A Closer Look at This Image
In a flat lay photo (also known as “lay flat” photo), the image is taken from directly
above. This style is popular with restaurants, bloggers and reviewers, I suspect because they allow
you to see each item carefully laid out in a simple and self-explanatory way. Here we’ll look at why this is a great example.
When you’re shooting from above like this, one of
the big hurdles is avoiding any nasty shadows, particularly the one from you
and the camera! This image uses lighting very nicely. It’s a tad shadowy in
the upper-right corner and down the right-hand side, which suggests it was lit
from the left; probably with natural lighting; so near a window or even outside.
When you choose items for a flat lay, it’s important
that they complement each other. The colours work well here, items of the same
or similar colours are grouped together and the whole palette works well.
Background and Subjects
What the items are placed on shouldn’t distract
from what it is you’re trying to show, so the natural wood here is a great
choice, as it’s ‘rustic,’ and so in keeping with the tone, but also it balances
the items rather than diverting attention from them.
items themselves are carefully chosen. There’s harmony between liquids and
solid food, between textures like smooth olives and rough breads; and even
between the shapes—they’ve sliced the sausage to be round and they’ve cubed
the cheese, for example.
lot of thought has gone into how the food is set: occasionally a breadstick
overlaps, there’s a blueberry on top of the cheese; but although this could be
chaotic, it’s subtle enough to just tip over the edge of natural so that the
image appears honest: we’re just waiting for a couple to wander in and
start their picnic!
Reading a Photograph
We’d love to hear your take on this photograph, and
if you’re not sure where to begin, then How to Read a Photograph will
get you started with how to analyse photography. Mostly, it’s just saying what
you see and how you feel about an image!