How To Style A Flat Lay

Flay lays are the big thing right now in photography and Instagram and it doesn’t look like their popularity is waning. If you compare these two images you can see why there’s such a move towards them – in the photograph taken from above there is so much more white space, making the props stand out more against the background, whereas the more traditional angled shot looks messy and cramped.

I’ve put together my favourite tips on how to style a ‘flat lay’ and if you missed it you should also hop along and read Instagram Tips To Boost Your Profile (


// Collect items together in a theme. You could create your own Colour Buddies by choosing a lovely colour scheme and matching your props to it. Don’t be afraid to experiment with unlikely colour matches.


// Set a scene or capture a moment. You could style an image that reflects your month ahead or maybe the tools you use to create products for your Etsy shop. Here I have set a nighttime scene with some cosy socks, a mug of tea and some luxuries to enjoy while I read in bed. I’ve even added a fun quote about dreaming. Use items that will really pull the viewer into the moment with you.


// Use a human element. A great way to add depth to your image is by adding in a part of the human body, giving the viewer something to relate to and letting them know you’re a real person and not just pixels on a screen. Try photographing your hand reaching for a treat or turning the page in a magazine.


// Think about textures. Try adding in peeks of fabric from a scarf or pair of socks. A tea towel is the perfect prop when shooting food photography, place it scrunched up under a bowl for a little extra something. Experiment with different textures like book pages and candles. Dust on some glitter or icing sugar… it will be worth the mess you have to clean up afterwards!


// Add a natural element. Another great way of adding texture and depth is to include something with a nature feel to it such as flowers, twigs or fruit. Try slicing into fruit to expose the incredible colour burst inside.

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