In this small and easy guide, I’ll tell you 5 tips to create amazing flat-lays for your visual story telling.
Visual story telling is nothing easy, let’s admit it. Even less easy is to narrate a story or a part of it when this story is not an extremely adventurous one!
When we have to tell a travel story, a landscape can do the job, but what if our visual story telling is based on home lifestyle, home working, business, or everyday life?
That’s where a good flat-lay can be crucial!
A good flat-lay is able to summarize a moment and make it photogenic even if we’re not on a trip or at a grand-gala nigh in our best Armani outfit.
In this small and easy guide I’ll tell you 5 tips to create amazing flat-lays for your visual story telling, i.e. for your blog posts, your Instagram and Pinterest profiles.
1 – Online scene creators: a tool no one will tell you about!
Hush, it’s a secret!
Sometimes you don’t even need a camera to create a great flat-lay and a great scene.
If you use Canva regularly, you might have noticed that among the available elements there are also marble and wood backgrounds. Well, they are there specifically to let you “build” credible flat-lays.
Where can you find all the scene elements to tell a flat-lay visual story?
We can use a good scene creator where you can get a huge amount of movable props and backgrounds, suitable to narrate no matter what about any topics.
DesignBundles is in my opinion the best online source, for both professional and beginners visual storytellers.
This online tool is indeed particularly useful if you have to create a visual mockup for your visual project but also for advertisements, fashion and lifestyle posts.
Many of these mockup scenes and visual matchable elements are for free!
All the flay-lays you’ll see in this post were created using movable props and backgrounds I downloaded from Designbundle scene creator.
I just had to upload all the elements on Canva and… have fun in matching them in 5 different flat-lay scenes.
2 – Basic colors backgrounds
The story narrated by a flat-lay is mainly voiced by the objects. This mean the background must never distract from the portrayed items.
Using a white wood or marble background it’s fine, as well as using a dark wood or black-board background, as long as we don’t clutter the whole image with too many objects.
You can choose the dark backgrounds when you have a few objects to portray (let’s say, no more than 3 items+the background).
3 – Verticality
No matter if you create a flat-lay artificially with mockups, png props and backgrounds or with your own camera and the objects you have at home, when it comes to create a great flat-lay, verticality is everything.
The bird eye point of view is what it takes to have a true, expressive flat-lay.
4 – Mind the shadows
When we speak of verticality, we also mean the verticality of the light.
Your light source, no matter if natural or artificial, should come from a top high position in order not to create bothering shadows.
By the way, as long as you can, choose the natural light; it is best suited not to have shadows.
5 – Tip for pro: build a prop-box from your best flat-lays
Every time you shoot a good flat-lay, cut and isolate the elements, save them in png and upload them to your personal prop-box, be it on Canva, or in any folder of your computer. In this way you can upload them time after time on Photoshop or any other graphic tool you are comfortable with and create so many different flat-lays matching your own props with those you’ve found on other graphic sources.