Simple Shooting: Flatlay Photos for Social Media

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It's no secret that what you are putting out visually on social media and online is just as important as the content along with it. What if you aren't a photographer though? What if you just don't have the cash right now to spend on purchasing photos or joining a membership site? Are you stuck with non-professional, crappy photos? NO! Even if you are just getting started making your visual brand a whole thing (which if you aren't, you totally must!) you can DIY your own photos and make them look gorgeous and professional. Sidebar: if you aren't a DIY type of girl, a Styled Stock membership is the absolute best way to go. There are some AMAZING ones out there, if you aren't even sure where to start, I walk you though how to decide which is the best fit for you and your business here. 

(*This post contains a few affiliate links, I only share products and services that I absolutely love and use, or have used, myself. Affiliate links are denoted with a (*) If you chose to purchase from these links, I will receive a small % commission of your purchase.  Just another way we help support each others' small businesses!)

 

SIMPLE SETUP

You can take amazing pics with just a few things that you probably already have!

1. Camera/iPhone:

Obviously, this is a big one for shooting photos, BUT you don't need a big fancy camera to get great pictures. With the technology in today's phones, if that is where you start that is perfect! My first DSLR was a Canon Rebel T3*, I used this for a long time before I upgraded. One of the cameras I use most right now is the Canon Rebel T7i* and when I am without my camera, I use my iPhone X* to get a quick shot that I don't want to miss. 

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2. White Foam Boards

This is what will give you that white background and also capture your natural light. You can pick these up at Hobby Lobby or your local craft store, Target* or Walmart. Use 1 for the surface you set your props on and then use 2-4 to make a light box around the shooting area. You will set these  upright to bounce the window light back down on shooting area. You can tape them together at the edges to make an "L" shape so they stand up on their own. You can also experiment with different fabrics for background textures. I use cute placemats, ceramic tiles, linen, blankets, scarves etc! Check around your linen closet and bedroom for something fun!

This photo is the exact same set up, just different angles. You can see how it drastically changes the look of the photos just by changing the angle and how close up the photo is. 


3. Natural Light

Unless you live in a cave, you can shoot these photos right in your home, all you need to find is a window. There are 2 things to consider when finding the best window in your house for lighting these photos: direction the window is facing and time of day.

You don't want harsh, direct lighting, so test it out and see if there are any shadows that are being cast. You can use an East/West facing window if the time of day isn't when the sun is directly pouring into the window. If you are going to shoot in the morning, for example, you wouldn't likely want to use an east facing window. That will cast some harsh shadows, unless that is the look you are going for!

 Try stacking different books and notebooks to give some depth and more interest to your photos. This was shot on a white foam board facing an east window.

Try stacking different books and notebooks to give some depth and more interest to your photos. This was shot on a white foam board facing an east window.


4. Props

This is my favorite part of shooting! It may be because it typically involves shopping! I have tons of props in my prop closet. I grab a few props from there and just purchase some key props to go along with the theme or color scheme that I am shooting. This is the fun, creative part, you can arrange your props shoot a few pics and then rearrange them to see what you like best. Experiment with shooting from different angles, even if you think it's not going to look great, try it anyways, some of my favorite shots are ones that I snap last minute to get a different perspective. You can also experiment with how close and far away you are. Close up photos of a prop can make for very interesting and eye-catching photos! 

I always like to leave a little negative, or white space, in my photos so that I can have space to overlay some text for an Instagram post etc. 

Looking for the best places to prop shop? I'll be adding a post about all things prop shopping soon!

Have fun and enjoy the process! There is a learning curve, and you will figure out your style and best shots with practice! Give yourself some grace and enjoy the process. If you need some extra inspiration, when you are mindlessly scrolling Insta and Pinterest, pay attention to the photos that catch your eye and study them a little closer. Why do are you drawn to them? Was it a color scheme, layout, specific props, etc? You will start to notice these little things that will give you new, fun ideas for shooting your own photos!

(*This post contains a few affiliate links, I only share products and services that I absolutely love and use, or have used, myself. Affiliate links are denoted with a (*) Just another way we help support each others' small businesses!)