The modest product/flatlay image has evolved from its humble beginnings as ‘a way to showcase awesome items you own‘ (… thanks for that Google) to a genre of photography in itself; you can share almost anything through a flatlay or product image & tell a story in the most beautiful ways without leaving the comfort of your own sitting room (or, your own back garden at least!).
Below are two images, both sharing the products I want to feature but, in a very different way-
Product images are crucial for blogger & brands who want to diversify their feed or share things they’re loving without spending a fortune or, summoning the aid of a photographer and, when they’re done well they’re simply stunning images but, how can they be done well? you ask.
Here’s my answers:
For both image clarity and mood setting the right lighting is critical to tell a story- lighting can be altered really simply with artificial bright lights or softer lighting from candles and lamps.
I wanted to create a moody/cosy tone to the above image so beautiful industrial fairy lights (€4 in Primark) and, candles (these buddha ones are only another €4 in Primark) added that beautiful evening light to a photo that was actually taken before lunch on a wet Monday afternoon.
Consider what mood you want the image to have and alter the lighting accordingly… it’s the first step to telling a story with an image (see my post on ‘simple tips for taking beautiful insta pics‘)
If you want to create beautiful images at home but are not sure where to start I suggest thinking of what you want to share. Are you going on a trip you want to talk about? Brainstorm what you have at arm’s length that’ll help tell that story; passport, map, luggage, bikini, camera, sunnies etc…. throw them down, move ’em around & add a bit of texture. Hey presto you’ve got an image!
This goes back to my earlier point about the eye enjoying simplicity… by picking props to suit the colour tone of the products you want to shoot you’ll find the image comes together a lot easier. I chose all complimenting coloured items to create this image meaning they flow together really well-
Nothing can kill a potentially beautiful flatlay image more than crooked products or poor spacing between the items. This may sound trivial but hear me out; the sheer reason why flatlays are so appealing to the eye is due to their simplicity. By nature we look for simplicity in life so, straight lines & even spacing makes the image more attractive.
There’s no denying that this takes time but, the final image will be worth rearranging things millimeter by millimeter.
*Side note* Don’t forget to ensure your phone is complete flat when taking the image… one side being closer to the products will ruin any symmetry created within the frame.
Spill the powder, crumble the croissant, let the dead petals fall. A little mess is natural in life & therefore natural in an image; if the chaos works don’t clean it up!
Textures are key to any staged image & helps avoid the image looking flat or lifeless… they can help tell the story; a soft blanket in the above case, or contrast the product in the image therefore making them stand out by comparison; greenery in the above case.
I’ve been building a box of textures & props over the years but, they can be hugely expensive and realistically they’re not going to work for every photo so I have to keep adding to the collection (plus they get destroyed by food when I’m shooting that at home but that’s a story for another post!)
I’ve been sourcing little props from the homeware section of Primark for years which is why, then they asked me to work with them I got very excited about doing a blog post helping people create beautiful images at home & sharing my secrets with you guys.
They have a constant variety of these little artificial plants (€3) & textured coasters (€3 for pk of 2) which work amazingly as props for creating beautiful images at home without breaking the bank aaaaaaaand they make gorgeous little cosy extras for around the house so you can have them sitting pretty ready to be pulled into a pic at any opportunity 🙂
(Pillowcases, fairy lights, artificial plants and candles all Primark)
There you have it guys, my crash course for upping game when it comes to product images for brands, bloggers or anyone who wants to add a little sparkle to their feed, I really hope you found it useful x
**Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Primark who approached me about creating content for them in a way that I see fit. I chose homewares, I chose the topic and I wrote the words with zero influence. All products mentioned are available in the Penneys, Mary Street right now xx