Let’s get visual!

Visuals play a huge part in today’s hyper-competitive consumer market; not only by contributing to your brand visibility and awareness, but also helping to create a brand identity and experience that will resonate with people, and ultimately lead to sales. 

With the world rapidly changing and brands popping up left and right, engaging content is even more vital. But don’t worry – we’re here to help! Our expert team of product photography experts and stylists are on-hand to create incredible content that will enhance your customer engagement, help drive traffic to your ecommerce business, and boost your sales. We recently took some time to play with our jazzy Horizontal Machine, and as per, we pushed boundaries and tried new content creation ideas! For your reading pleasure, we’ve collated all this advice into one easy step-by-step guide.

1. Backgrounds

The backgrounds of your flat-lays will determine different settings, scenarios, and moods. Rather than being limited to a white background or clear cut, you can experiment with different textures, materials, and even coloured cardboard.

Nothing screams summer more than the beach! To create the illusion of being on some sandy shores, we placed a drop sheet over the Horizontal Machine and covered it with sand. Another way to do this is to drop a couple of towels in the background, which makes it look like you’re sitting on a towel at the beach. Accessorise with fresh fruit, swimwear, and other beach props (maybe a cheeky beer, if the occasion calls for it).

Paper is another easy way to add colour to your product photography, or to emphasise colours within the garment you’re shooting. Just add a single colour into the background, or multiple sheets to create a more layered, diagonal effect. To take it to the next level, you can cut different shapes and edges, as you can see in the image above. For this one, we elevated the paper to create a shadow over the top of the shirt, which 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. You can also use free online resources or personal images to drop in your own background in post production. 

2. Props

Props are the perfect way to fill gaps between products or items you want to show off. They’re also a great way of emphasising the theme, colour scheme, and your brand identity! When prop sourcing for this particular shoot, we got into the headspace of someone who was travelling to the beach. We thought about what made sense for a beach day…things like sunglasses, hats, and beach bags. Carefully consider the genre or category that your flat-lay falls into and ensure you select props that sit within that – don’t add in random props that have no connection to the shoot. For even more texture and visual interest, you can add natural elements like fresh fruit and greenery. 

Tip: Keep a prop box at the office. 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, like books, stationary, and cutlery to make your images more relatable.

3. Colour

Colour is a vital consideration for your product and fashion photography. People engage in images when they’re aesthetically pleasing on the eye. You could include a colour theme, or match items together based on colour.

To make your flat-lay look more cohesive, choose items that have complimentary colour tones. If you’re unsure where to start, a good option is to go with a monochromatic look. Stick with one dominant colour like the orange image above. 

4. Outfits & Collections

Flat-lays in fashion photography are a good way to show your consumers how to style your products, and what you could pair particular pieces with. It’s inspirational and helps to upsell!

Before you lay the items out, you need to consider whether you want a clean and organised approach, or an effortlessly casual look. For an organised look, arrange your items in a linear, grid-like fashion. For a more casual approach, arrange them as if they have just landed that way – you can even throw them onto the table. Both options work, it just depends on how you want your brand to be perceived.

5. GIFs

Simple movements and GIF animations will give your content an edge, which is especially important because Instagram and Facebook are favouring video over still images more and more.  To create moving images, simply capture a series of stills and edit them together in Photoshop, or an online website resource. This can be done with two images, or with hundreds.

Note: You can’t 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.

Learn more about Asset Factory

Boost your brand visibility and brand awareness with Asset Factory’s Melbourne photography studio, and see how our other product photography and video production services can help your business create engaging, impactful content.