Your Flat Lay Inspiration
Fashion retailers understand the huge factor visual storytelling plays in creating a brand experience and driving sales performance, especially in today’s hyper-competitive market. With consumer behaviour rapidly changing and ecommerce becoming more important and competitive, generating engaging content has never been more important. Our technology leads this change.
At LookDepot we have the exclusive Australasian rights for StyleShoots, the world leader in technology that enables retailers to create high quality visual assets at scale, pace and as a result, cost-efficiency. The holy grail of content production.
We recently took some time to play with our Horizontal Machine in order to demonstrate this in practice. We pushed boundaries, tried new ideas and have collated all of this into a step-by-step guide to show you what is possible. All created with our Horizontal machine and a single user. There really are no limits to the technology’s potential.
TIP ONE: BACKGROUNDS
What you choose to use as your background will help determine different settings, scenarios and moods. The Horizontal Machine has built-in technology that will clear cut your image automatically when shot directly on the glass table. To experiment with backgrounds, simply add different textures, materials and coloured paper.
To create the illusion of the beach, we placed a drop sheet over the machine and covered it with sand. Another way to do this is to drop a couple of towels in the background. Accessorise with fresh fruit, swimwear and other beach props to help emphasise your summer theme. Coloured paper is an easy way to add colour to your images, or to emphasise the garment you are selling. Add a single colour into the background or experiment with layering multiple sheets to create a 3D effect. This gives the illusion of depth and layers.
Make sure you take advantage of the machine’s ability to instantly clear cut your images. Simply shoot a composition directly onto the table and export it off as a PNG to get an image with a transparent background. Use online free resources, or personal images to drop in your own image during post production.
TIP TWO: PROPS & ACCESSORIES
Props are another great way of emphasising the theme of your image, the colour scheme or your brand identity. For this specific shoot, we got into the headspace of someone who was travelling to the beach. We considered “what makes sense for a beach day?”. Sunglasses? Yes. Hats? Yes. Beach Bags? Yes. Stilettos? No. Carefully consider the genre or category that your flat lay falls into and ensure you select props that sit in that. For even more texture and visual interest, you can add natural elements such as fresh fruit, greenery and other natural elements.
Tip: Keep a prop box at the studio. As you see relevant props, collect them and place them in the box. As you throw flat lays together you always have something to use. You can also use items from around the studio or office such as books, stationary and cutlery to make your images more relatable.
TIP THREE: COLOUR
Colour should be a vital consideration for your flat lays. People engage with images when there is a colour theme involved or when they subconsciously notice that you have matched items together based on colour. This is because it appears aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
To make your images look more cohesive, choose items that have complimentary colour tones. If you are unsure where to start, a good option is to go with a monochromatic look and stick with one dominant colour.
TIP FOUR: OUTFITS & GRIDS
Outfit flat lays are a good way to show your customers how to style your products and how to pair multiple pieces together. It’s inspirational and helps to upsell.
Before you lay the items out, consider whether you want a clean and organised approach or an effortlessly casual look. To appear more organised, arrange your products in a linear grid-like fashion. For a more casual look, arrange the products as if they have been thrown onto the table. Both options work, it just depends on how you would like your brand to be perceived.
TIP FIVE: GIFS & MOVING IMAGES
Simple movements and GIF animations will give your content an edge. This is especially important when you consider that Instagram and Facebook are favouring video more and more. To create moving images, simply capture a series of still images and edit them together in Photoshop or an online website resource. This can be done with two images, or with hundreds.
Note: You cannot currently upload animated GIFs to Instagram, but there are smartphone apps that will convert your images to video files, or you can drop your images into Windows Movie Maker or iMovie to edit your animation and then export it to the right format.