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Tips & Tutorials >> All Tips & Tutorials

How to Shoot Amazing Food Flatlay That Stands Out


Have you ever wanted to shoot and curate an Instagram page with beautifully styled food and well- thought-out photos? Putting objects together for a flatlay photo is a skill that can be easily mastered if you pay careful attention to the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ – what to place, and how to place them. Here are five tips for you to better your food flatlay. 


1. A hand that makes all the difference

EOS RP, RF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.0, 37mm, 1/80 sec, ISO250

Adding a little human touch to your photos can make a lot of difference. Grab a fork, pick a cup up, or hold a strawberry… these little actions can help create a more dynamic and personal shot. However, the hand should not outshine your food in the setting; let the food be in the limelight while the hand stays on the edge of the frame. If you are planning to include a few more pairs of hands in the shot, place them at different corners of the photo and not crowd at just one area. 

2. The art of lines and grids

EOS RP, RF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/4.0, 88mm, 1/60 sec, ISO200
There are times when lines work in a photo. For instance, you can create symmetrical lines by using shapes and grids of a rectangular waffle. People usually find regularity soothing because it provides visual clues to an underlying order, and by creating these repeated patterns, it can help exude a pleasant visual effect. 

3. Start from big to small

EOS RP, RF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/4.0, 43mm, 1/80 sec, ISO200
Start arranging your flatlay with larger items such as a placemat or flowers. You wouldn’t want to remove everything when you realise that you need a table runner as your base. When you have most things set up, place your food as the final prop. Once you have everything in place, do some minor adjustments to perfect the flatlay look.  

4. Experiment with different textures and patterns

EOS RP, RF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/5.0, 37mm, 1/80 sec, ISO250
Whether it is a smooth rug or a square-patterned napkin, you can add different elements in your photo to create a complementing look. Contrary to point number two, this tip helps to create more depth in your photo. Understand how different texture or pattern works–don’t use texture/pattern that contrasts too much with your food. Complement your food with thoughtful props. In other words, don’t complicate the layout with messy props, use the ones that are soothing to the eye–think patterns that go well with your food.

5. Shoot from a bird’s eye view 

EOS 6D, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, f/4.5, 24mm, 1/60 sec, ISO400
Shooting from a bird’s eye view is the key to any flatlay shots. The EOS RP’s three-inch Clear View LCD II Vary-Angle Touchscreen LCD lets you adjust your shots in various levels. You will have the flexibility to shoot not just top-down but many other angles (even selfies). For this shoot, we’ve used a tripod (which you can easily get in most camera equipment stores) to help us gain height while our hands were free to adjust the food and props. The brightness of the EVF and settings can be easily adjusted through the LCD monitor, giving you the ultimate convenience when shooting food flatlays! Find out more about the Key Features of the EOS RP or a comparison between EOS RP and EOS R.
If you are looking for more food inspired articles, check out Mouth-watering Macro: The Art of Close-up Food Photography, and the Do’s and Don’ts of Food Photography for Instagram



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