I never considered doing a tutorial simply because I never thought I was good enough to share information with you. I still feel that way and photography is a journey where so much can be discovered daily but, as many of you showed interest on this topic, I’ve decided to start a new column in which I will explain you how I style/edit my pictures.
Let’s start with something that I think is great fun: FLATLAYS! I love faffing around with props and creating new setups for my flatlay, I have learned with time and have gathered inspiration from the evergreen Pinterest and translating that inspiration into my own vision.
So here is what you will need for your flatlays:
VISION: first of all you need to visualise in your head what you want to recreate, imagine a color palette, the props you want to use and, once you have a base in mind, put it to practice and lay all of your props on the chosen surface. You can use so many things as a backdrop: think blanket, cosy knit, kitchen counter top and, if you have some extra cash, you can also invest in some vinyl backdrop. I have 2 at the moment but I definitely need a couple more!
PROPS: I used to use a lot of flowers and stil do but I have switched from the floral theme as it is quite restricting (and expensive). Flowers are always great and I can tell you that I’m so waiting for the peonie’s season to start but you can use many other things. I like my pictures to have a seasonal feel to them so I change my props accordingly. You can use everything really: gloves, a scarf, twinkly lights, cinnamon sticks, postcards, socks, blankets and pout pourri! I never was a fan of pout pourri until I discovered the potential of using it as a prop! It’s perfect to fill a picture. I also love to use dried flowers and eucalyptus. I don’t own many props but I’m trying to get more of them and be more organised at the same time. For that reason I have bought a box to store my props: it is much easier when they are all in one place as you can easily reach for more and mix/swap them when needed.
COMPOSITION: once you put your vision into practice you will see if the ensemble works or if it needs adjusting, then proceed accordingly. If I’m styling food then I start with placing the main object (often a cup or a plate with sweets) and start adding elements around it. I always use a tea towel to give texture and, very often, a wooden board too. To fill spaces I use the ingredients you will find in the recipe that I’m showing: for instance if I’m showcasing a cup of hot chocolate I will “casually” sprinkle some cocoa powder around it for example. There is no limit to creativity and it’s a process you learn along the way, I also have so much more to learn! I always add and remove objects to achieve the best result. I do like my flatlay to be quite busy but you can style them as you prefer obviously.
SHOOT from different angles so that you can see what works better on your IG/blog and, once you are satisfied, be ready for some good editing. But that we will cover in another post!
N.B. all these pictures were taken with an iPhone 8plus (no fancy camera involved!).