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1023 Springdale Road, Building 6B
Austin, TX, 78721
United States

Austin's favorite stationery shop and workshop studio.


The Paper + Craft Pantry blog is home to our latest DIY projects, current inspiration sources, and small business advice. 

How-To: Flat Lay 101

Pei Sim

Achieving the Perfect Flat-Lay Photo for Instagram

Who doesn't love a perfect flat lay!?

How many times have you been scrolling through Instagram and can't help but give a good ol' double tap on a really well-styled flat lay picture? These aerial-view photos are visually stunning and can be a really great way to add some consistency to your feed, or even serve as a great styled product picture for your retail website. But let's be honest, even non-business owners can appreciate an Insta-worthy photo when they see one. 

We decided to let y'all in on our secrets behind creating the flat lays you see on our Instagram. And the best part is, you don't even need a fancy camera! 

The Paper+Craft Pantry How-To Perfect Your Instagram Flat Lays
How To Achieve the Perfect Flat Lay Photo for Your Business Instagram
How To take the Perfect Flat Lay Photo for Instagram
  • Foam board (one as a background + one to bounce light)
  • Styling accessories
  • iPhone
  • Editing app (we use Color Story)

Steps To Creating A Flat Lay:

1. Get a couple pieces of foam board—it's light, versatile and makes your surface portable! *Pro-Tip: Your background doesn't have to be white, so don't be afraid to get creative! Use a colorful foam board, beautiful sheet of wrapping paper, vinyl, or a sample piece of wallpaper...there are so many options!*

2. Find a space with diffused, natural lighting!

3. Decide if your flat lay is going to be portrait, landscape, or cropped into a square. This will help you lay things out to make sure it fits in your screen/lens.

4. Arrange from the center outwards. It's up to you on how to lay out your visual pieces! You can make a specific product the focal point, create a pattern, go with a color scheme, etc. Don't be afraid to keep things minimal, or even add in extra greenery or flowers to make your flat lay feel more full! 

5. You're going to want to elevate yourself (stand on a chair, or invest in a tripod + extension arm) to take a shot from a bird's eye point of view. *Pro-Tip: Use another piece of white foam board to balance out the light/shadow by having someone/or something hold it above your shot.  

6. Using your editing app, play around with the curves to remove shadows. Bump up your contrast and brightness. There's no exact formula for the best edited photos, so have fun developing your own editing style. 

Want Some Flat Lay Inspiration?

The Paper + Craft Pantry Tips on Taking the Perfect Flat Lay Photo