Art Camp – How to Make Flat Lay Portraits

how to make a flat lay portrait

Today, we are going to do a really simple, really fun and really satisfying activity, that can really express who we are! Its a super way to explore photography too…

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What is a Flat Lay?

A flat lay is simply a photo of objects arranged on a flat surface, captured from directly above. They can be very simple, or you can get clever and creative and arrange objects in different layouts! 


flat lay
Jake's Flat Lay

Flat Lays are used for lots of reasons; often for advertising products, or for showing tabletops where people are studying, making, or cooking. Today, we are going to use flat lays to make a self portrait, of sorts! 

flat lay - Katie
Katie's Flat Lay

If you have been a member of our Facebook group for a little while, you may have seen pictures of this when we did it back in April, as one of our daily prompts! It really was great fun for young and old! 

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My Flat Lay

How do I make a flat lay?

So, to make a Flat Lay Self Portrait, all you need to do is gather some objects that show your favourite things, or things that you feel represent you. You could choose things like favourite books, foods, toys, or a piece of clothing? Maybe some art materials, a special teddy, a photograph, a token of achievement? What else could you include?

In addition to objects you choose, you will also need a camera – a camera phone is perfect! 

You don’t have to choose a whole selection of things. You could choose one thing you really love, or that symbolises you, and make a flat lay of that! Maybe not donuts, unless you’re a super keen baker, haha! 

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Nick's Flat Lay

I would say, its a good idea to focus on your background, Nick and I did our flat lays on our coffee table, and although it meant our lovely doggy made an appearance, generally flat lays work better on one single background. And, a paler background will usually work better, but think about what background works for you! Maybe its outside, maybe its your duvet, maybe its sheets of paper – only you know what will work for you, and you can try a few different types! 

Have so much fun with this, and please do share your pictures  we would all love to see them! I think we will all have another go too! 

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Katherine is a mixed media artist, art teacher, writer, designer, photographer – and mum of 2 – who works and lives in North Devon, nestled in the woods on a little smallholding. She has a BA in Performance Studies, an MA in Fine Art, and an MFA in photography, alongside a background in early years childhood and special education. Katherine uses her artistic talents, passion for helping people, and unique creativity to create articles, courses and classes that promote creativity, artistic skills, self expression and well-being. She believes in the power of the creative arts and how engaging with them can improve so many aspects of life.
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