Flat lay, Details and Visual Interest

Hey guys, just Becca here today. Mandy is off grabbing some content for one of our friends this afternoon so I thought it might be an ideal time to write about one of my favorite parts of a wedding day- the detail flat lay!

It’s no secret that we absolutely adore flat lays. It’s one of the parts of the day where we have full creative control and can tweak and adjust until things are just perfect for our clients final gallery. As a matter of fact, I have actually taught master classes on flat lays and the appropriate way to style and organize a clients items to ensure that they all flow together artistically.

What Makes Flat Lay Details Important?

Flat lays are also one of those things that helps the every day person separate a professional from a hobbyist. Well done flat lays are difficult to come by and require an eye and some training in the basic Elements and Principles of Art.

Utilizing space, repetition and balance alongside understanding line and color scheme are integral parts to creating a flat lay that is both visually pleasing as well as able to tell the story of a couple without the couple being physically present.

How are Flat Lay Details Photographed?

To better understand how a great flat lay is made, I want to take you through my journey of setting one up. First I will usually start with all of your items together, working from the largest pieces to the smallest. The focal point of the image will be placed near the center, with other items surrounding, and then I’ll utilize items from my toolkit (hand dyed silk ribbon, freshwater pearls, some tiny gold picture frames, vintage stamps etc.) to draw the eye across the image as I want it to go. A great trick also is to use risers to create depth within the image- so I can stack your invitation above the RSVP for example, without covering up as much of the wording on either.

As I move throughout this process I will add and remove individual items so that eventually we wind up with images of stationary, one of jewelry, one of your signature wine bottle, one with your grandmas brooch- the list goes on and on. This process can take up to an hour to execute perfectly and will involve a lot of creative problem solving. It’s usually during this time that I send my second shooter to capture shots of the outer venue, and a few of the bridal parties lounging in their getting ready suites while Mandy pops in and out getting drone coverage and then grabbing clips of the finalized flat lay scenes for her films.

How Can the Couple Help with Flat Lays?

Because this process can be time consuming, we always ask couples to organize us a box of what they want in their flat lays to hand to us right as we show up on site. Couples usually always remember the obvious ones- the rings (both engagement and wedding bands), the shoes, the veil, the invitations. But they often forget to add in the unique things that make their day theirs. So below you will find an almost exhaustive list of things you may want to include in your flat lay box for us on the morning of!

The Ultimate List of Flat Lay Details

  • Rings (engagement and wedding)
  • Veil or headpiece
  • Brides shoes
  • Bouquet
  • Boutonniere (just the grooms is fine)
  • Invitation suite (include the invite, inner and outer envelope, RSVP, inserts etc)
  • Special embroidered handkerchiefs
  • Perfume/Cologne
  • Fancy Makeup or compacts
  • Sentimental items (grandmas brooch, your parents cake cutting knife you plan to use, your sisters bracelet etc)
  • Themed items (your wedding is decorated in bird cages? Toss in a little metal bird for me to incorporate)
  • Grooms tie or bowtie
  • Cufflinks
  • Grooms shoes
  • Grandpas pocket watch
  • A wax seal with your new initials on it
  • The fanciest bottle of liquor or wine you will be serving
  • The cake topper
  • The charms from your bouquet
  • The handwritten letters you wrote each other
  • Your boudoir album you plan to give him after the ceremony

This is obviously not everything you could include, but I hope it gets the creative ideas flowing and that you’ll have as much fun with this as I do. Finding and styling flat lay pieces for couples always has been and always will be stored in a special place in my heart!

Still trying to decide where to go from here? Check out these blogs to learn more about the world of wedding photography and videography with Rebecca Ann Aesthetic.

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