February 22, 2019

How to Create a Flat lay with Your Phone!

You've seen those posts on Instagram, right? You know the ones - perfectly placed items, all laying together, glowing on a white surface - enticing you to buy whatever small shop item you happen to be scrolling by.

Flat lays are seriously gold to me as a small shop owner, they look amazing as a way to break up a "brand rep" feed, and they are a great way to show off your favorite small shop items as a customer and gain recognition from the shop!

But here's the thing, we don't all have the perfect accessories to build the most epic flat lay each time - I have the solution to that issue - the "photoshopped" flat lay or you can also call it a digital flat lay!

Want to master the art of sharing your favorite toddler fashions, capture product photography that makes companies seek collabs, or maybe you're hoping to up the quality of your fashion blogger instagram feed? Here's how I make our digital flat lays in just a few steps.

Let's start with the apps, you'll want to download both the "PhotoLayers" app and the "Background Eraser" app - as an android user. Both are fairly basic apps, but they obviously pack a lot of power when it comes to a achieving a clean & beautiful "digital flat lay" look!

Next, you'll search for your products you'll want to include. I went with a romper I found on the Macy Kate Boutique, a pair of denim from Roses in December, a bracelet from TR tidbits, a pair of Baseball Moccs from Monkey Feet and lastly, a bow made out of a real baseball from my shop - Bloomology!

The one thing that's most important when selecting items to include is the lighting and the angle of the photo. Backgrounds will be erased but bad lighting won't be. If you have trouble finding items to include check out a hashtag on instagram that is similar to what you are seeking such as 'baseballbracelet' or search on facebook! If you are a member of Together We Rep, I highly suggest searching in there for items to include as well!

Once you've selected what items you want to include in your flat lay, go ahead and start erasing all the backgrounds in the background eraser app. You start by loading your image and then cropping, then your on the page to begin erasing. This is the most time consuming part of creating a flat lay but I promise it's a skill you'll pick up quickly!

I've found a recent love for the "magic" setting, I just go around the edges of whatever I want to crop out and then going back through and touching up any areas I accidentally erased with the "relief" tool. You can also use the manual tool to go over the edges of your items or use the auto tool whenever you see it'll be an "easier" crop (this tool works amazing on white background photos).
Be sure to thoroughly go over each edge on an item, then when saving I usually save as a level 2 smooth edge blend! Select whichever looks best for your edit! Repeat for each item.

Now that you have all of your items 'cropped', it's time to assemble them in the 'photo layers' app. You'll want to find a "plain white background" or whatever you prefer to use to upload first. Next you'll 'add photo' and include each item, first 'cropping', then placing it on the white background!

While clicked on each item, you can adjust size and even edit the photo some(notice the bottom bar - select color or shadow).

Situate each item where you think it looks best and save!

Now your flat lay is ready to go, it's that easy!

After making this tutorial, I've actually found other apps that work just as well!

Check out PicsArt, it's one that actually combines both apps abilities and works perfectly! The idea behind creating a flat lay is still the same but you only have to use one app to do it!

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