My First Attempt At Taking Flat Lay Photographs.
In recent weeks, I have noticed that some of the photographs I have been taking have been a little bit lacklustre. Mostly, I blame the weather. It’s hard to take cheery, bright, inspirational photographs when you’re ankle deep in mud and it hasn’t stopped raining since November. Most of the photographs that I publish on here are taken using my iPhone 6. Some of them are taken by my husband using a Sony CyberShot camera so, nothing fancy. I’m not an expert photographer, absolutely nowhere near but I do love taking pictures.
Over the past few weeks, I have spent many a happy hour drooling over the beautiful “flat lay photographs” on Pinterest. There are some truly beautiful pictures on there and yesterday, I decided I might give it a go. It’s Pancake Day today so what could be easier than taking some envy-inducing photographs of food? Then, afterwards, I get to scoff the pancakes so it’s basically a win-win situation. You’d think it would be the easiest thing in the world, really, wouldn’t you? Turns out …… not!
This morning, feeling somewhat inspired, I gathered some props to make the food look delicious. I had nipped to the shop yesterday to buy fresh berries, maple syrup and some delicious salted caramel coffee sachets. I thought the frothiness would look nice in the photos ………. and again, I get to drink the salted caramel deliciousness after the pics are taken. Do you see a pattern emerging here?
I duly covered a small table with some wallpaper to make it look more rustic. Then I moved it in front of the patio doors in my living room so I could utilise the natural light. Unfortunately, our kitchen is quite dark. It’s at the back of the house and the trees from the woods make it a little dark for taking bright photos. Next, I cooked the pancakes. I figured they didn’t have to be warm to photograph them, they just needed to look nice. And here is where I came a little unstuck!
Here are the five main things I learned about taking flat lay photographs.
- I didn’t have enough hands to arrange the food on the table and fend off the hoard of cats and dogs that caught a whiff of pancake and thought it was their birthday. Not only that, I had to keep hopping up and down on a chair in order to take the pictures from above. The dogs thought this was a great game. A bit like table skittles with the aim of the game being to knock me off the chair. They proved to be very good at it too!
- Natural light isn’t foolproof. Every time I picked up my phone to snap a pic, the sun went behind a cloud. I deleted about 50 grey, gloomy-looking pictures within the first 2 minutes.
- Composition is key to gorgeous looking photos. Do not use fruits such as blueberries and raspberries in your photographs unless you can actually stick them to the plate. Superglue might work. They have a mind of their own and they do not co-operate!
- If you are using something like wallpaper to cover the table, tape it down! Otherwise, if you accidentally put your hand on it, there is a fairly good chance that everything is going to slide all over the place and come perilously close to ending up on the floor. (Refer back to point 3 …… superglue, people, it’s the only way!)
And lastly, and this one is massively important. I cannot stress this final point enough.
- Never, ever, EVER try and take pictures of food when you’re hungry! Big mistake.
I do, however have a solution. I need a studio. With white painted walls, a couple of big windows and a nice big table to use as a backdrop.
And ……… absolutely no dogs, cats, llamas, chickens or ducks allowed.