Flat Lay Styling Tips

 

A wedding planner, photographer, stationery designer, and marketer walk into a bar…and they style a flat lay with whatever they can get their hands on! But all jokes aside, we really do whip up a flat lay pretty much every chance we get - for good reason. Styling flat lays is an art that takes practice and because they have become important pieces of marketing collateral for any creative business, we want to make sure that we’re continually pushing our own skills when creating content for you!

And, with about a year and a half of styling and shooting flat lays for collections of our styled stock photography under our belts, each of us has learned a thing or two. From finding inspiration and making sure every detail is placed just so to telling a story and creating a visual that is multifaceted, the hours upon hours we’ve worked together as a team have definitely influenced our approach to it all. So today, we wanted to share some of our top styling tips with you all so that you can work to hone your own skills! Read on for flat lay styling tips from that wedding planner, photographer, stationery designer, and marketer who can’t even walk into a bar without styling something.

Photos courtesy  Lorely Meza  and  LVL Academy

Photos courtesy Lorely Meza and LVL Academy

Christy’s Top Flay Lay Styling Tip (the Wedding Planner)

“Don’t be afraid to get creative with your props! See an amazing piece of foliage on a walk? Or how about a slice of papaya from your breakfast? Try and incorporate it into your flat lay! Basically, don’t be scared to think out of the box. And trust me, not every flat lay needs a silk ribbon. Next time you are styling, get wild with a new little object that has an interesting texture, color, and/or shape! You’ll be surprised at how something new can add so much to your design.”

Jen’s Top Flat Lay Styling Tip (the Photographer)

“When you’re photographing a flat lay, make sure all the lines are doing what you want them to be doing in-camera - there’s no fixing that in post! Whether the composition is filled with right angles or beautiful chaotic disorder, make sure you’re directly over the flat lay and your lens or iPhone is parallel to the floor. Grab a stool or a chair if your hamstrings and tippy toes don’t do the trick! Use some styling blocks to create levels of focus for the camera so that your eye naturally goes to the star piece of the flat lay. And, if you’re working with a prop stylist, be sure to show them the back of the camera so they can see what you’re seeing and adjust if need be. A beautiful flat lay happens when composition from the stylist and cropping from the photographer are in perfect sync.”

Cassie’s Top Flat Lay Styling Tip (the Stationery Designer)

“Follow your gut and stay true to your style. Sure there might be ‘rules’ but some rules are meant to be broken! Try to achieve balance and meaning in your compositions and vignettes - whether that's taking an asymmetrical and more whimsical approach to move the eye through the composition, embracing simplicity and white space or a more straight forward symmetrical setup - each can be just as gorgeous as the other, tell different stories and speak to different people. Pull out props to help tell your story and add interest and depth with some acrylic styling blocks and don't be afraid to push yourself to look at things through a different lens (no pun intended)! Embrace stepping out of your comfort zone too - that's where the magic can really happen!”

Tayler’s Top Flat Lay Styling Tip (the Marketer)

“Come up with an objective before you spend all of that time styling. Whether it’s keeping things simple to show off a stunning suite of stationery or bringing in all of the props you can get your hands on to tell a story about a fun filled wedding weekend, you should understand what you are trying to get people to take away from the image before you even lay the first prop down. This makes it easier to make sure you have what you need when putting together a wedding submission or styling a flat lay for a product or brand shoot. Because, in the end, you want to not only catch people’s eye but get them to be interested in hiring you!”

 
Tayler Cusick Hollman