Whether you want to level up your Instagram, illustrate your blog or practice your photography: Well thought out and creative flat lay photography ideas always leave an impression. We’ve put together the most important info, tips and arrangement ideas for flat lay photography, so that you can take truly great photos. You’ll also find out what you have to think about with Instagram flat lays and how you can also achieve a more unconventional flat lay!

Have fun reading and get ready to pick up your camera, smartphone or tablet!

What is flat lay photography?

Flat lay photography is more than just a pretty photo – after all, every photo is a little story. Objects are arranged in such a way that they tell something to the viewer, along the lines of: a picture says a thousand words. For example, they reveal the photographer’s breakfast routine or a personal packing list for the next adventure vacation. Other flat lay photo ideas might show what you have in your pocket or the essentials a DIY-exclusive desk needs. So basically, you can take photos of anything and everything that is important to you. With one exception… Flat lay pictures are taken from bird’s eye view without exception!

What kind of flat lay ideas should I try?

The first question you should ask yourself is what is your topic? Where is your inspiration? Are your flat lay ideas directed to your followers on Instagram? Perhaps to make your travel plans public with maps, cameras, compasses and other props? Or would you like to invite your family to your birthday party with a personalized photo? Without a topic that you are passionate about, the ideas will not bubble to the surface. You can find inspiration in this article and on Pinterest.

If you want to see or share the flat lays as printed photos, you can easily send your pictures as greeting cards, postcards or photo prints in the MyPostcard app.

The props

Flowers are taped onto a clean background as props

You’ve got your topic. Excellent! Now you are spoiled for choice as to which objects and props you could use. In the first step, collect everything you can think of related to the topic. Then you can arrange the objects according to similar color concepts and according to their shapes. Some people prefer their props to also be of a similar size.

Our personal flat lay photography ideas for props include flea markets and sewing boxes or something from your grandparents’ treasure chests. Flowers – fresh or dried -, chic magazines, lifestyle products (e.g. a great perfume or a well-known drink) and nostalgic items such as old maps are also well received. If your pictures are aimed at your family, it is a good tip to integrate things that you have something in common. This could be an old ticket from a concert or a cuddly toy from childhood.

The background

For all of your flat lay ideas, the background is just as important as the props you use. By that we mean the old wooden table, the striped paper or even the paved road on which you organize your material. Again, the selection depends on your topic! For the next road trip, a paved road section is a super creative idea! For your beauty routine, however, a white marble floor might work better. If you have a soft spot for vintage, then try a wooden background. You will see that your flat lay props work differently with every surface.

Tip: Instagram flat lay experts use wallpapers as backgrounds that can be ordered online. From marble to floral patterns or concrete, there are tons of variants available.

Arranging your flat lay ideas

Two ideas for your flat lay arrangements

So now you’ve have gathered all your objects and have decided on a surface, you need to start to make your arrangement. Take your time here and try out different constellations. You’ll find that flat lay photography has a lot to do with organization. Start with the larger items in the middle. Then start to fill in the gaps with suitable props and arrange smaller things around them. If your ideas involve an Instagram flat lay, make sure to arrange things in a square ratio, since this how it’ll appear in your feed.

Try and discard ideas, rearrange, throw out props and bring in others! Take a snapshot in between to see how your flat lay looks on the screen!

Finding the right technique

No, you don’t need a fully equipped study or a SLR camera. A good smartphone is just fine! Make sure there is enough daylight when photographing your flat lays. So find a place near a window. Experts often use soft boxes to create the ideal lighting mood.

You also need the right perspective: you will probably have to climb onto a chair to get it right. Also note that for Instagram flat lays you should take photos in the correct format, i.e. square. You can set this up directly on your smartphone.

You need a basic guide to beginner photography? Here’s our complete guide for beginners (part one) all the way to advanced (part 2).

The personal touch

Flat lay photography, like any other art, is a learning curve. And you’re sure to get better over time. But to get you started, we have three additional tips that will give your pictures a more personal touch.

And just in case you need a few more crazy ideas, here are 6 ideas for your indoor photoshoot.

#1 Flat lay photography ideas tip: Perfect Imperfection!

Biscuits in this flat lay idea have been bitten into and lie on a coffee plate

Everyone is photographing perfect objects? Then grab some with a few flaws. How about a crooked apple or even one that has already been bitten in to? Or you can let a paint pot run out on your bakground surface instead of just taking a picture of the pot with a brush. A good motto from the creative sector goes: Whatever you think, think the opposite. Apply this principle to flat lay photography for Instagram and Co!

#2 Flat lay photography ideas tip: Include a secret message

A positive message on a diary next to plants and pens

Pack your flat lay photos not just with stories, but also little messages. Letter beads are ideal here letting you spell a YEAH or a YOLO. Or you can have children paint on your surface with wax crayons before you arrange your setting. Here again the topic determines your “secret message”. Just let your creativity run free!

#3 Flat lay photography ideas tip: Be a part of it!

A person holds coffee in this one of our flat lay ideas surrounded by flowers and paintings

Integrate yourself into your flat lay photos. For this flat lay photo idea, you will probably have to get help from friends. You can show one of your arms or both hands working with the props to show that they are an important part of you!

And now all that’s left… try it out!

I hope you enjoyed our flat lay photography tips and got your creativity going! We wish you a lot of fun and success with your first steps into flat flay photography.

Pet influencers that travel? We support this!

Whether it is a pampered pooch, a feline friend, bird, fish, hamster or anything else, our pets are important members of our family. In fact, it is estimated that around the world, 57% of the entire population are pet owners.  While most of these pets are living their best life with their human, not every furry friend is concerned only with treats, walks and nap time.  Some of our furry friends have taken to social media and become instant Insta-celebrities. (And for good reason!)

Here is our top list of globe trotters have been hitting the trails, exploring the artic and flying the skies – and always looking super cute whilst doing it! Check out these global explorers to learn more about this new genre in the online world of influencers and social media. And give them a follow!

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Top pet influencers that travel…

1. Suki Cat

 Suki is an unfairly photogenic 3 year old Bengal cat, originally from Canada. She travels round the world with her human, Martina Gutfreund. Trips include a European exploration, where she visited 11 countries in 2 months, and a trip to Mexico. But this feline is also at home in the picturesque parks of Canada. Suki is one of the most popular pet influences that travel, with almost 2 million followers keeping up to date with her latest adventures. Are you one of them?  

2. Brody and Lulu

Loving nothing more than exploring the mountains, this doggy duo are the best of friends. Brody is a beautiful St Bernard and Lulu is a gorgeous little shih tzu. Brody’s best pal is Miss Sally, the family 96 year old neighbour is also a frequent guest on their Instagram, which has amassed over 57, 000 followers. Originally, Lulu’s best pal was Blizzard but unfortunately he has since passed on to doggie heaven.  However, you can still catch up with their adventures by checking out the Blizzard and Lulu book.

3. Miami Traveller                 

Miami is possibly the world’s most well-travelled pooch. This Italian-born Chihuahua is often jet setting around the globe and living the high-life with her owners.  Marianna Chiaraluce and her husband adopted Miami at just 7 months old. Since then, they have travelled to some of the most beautiful spots in the world.

4. Oliver the Travelling Pig

Oliver the travelling pig is a guy that loves to get out and explore. He certainly does plenty of that on the road. Enjoying the good life and sharing it with over 12,000 dedicated Instagram followers, he is living the dream. To date, Oliver and his owners have visited 28 states, with 22 left to go on his epic journey. Wow, not just an adorable pet influencer that travels, but also a pig with a mission!

5. Herbee the Hedgehog

Herbee (successer of Mr Pokee, may he rest in peace) is a tough little hedgehog who excels in being adorable. You’ll find him hanging around with his four best feline friends or posing with beautiful scenery in all corners of the world. If you’ve already fallen in love with him then welcome to the club… There’s around 1.8 million of us.

6. Willow the Travelling Cat

Another rescue cat, travelling pet influencer, Willow loves green trails, beautiful beaches and getting about down under. The adventures of this Insta-famous cat and her owner Rich East have amassed over 105,000 followers. Living and loving the van life, together they have travelled more than 50, 000 km around Australia, on average around 60 km per day.

7. Loki, the pet influencer that travels (with friends!)

Husky, arctic wolf and Alaskan malamute mix, Loki is certainly at home in the artic conditions. Loki and his dad, Kelly Lund, and brother Baily have been travelling around since 2013, gaining 50, 000 followers in their first year alone. You may even recognise this beautiful pup. As one of the biggest and most photogenic pet influencers, Loki has even worked with Mercedes Benz and REI.

8. Momo  

Momo began his life of fame among pet influencers that travel with Andrew Knapp’s fun idea of snapping images where this doggo is hard to spot. Knapp is a skilled photographer and it is always fun trying to find this beautiful border collie amongst the wilderness. The Ontario-based graphic designer and his four legged friend have even created several books, so you can play along with his Find Momo: A Photography Book, Find Momo across Europe or Coast to Coast.

9. Henry and Baloo, the pet influencers that travel – as an unconventional pair!

Traditionally, dogs and cats are not known for being the best of friends but these next two pet influencers that travel are certainly the best of buds. These rescue pets love nothing more than going on adventures in the great outdoors with owners Cynthia Bennett and Andre Sibilsky; except maybe getting home and sharing it with their many followers (or sleeping).

10. Miss Darcy, a posh pet influencer that travels

Miss Darcy’s Adventures is one of the UK’s top 10 Pet blogs, with thousands keeping up to date with Chelsea’s Miss Darcy, the cockapoo, and her owner May Wong. Found exploring the sights of London and further afield, this city girl is often accompanied by little brother George, a gorgeous recuse dog from Hungary. Two traveling pet influencers to follow!

11. Jasper Woof

Human, Jon, rescued Jasper from a shelter in Alberta and since then him and the Husky lab mix are often found exploring arctic like conditions and hiking through the beautiful Albertan outdoors. This photogenic pup currently has over 44.5k followers on Instagram and rising.

12. Maddie

Rescue dog Maddie rose to Insta-fame among pet influencers that travel due to her amazing ability to clamber on things, starting the viral ‘Maddie on Things’ craze. Often found in scenic locations, this two year old coonhound is the subject of a book and currently has over 180 000 followers on Instagram.

13. Laila and Riia from Long Haul Trekkers

Humans, Jen Sotolongo and Dave Hoch, are behind the popular travel blog, the Long Haul Trekkers. These two adopted dogs Laila (la Loca) and Riia are beautiful and love nothing more than travelling exploring the outdoors and living the van life. Their blog is also filled with tips and tricks for any outdoor loving dog owners, including gear reviews, camp recipes and so much more.

14. Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund

With over 4 million followers online, Crusoe and his friends are true internet celebrities and worthy pet influencers that travel if you are looking to follow. As part of the celeb lifestyle, he is often travelling the world, and this is a pooch that enjoys the high life. With over 3 million Facebook likes, over a billion total video views and 700 000 Instagram followers, this miniature pooch even has a  self-titled New York Times Bestselling book  and won the People’s Choice award for Animal Star.

Not done revelling in the cuteness of pet influencers that travel?

No problem. Discover our top 8 pet blogs to keep you feeling paws-itive (sorry not sorry).

Or if you have a furry friend of your own, learn how to make him into an Insta-star in his own right with this guide to pet photography.

Did you have any favorite travelling pet influencers?