Flat lay accessories do not have to break the bank. There are many beautiful professional flat lay pictures that you can take inspiration from, but as you do that find your own point of view. I suggest you find things you like or are drawn to for use as flat lay accessories. If you do that, that builds on letting your customers know who YOU are and how you are different. You can get great pictures with a small investment, and you can add things over time. Start with black, brown, silver, and gold accessories and they can be used over and over. No one is looking to say “oh my she used the brown sandals 15 times!”. We are just trying to set the stage so someone can imagine themselves in that outfit or piece. Bring that picture to life.
How to Start
I started with one necklace that I have had in my drawer for 10 years and added two charms to it. So for about $6 it added a little something to the flat lays until I was able to add to my choices. Our goal is to unlock your heart so you can see how beautiful you are right now as you are, so I picked something that meant something to our mission to the flat lay pictures. It was personal and started adding our voice to what we shared with the world. I didn’t have any belts yet, so I used the necklace as one in some pictures too. See the bottom picture above.
Shoes should be brand new as a flay lay accessory. I know it is tempting to use your own shoes (not me as I have ginormous ones), but I suggest using brand new shoes. Some people freak out if even new shoes touch the clothes, but find what your voice is. I personally have issues with clothes being laid directly on the floor rather than new shoes touching the clothes. We take the pictures with shoes both on and off the clothes. Sometimes it easier when we crop and rotate the pictures if the shoes are on the outfit because then the picture isn’t about the shoes. One tip is to keep the tissue or form that is in the shoe in them, especially boots; this helps holds their shape.
Shoe Accessory Tip
Here is my BIG tip…are you ready? Use small women’s sizes or bigger girls sizes. In pictures it looks in better proportion if the shoes are smaller. Size 4, 5, or 6 for women and size 11-13 in girls. In this picture the sparkly girls Mary Jane shoes with the strap were on clearance after Halloween for a Dorothy costume for $1.98. The size 11 shoes sometimes look a little wide in pictures, so I use the black ballet flats that are size 13 a lot. The knock-off Converse shoes & brown sandals are a women’s size 6; see how they look big? So I prefer to use size 13 girls and 4 or 5 women’s if possible. The ballet flats were $4, booties $5, and the most expensive was the tennis shoes for $14.99. I’m still on the hunt for a black bootie! The sandals were $5 and $8.
Flat lay accessories for jewelry should be simple and add to the picture. I have added a few pieces with color, and use when appropriate, but generally stick to more simple. By far the most used one is the long one that has pearls, second from right in picture. It has a little sparkle, mixed metals, and colors that go with everything. I have gotten my $30 worth of use out of it. It was for me personally, but Jeff uses it so much for flat lays that I don’t usually take it out of the LuLaRoe room. I use the small gold and silver disc ones with children’s clothing quite a bit. Several of the pieces pictured are in my personal jewelry collection, so technically they didn’t cost anything for the flat lays. All other pieces were found on clearance for $2-$8. You can see more examples of jewelry we use on our Instagram.
Purses, Clutches, etc.
A purse or clutch can just finish the photograph nicely. I bought the little black backpack purse for $8 because it was missing the shoulder strap. It has been great to use with kids and adult clothing. The chain detail and textured leather add depth to the picture. Don’t be afraid to let the zippers on the clutch show, it adds visual interest. All of the clutches were $7-$9 each, and the passport cover was $3. I rarely use the gray clutch since gray varies so much in the undertone, so I recommend skipping that one. I also didn’t have a pair of jeans, so the ones we use are boys size 6 that were too big for my boys. I figured they’re new, why not?
What if a purse or clutch just does not go or you want to change it up? Grab a little sign with a fun quote. The adventure one was $3.99 at a discount store that I bought on a whim. Find one that is general enough, and is cute. I kick myself for not buying the one that said “I can’t even” to put on outfits that are to die for. I rationalized that $10 was too much…sigh. Or pick up a cute cell phone case. I loved the girl power ones, but they are too shiny for pictures. I’m going to try and cover them with matte mod podge…stay tuned.
Use small cinch belts for mannequins. They stay in place the best, and I found the brown one for $.80. Still searching for a black one I like. For flay lays don’t be afraid to cut the belt. Make sure to cut it big enough to cover multiple sizes, but I generally squish the fabric at the waist a little so it works. I am a huge supporter of realistic sizing, but even as a fluffy girl I don’t want to see something that looks huge in a picture even if it is my size. Our minds need a little help to see shape and visualize ourselves. I’ve used ribbon, strip of fabric, and even grabbed black cord to use as a belt. It is surprising that a black cord wrapped double looks like a cool belt. So let your imagination be your guide!
Do you have to have perfect flat lay pictures? NO! Do you have to have accessories in every flay lay picture? NO! Do you have to have a fancy camera and lights to take great flat lay pictures? NO! Practice, find your voice, and take a picture. I’ll write another post soon on how I do my flat lay pictures with no natural light and the equipment I use. Right now, go take a picture. Check out more flat lays HERE.
Find us HERE. Until next time….