You may not know this, but I have a degree in Photography. I was a photographer for a couple of years being published by companies such as The Daily Telegraph, Urban Outfitters and MTV and although I lost my love for photography, I thought I’d make the most of it by sharing a few tips on this blog! It might be a one off, but I may make it a little series if you like. So make sure to let me know! This one in particular is going to be focusing on flatlay background tips.
You really don’t need studio backdrops or the perfect pinterest house for your flatlay photographs. Honestly I find it a little easier to use paper backgrounds as I can get such a wide variety whilst being able to move them around and store them easily. The photograph below is a great example of what you can do with a little background and some natural lighting.
I mean, I may have a nice kitchen but the counters are dark black and don’t look so great in photographs. So it’s time to recreate!
This is what the photograph really looks like. I was lucky when a local store was closing down and selling all their stock cheap. They had these rolls of sticky paper and tucked at the back of the shelf was the perfect granite one.
Your other option is to go wallpaper shopping in your local hardware store. They allow you to take small samples for your home which become perfect backgrounds for your photos.
The best thing about using wallpaper samples is that they’re not shiny, so you get no light reflection. Some are also textured which give you an extra bit of detail for your photographs. I tend to go for basic patterns and colours as I always want my props to stand out well but you can get very busy patterns if that’s what you’re looking for.
It’s not all bad for the shops either. Everyone I know who’s used samples have ended up buying more to wallpaper their home! I don’t have the patience to wallpaper my home again but I did go back for a roll of the gold glitter wallpaper for part of my craft stall display.
In regards to the lighting I used my large bay window, but any window would definitely do. I always block out the direct light with cardboard to the point that a neighbour asked
‘Why do you have bits of cardboard stuck all over your window?’
It may look silly to them, but they don’t see the final photographs! It’s definitely worth getting some strange looks for a while.
Do you have any tips for flatlay backgrounds? Have you ever used wallpaper samples?