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!

Female (Malaysia) - - OPINION -

“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.

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