How To: The Perfect Flat Lay Photo

Flat Lay Photo

A Flat Lay Photo is definitely one of my favorite types of photos to take, create and share. They are almost like a little puzzle or art piece. Instagram was the platform that really introduced me to the “flat lay”. Now you may be thinking to yourself, “What is a flat lay photo?”. A flat lay photo is one that is taken from above to showcase specific items or a themed group of items to express a mood, color way or showcase favorites (This is my definition at least). I personally think that learning from words can be pretty tricky when it comes to photo subjects, thus I created a video for your viewing pleasure! Below the video is also some written tips you may want to take a peak at when your finished.

Tips & Tricks

01. Choosing a Background
When it comes to choosing your background, the simpler the better. I personally love using just solid background such as large sheets of poster board. If you don’t have those handy, using a solid surface such as a table, floor, cement, bedding and so on can work perfectly. Textured backgrounds such as wood grain, marble or woven blankets are also lovely so keep that in mind if your items needs that extra added interest.

02. Fillers
Fillers honestly make a flay lay. I think the more you can aesthetically fit in a flat lay photo, the more a viewer stays interested. Adding small fillers like rings, rocks, envelopes, book text, dainty jewelry and other small objects to fill in blank space is necessary for some photos that may lack a lot of visual interest. Play around with your placement and add fillers as needed to achieve the perfect photo!

03. Focal Length
The more the merrier! When you go to shoot your flat lay, make sure to shoot the photo up close and also farther away. Most of us have heard of the crop tool, thus allowing ourselves a large flat lay to work with is much better when it comes to editing. I personally shoot my flat lays from far away, sometimes including random background scenery that isn’t a part of the photo at all. This really lets me go in and crop the photo to the size I want and doesn’t leave me hooked to one focal length.

Do you have any tips to taking the perfect flat lay? Leave them in the comments below!


  1. March 30, 2016 / 3:08 am

    Great and really inspiring post – thank you! 🙂

    • Drew Scott
      March 30, 2016 / 10:07 am

      Thanks so much Kristine!

  2. March 30, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    Amazing post! Great tips, thanks! 🙂

    • Drew Scott
      March 30, 2016 / 2:38 pm

      So glad you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping in!
      xx, Drew

  3. Sebastian
    April 1, 2016 / 8:33 am

    LMAO its all about achieving that perfect aesthetic!! I definitely feel you on everything that you said. Great post!

    Sebastian Cintron
    mens lifestyle |

    • Drew Scott
      April 1, 2016 / 11:23 am

      Thanks so much Sebastian! Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂
      xo, Drew

  4. Nina
    April 5, 2016 / 4:15 pm

    I love your style and everything you post, so informative! I’m studying acupuncture and your tips have helped me take quality (and chic) acupuncture posts. I’d love to know what camera(s) you use other than the iPhone.

  5. August 6, 2016 / 11:45 am

    Thanks Drew! Great advice and thanks for the tip on Facetune!

  6. August 6, 2016 / 10:35 pm

    Great tips! My flat-lay game is rudimentary at best. My Instagram account as a whole needs an intervention. Can’t seen to get my feed or anything to look the way I want.

  7. August 7, 2016 / 3:20 pm

    Thanks, Drew for your piece. However, please be mindful of your use of conjunctions. Your first paragraph has a big typo where you intend to say “you are” and you wrote “your.” “Your” denotes owning something. You want to write “you’re” instead.

    I’m super excited about all the wonderful, visually yummy and compelling content online, but please do your best work and triple check that everything is in line with standard written English.

  8. August 14, 2016 / 3:18 am

    This is great advice. I used to take my photos too close in because I don’t want to lose image quality by zooming in when cropping, but I finally realised how limited I was! Thanks for sharing.