The fist step in creating a flatly is to choose a theme. A theme is important because you want it to be cohesive. You can choose a theme a number of different ways you can start with one item that really inspires you or a color for example. So in this flatly to the left the theme as Pink since it is getting close to valentines day!
You could also have chosen a theme based on an item. Sometimes the theme will come after you have the anchor pieces so steps one and two are interchangeable! Sometimes you start with an anchor piece and then choose a theme. For example a Rae Dunn mug could be your anchor but the theme could be a number of different things, coffee, Hot chocolate, Valentines, Christmas. The options are numerous!
The next step is to gather a couple of larger anchor items of in this photo the main anchor item is the Magenta plate in the middle and then we looked for other items around the house that we had to match. We wanted to use a Rae Dunn mug so we started looking at all our mugs and found the one with the pink inside first. This is when our pink theme was really decided. Then we looked for other items around the house and finally came back to the Dunn collection and found the "HER" mug with the pink letters.
The background is an important piece. Since our theme was pink we knew we wanted a light background to continue the light pastel feel for the photo. However, consider using a table, the floor, a counter top, the grass, the snow - your possibilities again are endless. It just needs to complement your theme.
Gather Smaller Items
Now start gathering items that you have that match your theme around the house. No need to spend money usually if you get creative enough you can find enough in your house. It could be coffee beans, flowers, cookies, wood, greenery, etc. You get the idea just gather a number of smaller items that match your theme! We typically gather more than we end up using but it is nice to have them handy so when you start laying things out you can just play with it and don't have to go looking for things.
However sometimes when you are laying things out you will also think of other items that will work great. That is the beauty of flatly they are easy to change and update and redo! In our photo we had some large pink flowers from Michaels that were in a spring flower arrangement so we gathered those and then we had some small pink ones that our dog tore off the stem. Instead off throwing them away we used them individually and it turned out perfectly! Almost like we planned it that way! Shhh don't tell we didn't!
Start the Layout - Large First
Now that you have all of your pieces handy and your background it is time to start laying it out! Start with the big items first! Like in life if you don't put the big things first you don't have room for them! So once you have your anchor item and larger items then start adding in smaller items and move things around add things take things away and play with it until you get it to where you like it! Sometimes LESS is MORE! For example in the picture below you will see we actually had more items than we ended up with. It just was starting to look too busy and worked better for what we wanted without the larger flowers. Remember white space is important! You should be able to see your background and have spaces where it is just background for that contrast.
Add the smaller items last. These are the easiest to play with and move around so add those! Then because we have large Dogs that can reach the counters the cookies were the very last for us! ;).
Now that you have it laid out take lots of pictures. While you have it there move things around take a few more! In this photo shoot for this one flatly we actually took 30+ pictures. We would add some things take some away and just get many different versions! You may end up liking one you hadn't planned on which is the case we had. We totally planned on using the Zinias but in the end preferred the simpler version with out them.
Also you can sometimes get a couple different enough images that placed far enough apart you could use them both. There is no right or wrong so have fun with it. And unless you are very tall it is helpful to have a step stool or something to give you a little more height while taking the photos. That will allow you to really get up high enough to get a flatlay!
No matter how great of a photographer you are every picture could use some edits. Ok so in complete honesty here we are going to show you our unedited photo so you can see how we got our cup to be level and the text level!! Ok so don't tell our secret just for us! Ok if you see the photo below which is the final photo that we used and is at the top of this post. You see the styrofoam we just placed a small piece underneath the handle to prop the cup up and keep it level. Well we of course wouldn't have posted it like that so a quick edit of cloning our background and putting it there it disappears! And we didn't spend more than 10 minutes editing it! Now we are not pros at editing yet so maybe if you looked really close you might be able to tell but you would not have known if we didn't tell you! We used PicMonkey for our edits. The clone tool is your friend!!
Ok Now it is your turn! Go create a flatly and let us know how it goes! Post your pictures here we would love to see them! Good luck!!
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