I know you all loved my guide for how to take flatlay photos so I’ve created part 2 to that guide. Every flatlay photo needs to tell a story and in order to do that you’ll need a few props. Today I’m sharing all my favourite props to include in flatlay photos. Of course, depending on the type of photography you want to create, there may be additional props you’d specifically want to invest in. For example if you are a food blogger I would recommend also adding a collection of beautiful plates and utensils. But for general lifestyle photography these are the items I reach for the most when creating beautiful flatlay photos for my Instagram.
Here are my recommendations for the best flatlay props for styling beautiful Instagram photos.
The Best Flatlay Props for Instagram Photos:
1. The background
Every flatlay photo need a great background. Often you are able to use whatever surfaces you have in your house such as your kitchen counter top or living room rug. But not everyone lives in a home where this is possible. Also, adding in backgrounds that you don’t already have in your home gives more variety to your feed. I personally prefer lighter coloured backdrops when it comes to creating flatlays. Here are my recommendations for the best background props for styling flatlay photos.
2. Trays and dishes
Being able to group items together in a tray is a great way to make your flatlay photo more interesting. Some of my favourite props for this purpose are marble or lucite serving trays. Other items that work well are small plates or bowls. A small jewellery dish is perfect for grouping together smaller objects such as rings or office supplies like paper clips.
3. Pretty books & notepads
Books are a very inexpensive flatlay prop that can layer texture and colour into your image. The best books for flatlays are ones with simple, monochromatic covers. When choosing a book you might also consider how the book looks when its jacket is removed – often books have more simple covers hidden behind their book jacket.
I recently shared a blog post featuring the best pink coffee table books and most of these books would also be amazing as style details for use in flatlay photos. Make sure to check out that post if you like to incorporate pops of pink in your flatlay photos.
4. Cups and mugs
A pretty mug filled with steaming hot cocoa or delicate latte art is a flatlay photograph staple. Because the mug will be photographed from above, choose mugs with unique shapes and colours that are visible from a birds eye view. A cute coaster is also a must. My go-to coasters for flatlay photos are agate rounds with gold leaf edging.
5. Pretty jewellery
Jewellery is the best way to add a bit of sparkle to your flat lay photos. While dainty jewellery is nice, bold statement necklaces or classic masculine watches will add the most visual impact to your photo.
6. Flowers and greenery
Fresh flowers are the best choice for adding organic movement to your flatlays. I love to pick blooms from my garden to add to my photos. In the winter season when flowers are more expensive and my garden is not an option I often turn to silk flowers. If you are laying the flowers horizontally on the table instead of arranging them in a vase, make sure to choose silk flowers with lifelike stems. Otherwise wrap the bouquet in newspaper or kraft paper to hide the ugly bottoms.
7. Office supplies
A few other favourite items I love to include in my flatlay photos are office supplies. From pretty gold scissors to an eye catching pen these items help tell a story in the photograph. A few of my favourite photo worthy office supplies come from Kate Spade and Target.
8. Beauty items
Beautifully packaged makeup is a great addition to flatlay photos. Consider opening the makeup to make its placement look more organic and give your image a pop of colour. As an example, take the lid off your lipstick like I did in the image above.
9. Handbags & wallets
Some handbags undoubtable photograph better for flatlays than others. My personal favourite purse to photograph for flatlay styled photos is my YSL Kate bag. For flatlay photos choose handbags that are smaller in size, have a flat shape and have the majority of their detailing on the front of the bag. Here are a few luxury handbags that photograph well for flatlay photos:
My final suggestion for flatlay props is utilizing the tech you carry around every day. A cute iPhone case or a vintage inspired camera is a natural fit in most flatlay photos and adds authenticity to the photo. I often use my MacBook because its contrasting black keyboard keys is a good way to ground the image.