Flat lay photography is a creative way to showcase all kinds of subjects and products – from make-up and jewellery to food and baby announcements. Bloggers and content creators on social media provide a rich source of inspiration for these types of photos, but where do you start when it comes to designing and styling your own flat lays, and how do you make sure your top-down shots stand out on social feeds?
Keep it simple, suggests commercial product and lifestyle photographer Chris Priestley, who makes a living shooting flat lays as part of his day job and has 54,000 followers on Instagram and more than 1 million followers on TikTok. "Less really is more when it comes to props in a flat lay photo, and a distracting background can ruin an image."
The good news is that flat lay photography is open to everyone. You don't need specialist equipment – a standard kit lens or even a compact camera is all you need to try out this fascinating technique. In fact, it all begins with a pencil and paper, as Chris explains in the first of six tips below.