Flat Lay Product Photography for Fashion and Apparel Industry: The Important details

Flat Lay Product Photography for Fashion and Apparel Industry: The Important details

4 March, 2021
Flat Lay Product Photography for Fashion and Apparel Industry: The Important details
Since 2020, flat-lay product photography has become the trending option for product advertisement. But before then, companies will have models pose for them for adverts.

Since 2020, flat-lay product photography has become the trending option for product advertisement. But before then, companies will have models pose for them for adverts. 

But with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fashion industry has experienced a major change. There was a rapid move to digital marketing that meant the fashion and apparel industry had to employ other means of advertisement. One of them is flat-lay product photography.

Since then, it has become the best option for taking product photographs of clothes and other fashion items. In this article, we will extensively discuss all there is to flat-lay product photography. More importantly, we will explore the importance of flat-lay product photography for an E-commerce business.

What is Flat-lay Product Photography



Flat-lay photography is a type of photography that involves shots being taken parallel to products. Most times, the object is placed on a flat surface for a better view and easy photography. 

What flat-lay product photography does is show the movement of products in their natural shape and form. For garments, the sleeves can be rolled up or folded. While for other objects like cutleries, your hands can be on the table to show movement too. 

Before you use flat-lay photography on a cloth, the cloth needs to be clean, steamed, and imperfections-free. Also, a few adjustments like using pins and clips on the garment can add to the product's real looks.

However, as opposed to popular opinion, flat-lay product photography is different from using ghost mannequins. In flat-lay product photography, garments are laid on plain floors to produce two-dimensional images. A few adjustments are made to the garment or apparel to produce a visual image in the customer's mind. 

Customers love to imagine clothes on themselves to help them make better decisions as regards purchase. But this is not the case with ghost mannequins. According to BigCommerce, ghost mannequin photography refers to taking images of clothes on mannequins. The essence of this is to produce three-dimensional images of the cloth. 

Types of products that work with flat-lay photography 


Asides from clothing, there are other products that you can take flat-lays photographs for. 

  • Places
  • Cutleries
  • Books
  • Flowers
  • Gadgets
  • Cars
  • People
  • Jewelry

The Importance of Flat-Lay Product Photography to E-commerce


Flat-lay product photography is creative, unique, and easy to work with. If you are thinking of featuring flat-lay product photography in your sales strategy, it’s also affordable. This is one benefit of flat-lay photography services to your brand.

Because of the arrangement of products on flat-lay images, they tend to catch the attention of potential customers. Not that alone, flat-lay product images allow customers to make quick decisions about trust and purchase.

Type of Flat-lay Product Photography 


Depending on what you aim to achieve, flat-lay product photography can be divided into several types. Here, we shall discuss the major types of flat-lay photography. 

Formal flat-lay photography 


If you aim to create structure and drive sales with sharp and bold images, a formal style is best for you. Formal flat-lay photography is the best for most e-commerce sites as it positions products perfectly. 

In formal flat-lay photography, an experienced photographer will position your cloth to create structure and clarity at the same time. Most images of shirts and pants you see on sites are formal flat-lay photography images.

Casual or relaxed


Unlike formal flat-lay photography, in a casual or relaxed style, the garment isn't rigid. Instead, the cloth looks more relaxed and very casual. When taking shots of products in casual styles, the buttons are usually opened with their natural look preserved. 

Traditional Grid style


Asides from the formal flat-lay photography style, the traditional grid-style is also perfect for other objects asides from clothes. In traditional grid style, objects are placed side by side in a manner that looks neat and appealing.

Related Article: How To Photograph Products for Your eCommerce Business

Negative flat-lays style 


A negative flat-lays style is used when shooting one or two products. The products do not have to be perfectly arranged, they can appear randomly arranged. A major benefit of negative flat-lays style is the space for text and images that it creates.

Tips for Flat-lay Product Photography: How to take Flat-lay Pictures


As easy as flat-lay product photography can be, most people do not know how to use this photography technique. There are few details to consider when taking flat-lay photos. Here, we have compiled flat-lay photography tips for you to enhance your photography skills.

What do you need for flat-lay Photography?


Before the equipment, there are a few things to put in place. They include: 

  • Your preferable colour scheme: Often, we advise that objects with the same colour be put close together for better visuals. Also, background colours should be plain, white or black or any colour that you prefer.
  • Light source: Most flat-lay photography services use a natural source of light. In cases where there is little or no light, other sources like flat lights can be used. However, ensure the light source doesn't cast shadows on the object.
  • Other backgrounds: In case you do not have plain background colours, you can use a hardwood floor, patterned clothes or a desk. Just ensure that your background is clean.
  • Something to stand on: Flat-lays photos are taken from heights higher but parallel to the object. You can use a ladder or a chair to make you take better pictures of the product. 

After you have gotten all these ready, let's get to the very essential things. 

  • Main object.
  • Props.
  • Light source.
  • Texture.

When you have all of the above set, follow these tips to take the best flat-lay photographs of your clothes and other apparels:

Create a story 


Creating a story in flat-lay product photography is key to stunning photos. Choose a story and pass the message across the simplest way you can. 

Choose an object which is your main focus, and then add little objects to it to tell your story clearly. For instance, if your story is work, you can have a laptop as your main object. Then, you can have a phone, book and pen carefully arranged around it. You can also add a cup of coffee to spice things up. 

For fashion flat-lay photography, you can have a shirt as your main object with shoes and buttons placed around. Also, you can place a piece of a tie above or by the side. With flat-lay product photography, it’s all about how creative you can get. 

Organize your surface


After creating your story, it is time to set up your surface. You can use tables, counters, or hardwood floors. Commonly, photographers prefer plain backgrounds to mixed colours. 

Some experienced photographers can use mixed colours and still get nice shots. Always remember, your background should be clear and free of any clutter.

Check the lighting


For every photo shoot, lighting is important as it helps bring out the edges and cuts of the cloth. For some shoots, a natural source of light is good. 

While for others, you may be better served by using artificial light sources. Candles and fairy lights are commonly used secondary lights and props for flat-lays photography. 

Shoot from Above


As earlier stated, you can use ladders, chairs or tables to allow you to capture the full object. For flat-lays product photography, you must capture the whole object. 

For small objects, they are easy to capture. You can just climb a chair and take the shots. But for large objects like cars, you may have to use drones to get a better capture.

Edit your Photo


There may be some imperfections like wrinkles (as is the case with clothes) after taking your shots. However, you can erase them by editing. Editing your photo affords you a clear background and great visuals. If you use a negative flat-lays style, you can input your text or any object as you desire.

Related Article: How To Hire A Product Photographer

To Sum It Up


Flat-lay product photography is one effective option for fashion and apparel product shoots. For one, you do not need to pay models or spend extra money on photoshoots. There are several styles of flat-lay photography you can use to achieve the same effect. You may choose to use traditional styles, formal styles, or casual styles.

In this article, we discussed how to use flat-lay product photography. Also, we provided tips for flat-lay product photography for great photos. 

Flat-lay product photography is easy, simple and cost-effective. You can even take the shots yourself or employ product photography services. For exceptional photography services, Style Photos CA can be your reliable partner. Contact us today to learn more!


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