How To Shoot Flat Lay Clothing

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Flat lay production images are a treat to an eye – customers’ eyes included – which accept a directly connection to customers’ purchasing intent, every bit any savvy entrepreneur knows.
With over a decade of experience in ecommerce product photography, taking quality commercial imagery in New York and Los Angeles for over 1,000 brands, Squareshot is delighted to reveal some insider tips on how to make flat lay photography that sell.

What is Flat Lay Photography?

Flat lay photography
is a method of positioning of items for the shoot employed in the production of commercial product images, whereby objects are placed on the horizontal surface and shot from above.

This method is widely used in social media visual content plans, in the creation of food, jewelry, fashion, cosmetics images.

It’s merely to say that all smaller objects are subject to this type of commercial shoot sooner or after.

When it comes to alternative methods of item positioning, professionals also distinguish the ghost mannequin, hanged/pinned and on-model techniques. Let’s speedily run through them for a better understanding of the apartment lay characteristics.

Types of dress photography

  • Ghost Mannequin
    [an item is on a mannequin, that allows for a meliorate understanding of how a garment will fit]
  • Hanged / Pinned
    [this technique is frequently used to shoot accessories and jewelry, where an object is dangling in the air – for example, a bag or a necklace.

In the same way, yous can take a motion-picture show of clothes, but pin it to the cream wall]

  • On-Model shots
    [lifestyle images and model images impart lots of mood and life into an item you are trying to sell – provided a model is a good fit to the production of grade]
  • Flat Lay
    [items are placed on a horizontal surface and shot from higher up]

10 flat lay photography ideas & tips from seasoned photo studio pros in NY

Tether shooting and camera setup

Most of the professional product photography studios will operate a apartment lay shoot when their camera is tethered to a computer – so they tin see the images on the bigger screen right away.

A tether cord needs to have the respective connections that fit both your estimator and your camera on opposite ends. In that location are software programs that enable this way of the shoot, simply Lightroom also has this characteristic for those who are non looking to main yet another software product.

Why shoot tethered?

  1. To take a better understanding of the quality of the image right away on a bigger screen and introduce required changes.
  2. To show the images to whatsoever people on the site with you – client model, colleagues, MUA, etc.
  3. To speed upwards processing and uploading.

Only what’s most of import in this type of shooting is arranging the apartment lay photography setup.

At that place are a few means how you lot can approach this mission, the most common ones volition include a sturdy heavy-duty C stand with a sandbag for stability and a combo of a tripod and an arm similar Manfrotto 131DB, that can also be stabilized with sandbags if needed. For a full listing of professional photograph equipment, that nosotros use please encounter the respective paragraph below.

Lighting setup and color passport usage

You can utilize natural lite or professional person photo studio equipment. The main mission is to have your product well-lit and then that every item is available for inspection.

Well-lit objects will also crave minimal photo correction in the post-editing stage, which can be actually expensive and time-consuming.

If y’all choose to shoot with the natural calorie-free, these insights may assistance:

  • Utilize chiffon or cloth taped to the window to soften the low-cal on a sunny twenty-four hours.
  • Use reflector cards to soften or minimize sharp shadows.
  • If a professional person softbox is available, placing it at an angle may produce a nice effect, whereby calorie-free is dispersed in graduation.

If a customer provides an example image, try to fix your lighting to replicate that. Resulting exposition is vital when setting up flat-lay product photography lighting. To ensure the image is not overexposed or underexposed, it’south skilful to make ii exam images with a color passport. The first image of the darkest item in the series needs to be taken with a color passport showing a grayness carte du jour and the 2d test paradigm is for the lightest detail with a color passport showing a spread with a color bar.

Equipment for a loftier-quality production shoot with horizontal lay

This is exactly the equipment nosotros use for our professional person flat lay production photography, but you can certainly find cheaper also equally more expensive alternatives.

  • Apartment lay tabular array ~ $500
  • Godox DP400II Flash Caput ~ $180
  • Catechism EOS Rebel T7i DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens and Accessory Kit ~ $800
  • Vello EW-73D Dedicated Lens Hood ~ $13
  • Canon ACK-E10 AC Adapter and DC Coupler Kit ~ $80
  • Godox XProC TTL Wireless Flash Trigger ~ $70
  • Touch on Super Clamp with Ratchet Handle ~ $twenty
  • Oben BA-106A Unmarried Lever Ball Caput ~ $40
  • Impact ME-122P Single Background Holder Hooks for Super Clamps (2-Pack) ~ $10
  • Impact Varidrive with Blackness Chain ~ $39
  • Avenger E250 Long Double 5/8″ Baby Pin ~ $six
  • xx Foot USB cable ~ $9
  • Brutal Widetone Seamless Background Paper (#01 Super White, 86″ x 36′) ~ $54

Preparation of the product: clean, creaseless, and spotless

Just a kind reminder for all the noobs out there trying to save money and DIYing your flat lay product photography wear session: the speckless item means less expensive postediting.

If you are hiring a studio, the best practise volition exist to ensure a thorough wipe beforehand and only give a final dust on the spot immediately prior to the shoot. Ensure you bring along all the necessary gear to make your items sparkly: microfiber fabric, lint roller, compressed gas squeegee.

Needless to say, the clothes must exist freshly-ironed and creaseless, while jewelry must be handled in gloves to avoid fingerprints.

Shooting angles for flat lay photography service

When it comes to positioning your items for a shoot, whose results will be served on one of those big platforms like Amazon and Shopify, you definitely demand 3 to 5 angles to outset with and assortment can go up to 10 for premium items or one-product landing pages.

Below are the examples of the angles we recommend to our clients with images for better analogy:

  • Total-length item straight up
  • Close upwards straight upwardly
  • ¾ photographic camera bending
  • Shot of a particular or texture


When we work in our flat lay photography studio in New York, we always pay extra attention to the positioning of all of the symmetrically-designed objects symmetrically. We tin can even use a ruler to ensure the distance from the rightest line of the photographed garment is exactly the aforementioned every bit the contrary distance on the left.

Not simply does it reduce mail service-production fourth dimension, simply it also provides the overall feeling of harmony and balance, which absence may subconsciously scare a perfectionist abroad without fifty-fifty realizing the reason for the urge to bounce.

Budgeted the shadow-y matters

Flat lay ecommerce photography standards are rather strict on global marketplaces, but if yous are shooting for a personal website, in that location tin can be different shadow requirements in the technical specification:

To ensure driblet shadow, shoot confronting the paper background;

Heed your horizon level

It’s the all-time do in flat lay product photography to keep an object and a camera in a plane.

The other pro trick that helps to ensure a perfect shot is to always use a level to brand sure the table for shooting and the camera are both 95% in a horizontal position. Naturally, if y’all have a tripod with a level – this is the best model for this type of chore.

Technical standards of an epitome

These are some of the fundamental technical standards to go on in listen when shooting your products laid horizontally for your ecommerce projects.

  1. The image needs to be in focus, abrupt, and not blurred under 100% increment.
  2. The background backside an object is as white every bit it gets.
  3. The image is neither overexposed or underexposed.
  4. The prototype takes over 80% of the frame.
  5. The shadow of the product is non cutting off.
  6. If the product has shiny text or any other shiny parts it should be visible.

Aesthetic standards of an image

As for the aesthetics, at that place can be quite a bit of inventiveness in the flat lays, but if y’all are on a mission to create photography for the ecommerce, these are our recommendations to exist enlightened of:

  1. The angles of shooting must friction match angles in the client order form or reference images.
  2. Go along the right perspective. Utilize the appropriate camera lens and focal distance from 35 to 90mm.
  3. Maintain the correct composition of the frame and proper framing.
  4. An object must be make clean, without grit, dirt, or marks.
  5. Avoid unnecessary Reflections, like that of a photographer or studio furniture.
  6. The paradigm reflects the actual color of the product.

Apartment lay photography pricing

While photography is no rocket science, the resulting images tin can make it or pause it for your sales.

If your sales have a few zeros to them, consider hiring a professional photo studio to perform such jobs. Not merely it may cost you less at the end of the day, but the results are also likely to bring a lucrative ROI.

When it comes to the rates for the flat lay photos, they range beyond the lath and will depend on these factors amidst many:

  • Bulk vs single production shot
  • Group vs private shot
  • Delivery & postage charges
  • Location: state / state / city
  • Level of professionalism & expertise

Squareshot has heaps of experience to produce the images that capture the eye and make i accomplish out for the wallet. Then our ecommerce photography pricing is an investment worth making with 1-shot starting from $35 in the enterprise package.


While it may take a few hours or days for you to take exactly the photos you are not ashamed of posting to your web or social media, photography is an enjoyable procedure.

If you need apartment lay product photography clothing services, or quality jewelry shots, but don’t experience like experimenting with all the lighting, reflectors, positioning, props and textures, commission it to the pros. Squareshot has done some amazing chore for thousands of growing brands, check out our portfolio and pass your ain judgment.