However, before I explain this technique, make sure you have done your proper preparation. If you don't know where to start, read my Preparation post. If you miss this step, you will miss your sale. The proper preparation can take even a simple photo from ordinary to extra-ordinary. So if you have not read this post, do not pass go, do not collect $200, go straight to jail (I mean straight to the previous post) and make sure you are ready to move forward to the next step.
Just what is the flat lay technique? It is probably the easiest cover shot technique other than the simple over the door on a hanger technique. You know what I'm talking about. You don't have time to take a great shot, so you grab a hanger, hang the item on the back of your bedroom door, snap the photo, post to Poshmark, and VOILA...Instant Cover Shot...kind of like instant coffee. Works in a pinch, when you are in a hurry to get something posted, but it just doesn't taste or smell like Starbucks. That smell that makes you want to stay and visit a while, or check out the post and hit the like button, or better yet the BUY NOW button!
But I digress...So to answer the question mentioned above, a flat lay is a technique in which you use some sort of flat surface to arrange items in an appealing manner that will draw the viewer, making them want to see more. For fashion items, think in terms of setting the stage for what we will wear on a first date. You grab two or three outfits, accessories, shoes, handbags, etc. and then start arranging them on your bed or bedroom floor. You lay your outfits flat and start experimenting with different looks, using accessories and purses to create the perfect look for the perfect date. If you have ever done this, then you have may have already mastered the process. The trick now is to make sure your background (bed or floor) does not take away from your masterpiece.
I generally us a photography backdrop and lay it on the floor as my foundation. It looks like weathered distressed wooden flooring, but it is actually just a paper drop that I purchased from Amazon Prime for a total of $13. However, a large table or any flat surface large enough for your arrangement will suffice. Make sure whatever you use is not distracting and will not detract from your photo. Use of white poster board or white foam core board is especially great for taking pictures when you don't have the best lighting. It is also makes for excellent contrasting. But keep in mind, when you use this technique, you need to make sure you will be able to adjust the position of your camera appropriately. You want the viewer to think they are looking at something "upright" and not looking across an item. This means that you or your camera need to be in a position where you can take the photo from above and not across the items. So unless you are Michael Jordan or The Shaq Attack, I suggest you grab a step stool or chair, or use a tripod that can reach above your subject and then remotely take the photo.
Now that we have the foundation, it's time to set the stage. There are two styles that I use. I refer to them as "The Shabby Chic" technique and "The Sleek & Chic" technique. The first is has a more casual and messier look, while the other technique is much more symmetrical with clean lines and folds.
THE SHABBY CHIC TECHNIQUE
THE SLEEK & CHIC TECHNIQUE
Often I find that a combination of the two styles can be more eye-catching depending on the circumstance or vibe you would like to present (you can see that I slightly combined styles in the above Miss Me Cover Shot). The two main things to consider when deciding which technique to choose are 1) balance and 2) creating an attractive layout. that will make buyers want to take a closer look. Balance refers to the scale and position of your arrangement. It is usually best to use an odd rather than even number of items in your layout. For instance, if you have are featuring a pair of jeans and are pairing it with a shirt, throw a cap or even nice book in with the mix. If you have you ever visited someone's home and they have this massive beautiful artwork over their fireplace or sofa but it is hanging crooked on the wall, you understand what I mean by balance. You want to have a pleasant conversation and visit with your friend or colleague, but you can't relax, because all you see is the lop-sided picture on the wall. If your arrangement is not level or balanced, viewers that venture into your closet want to come in and view through your items, but then they come across that one lop-sided photo and they hear nails scraping a chalkboard, and they quickly move on to the next closet.
One thing I have recently been told is a faux pax is taking a photo with shoes on top of clothing items. Apparently this is ghastly and with the millennials who think that the clothing item is now completely ruined and contaminated because it now has shoe germs. Do these people ever sit on a public bench, or the floor or on a street curb? Well what's the difference?? But since my fashion conscience millennial son has since set me straight, I now no longer commit such horrendous style blunders. You may still see some in my closet, but that is only because I am lazy and do not wish to exert the effort it would take to dig these items out of their assigned bin to retake and edit more photos. I just tell him to cringe and move along...
Happy Poshing...If you are new to Poshmark and would like to join, please use code NUKKO when joining and make sure to visit me www.poshmark.com/closet/shabbychic45 or @shabbychic45. Make sure to stop by and say hi to let me know you were there! See you soon!!