If you’ve ever sat and thought about your blog photography, I’m sure the flat lay has crossed your mind. I personally used to stay away from flat lays as I felt they worked better for beauty bloggers and hadn’t really got the set up down for creating my own. However, recently I’ve been trying really hard to up my flat lay game and create photos I’m proud of. Mainly to post on my Instagram. I thought it would be fun to do a quick blog post on my must-have props, and how you can up your flat lay game even if you don’t have loads of makeup items to hand.
Okay starting with the basics; the first thing you need is a flat surface. I’ve found using a piece of cardstock really useful as you can place it anywhere – hello natural light. I had mine laying around from my college photography days, but you can pick these large bits of card up for under a fiver in most craft shops.
I also use a combination of coloured cards and wrapping papers, which add texture and colour to my photos. Lately I’ve been loving keeping a plain white background and then adding a hint of pink or blue, but this is so easy to change up if I’m not feeling the way it looks. Blankets and throws are also good for texture too if you’re trying to add a bit of depth. Finding the perfect background can be difficult but I think if you’re really struggling, just keep it simple!
Both of the images above contain my go-to props, so I’m not going to list them all. I will talk about a few of my favourites though, and why they make my cut.
Candles: I’m not sure I’ve ever taken a flat lay that doesn’t have a candle in it somewhere. I tend to gravitate towards the bigger ones, but I wouldn’t say no to a tealight! Obviously these don’t have to be mega-expensive either – my favourite one is just a plain white one from Ikea as it goes with everything. Candle holders are a staple in my flat lay prop collection too because they tend to be made to look good.
Polaroids: These are a firm favourite in my collection. Because I usually stick to similar colour schemes, I take photos of my flat lays after I’m done with them and then use them again the next time I set everything up. They add a bit of texture because of the shiny photo paper and they co-ordinate with the rest of my props. Win-win.
Pens: When I was first getting to grips with flat lays I used a shit-ton of pens. Now I’m a little more restrained and only include a couple per set-up. Again, I gravitate towards the colours I’m using within the rest of the props.
Plants: Everyone loves plants right?
I do still struggle with my props to an extent – they don’t really hold any particular relevance to the blog posts I pair them with a lot of the time – but this is something I’m working on to make my photos feel more ‘me’. One of the main things I’ve learned whilst trying to up my flat lay game recently has been to focus on creating a cohesive colour scheme. I tend to gravitate towards pinks and blues anyway, but by solely choosing props that have a cohesive colour scheme I think I’ve done a far better job with my flat lays than I ever have previously.
What are your favourite props to use in flat lays? Are they the same as mine, or do you go a bit more creative?