Flat Lay Photography Lighting Essentials
Published 11th February 2016
Equipment required to take professional flat lay photos.
Flat lay photography is increasingly becoming more popular and shared through social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogs and more.
Creating and sharing unique content that users can engage with is becoming more and more crucial to stand out from the crowd. Flat lay photos of fashion, accessories, make up / beauty products, food, or just your every day gear is a brilliant way of creating lifestyle images that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also inspire your viewers.
There’s a plethora of blogs and videos about how to layout and create the perfect flat lay. Take a look at these following links:
Creating the professional “scattered organisation” of a flat lay image is really easy to do provided you have the correct lighting. At times, it’s easy to get away with natural lighting from a large window when the weather is right. But what do you do if you’re shooting in the evening or it’s overcast outside?
We’ve shot a few flat lays ourselves and have come up with a list of the essential things you’ll need for the perfect flat lay photography lighting set-up:
- Smartphone camera / compact camera / DSLR / mirrorless camera
- Daylight rated LED light with stand
- White reflector with stand
- White backdrop or any backdrop to suit (a wooden floor or marble bench top works too!)
At Hypop, we’ve developed a Professional Flat Lay Product Photography Lighting Kit with the exact same lighting set up as above.
Our flat lay lighting kit includes an LED Ring Light which features a 5500k colour temperature which is the closest to natural daylight. This means that all the colours in the photo come across accurately, with minimal post-production and editing. Being a continuous light, it also means that what you see is what you get, before the shot. No fiddling around with flash photography and wireless triggers.
It also includes a pop-up backdrop stand with a white reflector which basically almost acts as a second light and fills in any shadows in the photo. For example, if you have your light positioned on the left of the shot with a shadow throwing on the right, you can position the reflector on the right to reduce some of those shadows. It’s a simple matter of repositioning the reflector to where it’s required, prior to taking the shot.
All that’s left is to take the photo with a smartphone such as an iPhone, a compact camera, mirrorless or DSLR camera. The most expensive camera doesn’t necessarily produce the best results. We’ve taken really great looking flat lays with an iPhone or compact camera, but using a DSLR or mirrorless will definitely allow you to edit or do more with your post-production in a program such as Photoshop. The lighting is the key to producing a professional looking shot.
With the above equipment, you can be sure to be shooting professional looking flat lays just like popular bloggers or companies online, which will definitely boost your user engagement and hopefully likes!