5 Easy Steps for Better Flat Lay Photos

5 Easy Steps for Better Flat Lay Photos


Photography can be expensive. It can also be time-consuming if you can’t quite get the right picture that you are seeing in your mind. You see all these fancy photos on neat and tidy backgrounds, and you think “I just want that white clean look”.

I’ve been doing photography for a really long time. It is something I have always loved. I love all the different equipment and little details that can come with photography. I also really love to do DIY and crafts. Having great photos to represent your hard work will help you sell your handmades or promote that blog post!

Right now flat lay photos are super popular on social media. They are the perfect way to display product photos. You can also use them in blog posts

I am going to share with you how you can create take better photos of your work, in just a few short steps that you can start doing right away.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.

Cheap and Easy White Photography Background

Before you begin taking photos, you may want to get the secret tool that many photographers are using for their flat lay images. It is super cheap and can be found online, office stores, or craft stores. What is this secret (and cheap) tool you ask? The foam core whiteboard.

How to Set Up the background

Step 1: Clear a space by a window with good lighting. 

You don’t want to use a window that doesn’t have any light coming through. The best kind of light is one that is soft and doesn’t create any super harsh shadows. Experiment at different times of the day and see which windows in your house let in the best light.

I have a big bay window in the front of my house that works perfectly for this. (pictured above) I really like evening light so I will set up my background and take a few pictures around dinner time.

Step 2: Lay one of the whiteboards down without any of the grid lines showing.

Your whiteboards may be different, but one side of my boards has grid lines that are clearly visible. You don’t want those showing in your pictures! That’s too much editing! The goal is to not have very much editing.

Step 3: Prop up the second whiteboard towards the window to use as a reflector. I also have these frog stands (little spikes in the picture holding up the whiteboard) that help to hold up the board so I don’t have to balance my camera and whiteboard at the same time.

I am short, so I have to use a step ladder to reach basically everything. If you don’t have these frog stands then you can lean the second whiteboard against the ladder.

Also in this step, you will want to adjust the board so that you see minimal shadows on your object. You’ll have to play around with the angle of the board so that the light is bouncing from the board onto your setup. 

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Shooting the flat lay

Step 4: Take multiple pictures of your object in different poses and setups. Below are 3 different pictures with the same flower and tray. 


This step can be the most time consuming and flexible step. Adjust your object in many different settings to see what you like best. If you have a bright colored object try shooting on neutral colors. If you have a neutral object, try shooting with some bright accent pieces.

To make sure the background has the all-white look you are going for, you will want to shoot your pictures directly above your object. Leave some space on all sides so that you can crop the photo if needed. Read more on shooting directly over your object here.


Step 5: Edit your photo.

I use a couple different programs for editing my pictures. It depends on if I take the picture on my phone or camera. If I take pictures on my camera I use Adobe Photoshop. I have a lot of experience with Photoshop, and I can comfortably use this program to edit pictures. It takes a lot of time and practice to get used to using Photoshop, so if you don’t know how to use it, no biggie there are other options out there!

The other way I edit pictures is with PicMonkey . This is the easiest option for me when I take pictures on my phone. There is a PicMonkey app that is easy to use and simple to save for later use. I will also use PicMonkey on my laptop because I can’t get Photoshop on my laptop, and because PicMonkey is web-based this works great. 

Photography is a learned skill. Just remember to have fun and experiment with your photos! If you take a picture and don’t like it later, you can always take another!

Also check out this super simple DIY Marble Background tip for taking even more gorgeous photos!


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about me - Create a Mama

I’m Lindsay, a wife, new mommy, and creative. I help moms with tips on exclusive pumping and new mom life. I create crochet patterns for beginners. I also help mom bloggers with photography.


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