How to DIY Your Flatlay Photos

We all know flatlay photos are in popular demand. But sometimes, they can be a little too generic for your brand. Maybe the colors are off, or the subjects aren’t quite right –I mean, there’s only so many photos out there, am I right? And unless you have Photoshop, or some other fancy editor, you’re likely to spend more time fixing the graphics you have, when you could just take them yourself! Here’s what I did to improvise:

DIY your stock photos

Gather your props

Flatlay photos are known for its simplicity. No need to get crazy, here –I typically grab things from around the house! In fact, popular props include everything from pens and notebooks, to staplers and paperclips. But, if you’re not in a service-based industry like me, then you probably won’t want pictures of office supplies –ha! Try taking photos of your products if you’re a seller, ingredients and utensils if you’re a food blogger, etc.

Get your board

On top of its simplicity, flatlay photos are typically bright, crisp, and clean. I recommend purchasing a large white canvas or board to act as the backdrop for your photos. If you want to mix it up, try using different patterns or textures as your background to match your brand style!


Find your light

You’ll find you’ll have easier time taking pictures in natural light –so be sure to clear some space on a table or the floor in your brightest room for your photoshoot.

Style your shot

Once you’ve prepped your space, it’s time to style the props on top of your chosen background. I’ve found that less is more –but it’s really up to you and your branding. This has got to be one of my favorite parts because it’s fun once you get the hang of where to place things (TIP: check out the dollar bins at Target or Michaels for small accents –like ribbon or flowers, to finish off the look).

Start snapping!

Yes, you can totally pull this off with your iPhone. In fact, that’s how I started before I got my Canon. You’ll then want to grab a stool or bench that’s tall enough to hover over the surface of your objects. Standing works too, but it’s a whole lot of bending/squatting and tippy-toe nonsense you probably don’t want to deal with. Once you’ve found enough distance between the camera and your subject, start snapping! I typically move my bench around the subject, so I can get it from different angles. Shadows are another thing to consider, so be sure you’re angling your shot facing the light (TIP: if you’re struggling with shadows still, you could get an additional board to to help you reflect/redirect the light).


Time to edit

Whoohoo –you did it! Now, you’ll want to edit your photos to achieve the final look. I like cropping the photo first, so I can really focus on my subject. For a crisp white background to compliment your objects, Plann (for Instagram) is awesome because they have a white-enhancing feature in their editor. Snapseed or A Color Story are other great apps I use for touching up little spots closely. Once you’re happy with everything, upload to your desired platform and enjoy!

Remember, if DIY photos isn’t your thing –or you’re just low on time, I’ll personally style a set of photos just for you. Contact me today at for more information😊.

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How to create beautiful flatlay or stockphotos from home. #brandingtips #brandingyourself #diy