Five ways to get the perfect Instagram flatlay

Like any other person with a Smartphone and under the age of 30, you are probably scrolling on Instagram the minute you take a bathroom break. Instagram, the instant photo sharing social media app, has revolutionised the way we see real time story telling with pictures and it has resulted in the boom of Instabloggers ranging from fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle who are paid almost as much as celebrities by companies to endorse their products.

But Instablogging means that you have perfect squares of curated objects that just happen to fit your aesthetic. Phones even come with a square screen mode so that your pictures are already for the gram. But where does one start making perfect flat lays? I asked flat lay maestro Aesha Bint e Abu Bakar  for her tips on how she creates the perfect flat lays. Her Instagram is a beautiful curation of monochromatic beauty items, lifestyle and fashion items that are very pleasing to look at it. And she does it all with her phone! Here are her top tips for creating the perfect flat lays.

1. Use textures

“I don’t have a lot of fancy equipment, just four or five props that you might notice are in use all the time in my flat lays. I make sure that one of them is always a plant or a textured surface like a sheet or a clothing item.” Textures create contrast and interest in your pictures and are always a better background then the carpet.

2. Do not use more than one app to edit

“I only use PicsArt to edit my photos,” says Bakar. “I don’t believe in using multiple apps to edit your photos. Other than few minor brightness and contrast changes, I leave my pictures as is.” Of course, the key is to not over-edit is to get a good picture in the first place which brings us to the next point.

3. Use natural light

Natural, filtered light is the best for taking photos as it shows things in their true colours, is soft and best of all, is free.  “I make my flat lays on a white background in front of my bedroom window.” Says Bakar. A filter like a net screen or a curtain (not Valencia or Lo-Fi) can control how the light hits your objects.

4. Use a colour scheme

“As you can see, I have a monochromatic colour theme in almost all of my photos. Black and white have slowly evolved into my aesthetic and when I have to make posts with coloured items I try to work around my basic theme.” says Bakar. If you don’t know how to mix and match colours, take help from the colour wheel. You can use the colours in the same family like orange, yellow and red or opposite like blue and orange. These combos are fool proof ways of ensuring your flat lays are coherent and visually pleasing.

5. Find your style

This goes without saying but experiment and find your style. “If you see my account from a while back, I used to use magazine pages as backgrounds for my flat lays,” says Bakar. “Now I use the magazines as accents, they are still a part of my style. Sometimes, it takes all day for me to put one flat lay together so it is definitely an effort.”

So there you have it, five tips for creating the perfect flat lays. Do you have any cool photography tips? Let us know!


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