Flat Lay Photography Ideas For Clothes

By | 31/07/2022

Flat lay photography with clothing has a unique prepare of challenges that require specific skill sets. We learned the hard way when we starting time tried it a few years ago. Everything always seemed wrinkly, and they were quite difficult to style!

At present that we’re a little wiser from feel, nosotros take a few tips to help yous overcome any problems you may encounter when doing them for the first time. Nosotros’ll teach yous fundamental techniques such as setting upward your camera, styling the clothes, and lighting. And so let’s go started!

Flat lay photo of hooded jackets in multiple colours

What is Flat Lay Photography?

Nosotros think of flat lay photography as shooting overhead. And overhead means shooting from above with the camera either pointing at an bending or straight down.

But apartment lay isn’t just shooting from higher up. It’s likewise shooting straight down. That means y’all can’t technically telephone call a photo a flat lay if it’due south even at a slight bending.

When creating apartment lays, you can just stand on a step ladder and take photos from above. Just if yous need to accept many pictures, we recommend you employ a tripod that can indicate your camera direct down.

What’s the surreptitious to taking splendid apartment lays? Brand certain your camera is pointed downward at a ninety° angle. You tin either do that past simply eyeballing the perspective of your camera or by using your tripod’s spirit level. This kind of shooting technique is especially suitable for product photography, every bit well.

Now that we have a full general idea of flat lays—let’s dive into more specific tips for article of clothing!

Flat Lay Photography for Clothing: A flat lay image of a raincoat and cap on a mannequin

7 Vesture Flat Lay Tips

1. Iron Vesture for a Precipitous Look

This tip may seem too obvious to some, merely many people doing vesture apartment lay often forget to atomic number 26 dress. So before you start your shoot, you meliorate plug in your iron or steamer and remove those wrinkles!

Even after ironing your clothes, the garments could still end upwardly looking wrinkly as y’all style them. It’s crucial to fe and re-iron clothes even when yous’re in the middle of styling them.

So experience free to iron the items fifty-fifty as y’all decorate your flat lay gear up. Thankfully, information technology’due south not going to exist also challenging since yous’re photographing the dress on a flat surface anyway.

Flat lay photo of an iron on a red collared shirt

So what happens if you don’t iron your garments thoroughly? Well, let’southward say you’ll find information technology challenging to edit the images of wearing apparel.

In other situations, using the Patch and Spot Healing brush tools in Photoshop does a great task of removing minor blemishes. But when information technology comes to textured items such as garments, fixing flaws will effect in a messy situation. Editing wrinkles out of garments results in blotches that await unnatural.

And then if you want to avoid reshooting your flat lay photos of clothes, exercise your best to proceed everything contraction-free!

Flat Lay Photography for Clothing: Blotches on a garment after editing the image in photography software
Blotches on a sweaer subsequently editing the prototype.

2. Allow Wear to Wait Natural

Okay, nosotros know we said to keep everything wrinkle-free in the last department, and we mean it! Merely that doesn’t mean yous should force all wear to look uniformly ironed. There are some exceptions.

When doing a flat lay photograph session of clothing, you’ll find that different materials look and feel different from each other. Wool has distinct characteristics compared to cotton or satin. And yous’ll see that in your images right away.

Tips for Flat Lay Photography of clothing: Flat lay image of pastel colored pyjamas

Look at the cotton-linen scarf below. Practise you notice that information technology looks a bit wavy, particularly at the edges? The cotton-linen used for the scarf is so sparse that information technology’s nearly incommunicable to fe out the wrinkles.

But that’southward a good thing considering it’s the natural land of the scarf. If you ironed this garment to look smooth, yous’re not showing what the product looks like in real life. Allow the distinct characteristics of the clothing’s material to stand out.

Flat Lay Photography of Clothing: A flat lay image of a mustard scarf laid out in a circular pattern

3. Ensure Correct White Balance for Authentic Colours

When it comes to apartment lay photography involving fashion items, yous must correctly capture the wearable’due south colours. You don’t want to receive complaints from customers maxim the colour of the actual production is unlike from the paradigm.

So how practice you ensure the colour of the product in your flat lay is accurate? Y’all adapt your white balance with the help of a grey menu or color checker.

A flat lay photo of grey white and black cards used for determining white balance
An example grey card for photography, with white and black cards

Before you start photographing your apartment lay, place a greyness carte beside or on the garment and have a photograph of it. Y’all tin use it as a reference afterward when you get-go editing your pictures. Only remember that you demand to practise it every fourth dimension your lighting setup changes. Otherwise, you’ll terminate up with inaccurate results.

Once you’re in the editing stage, all you have to practice is go to the White Balance section in either Adobe RAW or Lightroom. Select the Eye-dropper tool and use information technology to click on the grey menu in the film. Your editing program then automatically uses the information from the card to adjust your epitome’s white remainder.

Tips for Flat Lay Photography of Clothing: Grey white and black card placed on a shirt to set white balance in photo editing software
Using a grey carte du jour to calibrate white residuum in editing software

four. Style Article of clothing Then Their Details Are Recognisable

A lot of people retrieve that styling habiliment is easy. But the truth is that information technology’s one of the most challenging skills to acquire in product photography.

First, clothes are enormous. Even the small-sized shirts are at least well-nigh 2 feet long. Of course, the more than space they occupy when they lay flat, the more challenging they will be to style. Even when you’re only working with two items, you will still demand about four square feet of space, so everything fits in.

Flat lay photo of knitted sweater trendy jeans and accessories

Second, some types of vesture tin be challenging to recognise when you fold them the wrong way. For instance, there is no way for people to know what a coat might expect like when folded.

So how do you style clothes properly? The underground is to adjust them in such a manner that yous can show their nigh crucial details. Then if a T-shirt has a print, brand sure to display it prominently in your product photography.

And if you have to fold items for a flat lay photo session, make sure you practise so in a manner that people would even so know what they are. Then don’t fold long-sleeved shirts the way you would regular t-shirts. Show people that the item has long sleeves. It’s essential to arrange clothes a sure way and then people would recognise them hands.

Flat Lay Photography of Clothing: Yellow coat being handled by a person for a clothing flat lay

5. Use Lower-Angle Lighting to Add Depth and Details

When doing a flat lay shot of clothes, it can be quite challenging to show the three-dimensionality of the items. Since they’re lying flat on the surface, the clothing tends to end up looking like paper cutouts.

To make certain your apparel would still pop from the background, light the items from a lower angle. Doing so allows you to add together some shadows to the natural wrinkles of the products. These shadows add dimension to your epitome and bring out the textures of the garments.

Flat Lay Photography for Clothing: Flat lay shot of tie dye pants long sleeved shirts and accessories

In well-nigh cases, lighting a flat lay at a 45° angle is enough. If you go whatever lower, yous typically stop upwardly with long shadows that tin can exist too distracting. And if yous go whatsoever higher, you hazard making your shot appear apartment due to the lack of shadows.

Close up detail of pink clothing with ridges and shadows for flat lay photography
Particular of shadows calculation dimension to clothing

6. Use a 50mm Focal Length or College for Less Distortion

You tin use just about any lens when doing apartment lay shots of clothes. You can fifty-fifty freely choose between prime lenses and zoom lenses.

Nevertheless, you must refrain from choosing a focal length lower than 50mm for flat lay photography. Why? Considering annihilation lower than 50mm would technically exist considered a broad-bending lens.

1 of the features of a broad-angle is to distort the elements in the frame and so it can fit more in a photo. Now, that may be appealing if you’re a mural photographer, but not when y’all’re doing flat lay shots.

When there’s too much distortion, your flat lay images volition appear off. In effect, you’ll end up showing people a photo of a product that looks very different in real life. So stick to focal lengths 50mm and above to make sure that doesn’t happen.

In our experience, we often choose between 50mm and 85mm prime lenses. Why? Well, a 50mm lets you shoot flat lay without having to step on a ladder to get all the elements in the frame. Meanwhile, an 85mm offers the best distortion-free results, even if it ways you have to become the camera higher to accept pictures.

A closeup shot of a 50mm lens on a camera

7. Use Our Recommended Camera Settings for the Best Results

There are no fixed camera settings when it comes to flat lay photography. Simply nosotros will requite you a few guidelines to assist yous achieve the best results when shooting clothes.

For ISO, the best setting is between 100 and 200. Why? Because these values produce the least amount of image noise. If you use high ISO, you’ll end up with grainy results that will impact the quality of your images.

For aperture, information technology’s best to apply anything betwixt f/11 to f/xvi. These values have a deep depth of field which means they produce the sharpest results.

At present y’all’re probably asking, why non choose the maximum discontinuity of f/22 or f/32? The simple reply is that using the maximum aperture causes your images to get blurry. If y’all use such pocket-sized openings, y’all could stop up with lens aberration, which stops yous from getting sharp results.

A camera setting's display and buttons on a DSLR camera

When it comes to shutter speed, it all depends on the ISO and aperture y’all choose. To make it easier for you, feel costless to select Aperture Priority as your default exposure style. Doing then allows your camera to automatically select the correct shutter speed based on your selected ISO and discontinuity settings.

If you’re working in depression light conditions, your camera might select a long shutter speed that could last a few seconds. Just you don’t have to worry about movement blur since your camera is on a tripod anyway.

A flat lay image of a black sweater with an I love New York graphic


Doing flat lay photography with clothing is surprisingly difficult to practise for the uninitiated. But the tips nosotros offered volition allow you to photograph fashion items similar a professional person. The secret is to use what you learned immediately to help yous develop healthy habits. And once you lot go used to photographing clothes, y’all’ll see that it can exist piece of cake at present that yous know what you’re doing.

Check out our Products in Focus east-book if you want to create simple but dynamic photos that sell!

Source: https://expertphotography.com/flat-lay-photography-clothing/