Tips and Tricks: DIY Flat lay Photography at Home

I’ve been doing a lot of flat lay photography recently for some of my commercial clients. It’s actually a lot of fun to experiment with and see what you can come up with. It really doesn’t take a ton of effort either, all you really need is a backdrop, good lighting, and some different props to go with the product you’re shooting.

Don’t have any cool backdrops? You can change that quickly with a few bucks and a trip to your local Home Depot. The photos that will be shown below were taken on three tiles that I purchased at Home Depot which cost me around six bucks. That is incredibly cheap, and I can use them over and over again. Depending on the color or texture you are looking for, there are a ton of different options and i’m sure you’ll find something that will work for you.

Next is lighting. I personally love window light which is what I use in my images. I set up my flat lays on the ground next to a large sliding door and the lighting during mid-day is perfect. If you don’t have an area in your house where you can setup next to a window, you can also use a studio strobe light with a soft box. Using a broad light setup could give a nice dramatic look by having the light hit the close side much harsher while the shadows fall off and become darker towards the other end of the frame.

The final thing is creating the composition of the flat lay. There’s an endless amount of props you can use for your flat lays. I personally like using plants, books, electronic devices, leather items, and food ingredients if you are shooting a food item. I also like to use items that have a consistent color palette or contrasting colors. It really comes down to experimentation to see what you like!

Shooting flat lays can be fun, and can be very beneficial if you are looking to build a commercial portfolio and shoot for more companies. If there are any companies you are interested in shooting for like a drink company, or a protein bar, etc., grab one of their products and put some flat lays together that you think would look good on their social media pages. Once you are done, find a contact email for the company and send them the photos! If they like them, maybe they will offer to hire you to shoot more for them. That is a great way to put yourself out there and show a company that you are willing to put in the work to create great imagery for them.

I hope you found these tips helpful! Be sure to come back soon for some more tips!

Thanks for reading!