TIPS FOR STYLING FLAT LAYS LIKE A PRO
Styling flat lays can be difficult and overwhelming on a wedding day. Let’s face it, no matter how early we show up, things are running behind and everything is thrown into a frenzy within the first five minutes of arriving. So I decided to put together a list of tips for helping you style flat lays like a pro!
As couples begin the planning process, walk through timelines with them and explain why details are important. You should always put aside at least 30 minutes to styling flat lays. If you are new or have trouble with details, then add 45 minutes instead. Don’t like the idea all together? Suggest a stylists or wedding planner to your couple who can arrive early to style them for you. This way you walk in and begin photographing.
You will need to invest in some items for styling your flat lays. Examples include, carrying cases to store your supplies, ribbons, hangers, scissors, ring boxes and of course styling mats/backdrops. This can get time consuming and expensive so I put together a blog of my personal must haves that can help save you time and money! You can view it HERE!
I also have an entire online course for those wanting to learn how to hand-paint their own backdrops. If you are wanting to take your brand to the next level with custom styling mats that fit your brand, click HERE.
Just because your style is different, doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong. Every person will have a unique way of styling their flat lays. Rule of thumb, always check the position of your items to make sure nothing is off centered. Also, if you have a gap between your items, make sure they are all the same size away from each other. You don’t want some things too close and some things too far away. It can look very unbalanced and throw the entire image off.
When speaking to your couples, ask to see the colors for their wedding. This way you are prepared in advance for packing the night before. There is no reason to bring yellow ribbon if the bride is having a pink and blue themed wedding. The less you bring the better! Rule of thumb, if their invitations are white or cream, your styling mat/backdrop should be a different color. In saying this, know their florals before so you don’t bring the same color as their flowers.
More is not always better. Yes, there are times that tons of flowers look amazing on flat lays. However, sometimes using things the bride already has works just as well. I love taking a brides veil and placing it under her shoes. It is so simple and elegant. Always, prepare your clients to have all of their details waiting for you in a shoe box as you arrive. This way you aren’t hunting for everything and it keeps it all together in one place.
When it comes to taking photographs of your flat lays always start by using a mobile image! I have a free guide to my secrets with taking mobile images HERE. Taking an image using your phone first will allow you to see if anything is uneven, off centered or if you need to move due to lighting. Also, always photograph your flat lays at an aperture of 4.0 or higher. You want all of the details in focus. I go back and forth between 4.0 and 6.0 for reference. As for ring shots, I use my 24-70 zoom lens instead of a macro lens or filter and I set my aperture below 4.0 to get a bit of bokeh.
I hope this was helpful for those of you who struggle with styling your flat lays. I love giving insight to others and I offer education for like minded creatives here if you are interested in learning more! Have a wonderful day loves!