Apart from cooking, baking and exercising, another (less obvious) interest of mine is photography. I used ‘less obvious’ because many pictures that I have taken these days are quickly snapped, blurred at times and lack inspiration. I blame it on uncooperative kids. ;p
Take a glance at my Instagram account and you can tell that it mainly comprises pictures of my kids and food. While I cannot control the appearance and sometimes the mood (they refuse to smile at the camera) of my children, I could certainly style my food better. Impressed by the flatlay shots taken by instagrammers, I attempted to do likewise and have come to the conclusion that it is not so easy to take a good #flatlay shot. An afternoon with Canon Singapore on Creating Better Content workshop confirmed that.
I went back, armed with the renewed desire to take better pictures and to give #flatlay shots a shot. The following are some pointers that I have noted:
:: Use a basic background
My wooden dining table is often used as the background and in order to have more variety, I search for towels and cloth. Little did I realise that I could actually use design paper as my background.
This picture was taken during the workshop and you would have thought that I was laying all these props on a marble top eh? It was actually a design paper! Soo desne! I went back and bought a few of such papers for my #flatlay challenge. I try to choose simple backgrounds that don’t distract the viewer from the main subject.
:: Use natural light
I think we all know that natural light gives the best effect. Taking a shot somewhere that near a large window or glass doors is ideal because it often have a great supply of natural light. Unfortunately, my place is rather dim and I often take pictures under warm lighting. Using photo editing apps (Splice, VSCO , A Beautiful Mess, etc) will help in this case. It certainly makes sense to enhance saturation, lighting and/or warmth where possible/ if necessary with these apps.
This is the shot I took on my dining table. Nope, I didn’t buy a marble table; I merely use a design paper and edit it to make it look better. Is this nice?
:: Have a theme
:: Think of colour palette
:: Pick things that look good from top
:: Leave space between each object
Taking a good flatlay photo involves a lot of work, IMHO. You have to take the above into consideration and it certainly takes time. I entitled this picture as ‘A Beary Good Breakfast’ and got Faith to help make the bear design on the bread. The colour palette that I have chosen is in the shade of brown and yellow and I tried to scout for things that look nice from the top.
Alas, I feel that there is much room for improvement. I think I must continue to look for props to spice up my flatlay pic. Time to build my prop box!
:: Experiment with different layouts
It really does take a long time to come up with a good flatlay pic. During the workshop, the participants were given props and time to come up with a few flatlay pics that they want to submit for a simple contest. You should have seen the hard work put in by them in arranging and re-arranging the props and playing with different layouts. Tough job!
In the end, I settled for this. I tried to keep the frame full. I did my best.
After the workshop, these are the photos that I took, bearing in mind the pointers that were given.
Monday Blues’ breakfast
Sometimes, when I’m at the eatery, I will try to take a flatlay shot of the food but I have to take a quick one because the husband is rolling his eyes and the girl (Ms TamChiak) is crying out for food.
It was an enriching session and Faith and I enjoyed ourselves. The girl wanted to try her hands on the Canon camera and I think I will start her on that using my personal one. I just hope she won’t destroy it. Nah..