GET LAID! ....Flat Lay Secrets

Scroll stopping, seriously in fashion and ridiculously good looking ... come on, you're dying to know? You must have wondered how the awesome flat lays on Instagram are created? You know the ones with the perfect desk set up, colour coordinated backgrounds and the odd cup of coffee on show!

Flat lays are relatively simple to master once you know a few secrets behind the scenes. We've put together some pointers, and for any creatives out there, you might even enjoy this one!

.Getting high

I'm rarely going to tell you to go out and buy something, but this ingenious little gadget has completely changed my photo game. I picked up a tripod/selfie stick online from less than £15. Its rechargeable, remote operated and folds up to fit in my handbag! Simply pop your phone/camera in and raise it above your intended composition. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Selfie-Tripod-Samsung-Android-Smartphone/dp/B078HXNFN1/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1532537943&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=tripod+selfie+stick&psc=1

.Backdrop Hack

Keep it simple, keep it minimalist and keep it light. My work desk is actually dark wood, so I often place a backdrop over it. Now you can of course buy professional photographic studio quality backgrounds and while they're not expensive, here's my tip..

Have a little loiter round the wallpaper aisles of your local DIY store. Take a pair of scissors with you and take a few choice samples. Now of course I always ask if I may take a cutting just out of courtesy. Dave at my local B&Q thinks I have a wallpaper fetish! Go for white, light and simple designs. Not too busy and not too cluttered works best!

.Let there be light

Get the best natural light you can find. Setting up near a large window or a conservatory is always a good option. Due to my WB profession (just a makeup artist) I do have access to portable studio lighting ( https://www.eyelashemporium.com/products/glamcor-classic-elite-led-eyelash-extension-lamp?variant=18752488197) and while this is a bonus, it's not strictly necessary, due to post editing tricks (coming up).

.Edit your life

It's not a cop out, its fabulous tech, it's easy and really makes the difference. There are loads of tips, tricks and hacks out there (we're putting together and Insta edit Friday Fives) but the simplest edit is to lighten and brighten the image. You know that famous app that whitens your teeth in selfies? Well try the whitening tool on your image background, it really works!

Filters... there are so many apps to discover (interestingly I rarely use the Insta filters) my 2 favorites being Colourstory https://acolorstory.com/ and VSCO

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/vsco/id588013838?mt=8

They both take a bit of playing around to discover what works, but it's time over taxing. FYI, my go to VSCO filter is 'A9'... you're welcome!

.Inspired Play

Look up flat lays on Insta and Pinterest to get some inspiration. Consider the item placements, the colour usage and the grouping of objects. Is there any usual, interesting or quirky pieces used? Think what represents your brand or your actual working office environment. You could use your headphones, cosmetics, your computer or laptop, work diary, favourite coffee or treat (KitKat). Flowers are also very popular.. fake it over fresh for practical reasons.

So get out there and have a play with 'the lay'.. have some fun and if you're feeling a little braver today don't be afraid to add yourself (or arm or foot) to your flat lay.. keeping it personal!