Sunday, December 9, 2018

How to Create Amazing Flat Lays

Flat lays are the latest HOT trend on social media!

It simply means, that the photo is taken
looking down at the subject for a
bird's-eye view.

They're fun to create and they begin with a background of your choosing.

In the photos above and the next few...the background is
the snow that had fallen on my back porch!

Just pick a theme or color scheme and lay out a pleasing display.

I start with the bigger items, then fill adding the snowflake ornaments.

I also made a variety of flat boards for backgrounds by covering
cardboard or poster board with
bulletin board paper you can buy at the craft store.

It comes in wide rolls in white, black, colors, plus wonderful wood grains in
several tones...even stone for about $9 a roll!

I bought mine at Hobby Lobby.

The paper looks like real wood in photos!

In the lower right of the flat board photo, you see a white barn wood shutter
If you order these, ask the seller to paint the back of the shutters so you can
use the flat back for your flat lays.

I use the shutters ALL THE TIME for flat lays!

Try fabric for a background...

Or, create a flat lay on a bed,

 or make the subject cover the entire flat lay.

You can also layer over these backgrounds.

It's a ball to get together with friends 
to shoot these for the holidays or other seasons!

We shoot in front of a low window for wonderful natural light,
but don't shoot in direct harsh sunlight which will create shadows.

It's easiest to lay out the scene on the floor,
and you can often get that overhead shot from just standing,
but sometimes you will need to stand on a chair.

Heck, we even stand on the kitchen counter! Ha ha ha!!!

Include people...or  body parts like hands, arms and feet to infuse
a sense of life and movement into your flat lays.

We laugh so hard when we are doing these!

I like to leave a lot of white space in some of the flat lays
for adding text!  I also popped in a snow overlay to this one.

You can keep it very simple...

Or go more elaborate:

Create flat lays for every season.

I like to create flat lay frames to use for holiday or seasonal greetings.

And, to create ads or announcements.

These work great on Facebook, Instagram or any social media!

The ideas for creating frames are endless!

You can even  photograph people overhead!

Have a blast creating your own flat lays and spruce up
your social media feed!

Great Apps for adding Snow and Christmas to Photos

While Christmas shopping downtown, I noticed this cute red car
and thought the green awning in the background looked Christmasy.

So, I snapped a photo with my iPhone!

The photo was kinda boring, so I ran it through my 
FAVORITE painterly photo editing app called

The app costs $3.99, but I think it's well worth it and I use it often.
The app includes a ton of painting styles to choose from.

I love how it gives the photo a warm, cozy a Christmas card!

But, I wished I could add a snow overlay.

 I did some research and found two apps that apply snow overlays!

This first one is called

The app is free, but I was annoyed by the ads popping up.
It includes ten wonderful snow overlays that are easy to add to photos!
Even though it doesn't allow you to lower the opacity or erase snow,
this ended up being my favorite of the snow apps because of the great overlays.

Another snow app called Snow Daze does allow you to take control
of opacity and erasing.

It costs $1.99.

I started with this photo:

Changed it to a "painting" in Brush Stroke:

Then added snow in Snow Daze:

Snow daze also has adjustable cloudiness and extra whiteness,
but I didn't like the choice of snow overlays as much.

However, it is nice to have control over the snow placement.
Here, the snow is distracting on her face and eyes:

I was able to erase the distracting flakes with the app:

I had so much fun playing with Brush Stroke and the snow apps!

I also found a fun free app called Xmas Photo Editor: new effects  
that allows you to animate falling snow
and create other animated Christmas additions to your phone photos.

Follow my @jillwellingtonphotography Instagram page to see
some of my photos with animated falling snow I created with this app!

You can share your Christmas creations to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter right
from the app.  I tested it and it works great!

The app comes with lots of holiday backgrounds and animation and 
offers in-app purchases.

Let's go back to Brush Stroke!

It's my favorite app for changing your iPhone photos into 
something special that you can share with family,
on social media...even make into fine art Christmas cards!

Add text in Snapseed!
They have some wonderful fonts,
and this powerful photo editing app is free.

playing with these apps, I couldn't stop!

I hope you enjoy them just as much!

(Thanks to my photo pal Lucy for taking this photo of me out
shooting with my iPhone camera!)