I used to be an avid ‘flat layer’. Once, I got my Dad to buy a large foam board and mount marble sticky back plastic onto it so I could get that ‘instaworthy’ back drop. I would go to the shop ‘Tiger’ and buy some tacky props. Or get some ribbon from a craft shop that I could trail in the image. From a gold pineapple cricket dish, to buying books written from bloggers (not to read them but to put in my photos) you name it. I used to think bloggers had to make flat lays.
But as my blog has grown, my ideas and preferences have changed. My creative ideas have differed I have realised I bloody hate making flatlays. To look at them, and admire them on Instagram is something I enjoy. There are many bloggers who have absolutely NAILED the flatlay game. From Faye from FridayFaye with her pink themed flatlays to Justyna Karmińska and her effortless food flatlays. The standard is VERY HIGH.
Partly why I don’t like making my own stereotypical flatlays is for that reason. Some of the flatlays out there are so gorgeous, jaw-droppingly so. I don’t feel like I would ever be able to produce content that high of a quality. I know some people are screaming at me saying ‘Don’t be silly you can!’. But I can’t. The stunning flatlay photos out there are taken using specialist cameras and lenses. The perfect lighting and props that would cost me an arm and a leg. I also found the editing process for flatlays hard. Getting the right white scale, or making sure the photo wasn’t too warm or cool because I couldn’t guarantee my lighting.
When I hit 1000 followers on my blog, it was super dark outside because it was in the middle of December I wanted to post something about it. I took my awful marble backdrop, wrote 1000 out on a piece of A4 paper, added some bits and bobs to fill the space and took the photo. I had to use my kitchen ligh. Then I had to try and edit the crap out of it to get rid of the yellow tinge. It was awful and I cannot believe it when I look back.
Even now, when I bought some studio lights, and I have a good DSLR camera and all the necessary items I can’t master the flatlay. I understand the composition of the image. But I just can’t get the damn thing right. Whether one corner is slightly dark than the others, or whether I need some more of this colour in it. IT DOESN’T WORK.
At this point, I just tend to give up and I have realised that maybe I should leave it to the experts. I love taking outfit photos, detail photos and taking photos of products on location. SO. I will stick to my niche and leave the flatlays to the ‘flat layers’.
Oh I remember the days of marble card on wooden board! It’s okay to have grown out of love with Flatlays angel! I admire your content and always love seeing you on my feed!
Love Casey x
Ahhh thank you gorgeous!
I do have to say that I’m in the same boat as you, the only posts I tend to do as flatly are now palette reviews as they tend to suit being taken face down to see the shades best, but for everything else I prefer a more natural shot.
I do have to say in general insta accounts that only post flatlays usually using the exact same set up or same 20 props tend to be a turn off for me – creativity all the way for me!
Helpless Whilst Drying
I love flatlay accounts, like the pink ones, or the detailed and busy ones. However I just don’t think I could ever reach that standard!
You should check out “how to nail a flatlay” on adoseofapril— she has some great tips!
Ahhh I will do!
This was such an interesting post! Whilst I’m no where means an expert or even as good as some people are, I feel way more comfortable taking flat lay photos than I do of myself. Although I have been enjoying taking more photos of myself lately and have been struggling with flat lay’s which is really weird for me as it’s usually the other way round. But you take some beautiful photos and I think sticking with what you love to do is the best way forward. You do you girl xx
Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.co.uk
I think I went through that stage! I used to take flatlays all the time, I would even just buy stuff so I could put it in a flatlay. But then I started taking more photos of myself, and outfit photos and it started to change my mind about my content! Thanks Lauren!