An Instagram fad that we’re all familiar with is the aesthetically pleasing #FlatLay– a combination of objects strategically positioned and taken from above, showing the Insta world anything from your favourite food, travel essentials, #ootd and lazy Sunday accompaniments.

If you’ve seen our Instagram – @tonicaustralia – we’ve embraced the trend and here, we’ll give you our seven top tips for creating the perfect flat lay.

1.      Pick a basic background

Your flat lay is already going to be choc-a-block full of your favourite items, so you need to make key features stand out. In order to do this effectively, step one is choosing a plain background; opt for a wooden kitchen bench, the sandy beach or the ever-popular marble for your perfect base.

2.      Choose your key item

After finding your background, pick the hero piece that will act as the ‘sun’ to the other accessories – you want all objects to revolve around it. Place your chosen item in the centre and work from there! Place bigger objects, which could take the focus away, closer to the edges of the image. Then use smaller items to bridge the gaps.

3.      Add fill-in items to create a fuller look

Speaking of bridging the gap, never underestimate size. Your favourite pair of earrings may appear small next to your cosmetic bag, but rest assured they are playing the part in tying everything together, as long as they own their own space. Try and use makeup, tea bags, shells, and sunglasses – anything theme related to fit the picture.

4.      Pick a colour theme and stick to it!

The expression ‘less is more’ applies to all flat lays, especially when it comes to colour. If your theme is beachy, we recommend using beiges and blue hues to tie your flat lay together – don’t even try and add a pink towel, unless of course there are other pink things to create the balance.  Flat lays are busy as they are and adding extra colours can turn your Insta-worthy image into a feed headache. 

5.      Don’t underestimate the power of space

Keep in mind that blank space can also act as it’s own little filler. You want to use space as a divider between items as well as obtain the ‘simple’ style. Don’t try and cram objects in to fill the smallest of crevices; embrace the space.

6.      Height is crucial

The reason why it is called a ‘flat lay’ is because the objects appear flat! The only way to achieve this look is from above. Stand up, grab a chair, a ladder, another person, to capture the perfect picture (but be careful!). Ensure you are standing away from the light source as well, as shadows cast from a person or a phone are a big no-no.

7.      Tag, tag, tag

Congratulations! You have mastered the art of flat laying. Now you can post your photo on Instagram! The final step in creating the perfect flat lay is getting people to see it! No doubt you’ve used some pretty popular products, either key or fillers, so tag away! Your MAC lipstick in Velvet Teddy? RayBans? Pandora bracelet? A majority of well-known brands will have a great Insta with a huge following; so make sure you tag them so all your hard work pays off – you may even get a cheeky repost!