason that you will need a tripod for this recommended camera setting. And use the self-timer option to shoot the image finally.

#7 Take Post-Production Service

You can take photo editing and retouching services to enhance the quality of your flat lay images. Some simple editing can radically change the outlook. You can manipulate a lot of things and make your image attractive by simply balancing the color, exposure, and white balance. You can recover most of the failings while taking the flat lay photos.       

A professional photo editing agency, Clipping Path Studio is out there, offering a very low cost that you may haven’t any idea about. Easily you can hire these companies for a professional post-production service. 

#8 Get Inspired

Flat lay photography is a different type of genre in modern photography. And there are tons of creative ideas that can be applied to flat lay photography. Uniquely decorative ideas to showcase the props into the frame can really impact the overall outlook. 

Flat Lay Photography Tips

Photo by Life of Pix

So it is very important to gather a lot of new ideas about flat lay photography. You can easily get tons of creative ideas on Pinterest and Instagram, and getting inspired by those can lead you to shoot some mind-blowing flat lay photos.

Final Thoughts

We’ve discussed all the tips which are so easy. By following these easy tips, you can make amazing flat lay photos. Hopefully, these tips will mean something for you and your business. 

Lastly, one thing to say, practice shooting flat lay photography. As you shoot more from above, you’ll understand more about what can be done to improve the quality of your flat lay photography. Goodluck.

Amy Grace
Amy Grace, a writer, has long experience in the commercial photography field. Merging competency and skill in her profession, she has nailed the task up to the mark and has helped a lot of entrepreneurs create their brands. Aside from photography, Amy is involved in photo retouching work as well.

Hi, I’m Karin

Your Photography Mentor

You want to pick up your camera with confidence and joy but the truth is your camera is a mystery to you.

You’re stuck in auto mode because you don’t want to miss the moments that matter while you’re fumbling with your settings.

I feel you and I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way. Join Photography Playground now for overwhelm-free training and creative empowerment!


“Her unique approach produced almost immediate results. I would highly recommend Karin as a warm, talented, and effective instructor.”


See Fresh

“See Fresh shifted my perspective and gave me a much-needed reminder of the beauty each day brings. It brought back freshness and zest for life.”



“Thank you Karin for your presence, generosity, and patience. I am excited to see where this photographic journey takes me!”



“Your approach to photography inspires me and is wonderful to read. In contrast to all those websites and books about technology and gear, your approach opens a completely different door for me. Instead of reasoning, it triggers my imagination.”


See Fresh

“Great examples were given to illustrate what we would try to capture via the prompts.  Most of all Karin and the other students were very supportive – a no-judgment zone.”


Recent Posts

Photography Courses

free photography training | Travel Photography Playbook | Copyright Karin van Mierlo | Photography Playground
learn photography online, learn smartphone photography
free photography training | Travel Photography Playbook | Copyright Karin van Mierlo | Photography Playground

Free ebooks

You might also like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *