JUST LIKE A PRO
WITH OVER 2,500 FLATLAY POSTS ON FOOD AND 66K FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM, IT’S NO SURPRISE WHY NADIA FAUZI IS OUR GO-TO GURU WHEN IT COMES TO MASTERING THIS POPULAR TREND. HERE ARE ALL THE DEETS YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BE A PRO YOURSELF!
“I first started Instagramming in 2011. In the past, I’ve always loved photography and used to shoot my firstborn’s pictures using my trusted Canon EOS 5D MK11 (which has now been replaced by the iPhone). Food photography was something new to me and after finding my passion in it, I started to develop my own style and brand, and became more familiar with the cafés and restaurants around me. Gaining traction on Instagram, I was commissioned by Kellogg’s, which my first paid job. The rest as they say, is history!”
Flatlay styling tip #1: Avoid background noise
You should have a nice, neutral background, ideally flat, where you can lay everything on and the main focus will still be on the food. You don’t want to be distracted by other things. Feel free to use any type of white surface – your bed sheets, table, foam board, rolled-up floorboards (my favourite) or even a big wooden plank.
Flatlay styling tip #2: Composition is key
Whether you’re going for a simple clean look with lots of white space or a cluttered yet stylish flatlay, composition is the key to a good picture. Keep your lines clean, consider symmetry on both sides of the frame and create space between each object. If you’re still unsure, stick to the rule of thirds and place the main components on the gridlines of an invisible three by three grid.
Flatlay styling tip #3: It’s all about the lighting
Avoid shooting under direct sunlight or where there are harsh shadows, ideally in the morning where softer light is present. Afternoon window light is one of my favourite times to do a flatlay.
Flatlay styling tip #4: Leave some space between each object
To ensure your flatlay isn’t cluttered nor chaotic, leave some space in between. The space doesn’t have to be big but it needs to be enough to balance out the image.
Flatlay styling tip #5: It’s about the narrative
Flatlay is compelling because it brings a lot of different elements together. But it’s also about the narrative of your image, as conveyed by the things you select and how you place them. It can be something as simple as a Sunday brunch or as extensive as your Europe trip, but your photo should tell a story. It shouldn’t just be a showcase of items put together. The story of a flatlay can either be obvious and overstated or subtle and playful. It’s worth giving both a try!
Flatlay styling tip #6: Turn on the grid
The iPhone camera has a wonderful grid feature that helps you align your camera with the scene and avoid tilted or crooked pictures. To do this, go to Settings >> Camera >> Grid >> Turn On. When you do this, the grid appears on your native camera app and helps you compose your shots effectively. On the other hand, if you’re an Android user, all you need to do is go to your camera app, >> Settings >> Grid >> Turn On.
Flatlay styling tip #7: Don’t take more than five minutes for a food shot
At the end of the day, you’d still want to enjoy the food while it’s hot.
A FLATLAY IS, AT ITS MOST BASIC,A COLLECTION OF ITEMS SHOT ON A FLAT SURFACE AT A BIRD’S-EYE VIEW.