This blog post runs through 5 tips for the perfect 'Flat Lay' so that you can better show off your climbing and hiking gear on Instagram and other social media. In short, our 5 tips are:
1 - Make sure theres ample lighting.
2 - Keep everything neat.
3 - Choose a simple background.
4 - Be creative with angles and composition.
5 - Don’t forget to edit your photo.
Tip 1 - Lighting.
Position yourself near a window to make the most of available, natural light. This will help minimise having ‘grainy’ photos as well as making sure you can actually see the gear. Overcast days offer softer, diffused light whereas sunny days can ad contrast to your image. If you can't use a window, try using the flash to add some extra light.
Tip 2 - Be neat.
Take the time to make sure every item is neat and well spaced. Carefully folding up jackets and layers is the best way to include them; keep each item flat on the floor if possible for the best results. After all, if you're going to go to the effort to lay everything out, you might as well make it look good.
Tip 3 - Choose a simple background.
When choosing a background, it's best to keep things simple; as tempting as it may be, stay off the wacky rug! Stick to either plain carpet, or a wood floor for bonus ‘trendy’ points. If you want to go the extra step, consider laying out a fabric sheet to use as the background.
Tip 4 - Be creative with angles and composition.
Use an 'elevated surface', if needed, to get the ‘classic’ top down shot. Consider playing with angles and close ups to better showcase specific gear. 'Filling the frame' and using dutch angles (intentionally angling the camera - see photo); take some extra time to experiment once everything is laid out.
Tip 5 - Don’t forget to edit.
Play around with some instagram filters or use a free app such as Snapseed or Lightroom Mobile to edit your photo. Try adding some contrast and ‘structure’ or ‘clarity’ to make your gear pop! You can also remove any unwanted distractions, such as a stain on the carpet, with the healing brush.
Hopefully these tips can elevate your flat lay ‘game’ and get you a few more likes on instagram. Don’t forget to use hashtags and tag the brands of gear you use *cough* @summiteerequipment *cough* for a chance to be featured or re-shared.
Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.