As a restaurant PR agency, we are more than well acquainted with the term flat lay, which for anyone that managed to avoid the bird’s eye explosion is a photo from above. There are many reasons we have seen the rise in this style of photography not just within food and drink but also lifestyle and fashion. Restaurant PR agencies are always looking for the best way to present their client’s menu to give future and present customers a true representation of what it like to dine there. The idea of shooting from above is to give scale; when you shoot from a customers view you are only seeing from one diner’s perspective and lose out on the drama and movement of group dining. It is also a great way to photograph products outside of a restaurant environment.

Here are a few tips to help you create the perfect flat lay:

    1. It must be flat – The most important part of taking a flat lay is making sure it is flat. If you are lucky enough to have a spirit level built into your tripod be sure to use this make sure everything you are shooting is geometrically correct. Taking the time to make sure your camera is level before you take the photo will save you a lot of time in post.
    2. Tripod – Yes you can do this without a tripod, but it will definitely make your life a huge amount easier. The main benefit of using one is composition, styling a photograph isn’t easy when you’re also trying to hold a camera.
    3. Composition – This is hugely important for obvious reasons. A restaurant PR agency may be looking for a particular shot of a dish or drink and having the focus on one product needs a well thought out composition. On the other hand, you may be looking for a more natural and diverse image, where you are trying to capture the energy and atmosphere of a restaurant, for this you can be a little more unrestricted with your composition.
    4. People – Using people is a great way to bring movement into your photo. Adding context and environment to a still image is the perfect way to give life to your photograph.