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’.