How I Shoot Flatlay Photos/Videos for Practically 0 Ringgit

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What’s up, guys? Lately, you may have noticed that I’ve been incorporating more compositional photos and flatlay (overhead) videos for both my personal and business social media accounts.

What a lot of people don’t realise is that I am NOT a professional photographer nor do I have access to professional equipment BUT luckily, I am somewhat of a female version of McGuyver. 

In short, I love DIY-ing the shit out of things.

So when I finished filming a flatlay Christmas video for CONEFECTION, I realised I had pulled stuff together to do it without spending a sen.

Image: One of the flatlays I did with this setup (Copyright: @conefection)

Image: One of the flatlays I did with this setup (Copyright: @conefection)

The setup worked amazingly, if not better than most tutorials you find on Youtube. It’s extremely secure, easy to do, and best of all – there are no power tools involved! 

So, as with all good things, it’s worth sharing if it could help you level up your social media game in any way. Without further ado, here’s how to shoot easy flatlay photos and videos for almost no cost.

How to DIY Your Flatlay Setup

 The trickiest part about shooting flatlays is securing your camera right above your workspace. I’ve watched a ton of tutorials on this and most of them involve a visit to the hardware store, getting steel bars and pipes, and ridiculous amount of power tooling.

But who’s got time for that?

Here’s what I did instead:

flatlay-setup-requirements-camdotmy

1. Get a suitable table as your workspace

Preferably one that’s not being used for anything else. I have a compact IKEA island kitchen table at home that I use to extend my kitchen but I realised I could also use it as my flatlay workspace. The best part is that it has wheels so I can easily roll it in and out of my office only when I need it.

2. Get a secondhand standing clothes hanger

You must get one with double bars. I just so happen to have one sitting out in the laundry room when we moved in and it’s perfect. If you don’t have one, try to get a second hand one online. I’m sure someone out there has one that they’d rather give away. This hanger also works great because it has wheels so I can store it away when I’m not using it.

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3.     Get a foam board or some kind of sturdy cardboard

Again, I just so happen to have a few foam boards lying around in my house so I used these. Take the camera that you intend to use for your flatlay photo/videography and place it face down on the board. Draw a circle around the size of the lens and using a blade or scissors, cut the circle to create a hole. Your camera lens should fit right through.

4. You should have everything you need to put together a flatlay setup now

Once you have all the components, simply place your camera through the foam board and place that on top of the hanger. They should go together perfectly like this:

flatlay-setup-camdotmy

 Congratulations, you can now take flatlay photos and videos!

But it gets even better – just because this setup is easy and almost free, it doesn’t mean that it won’t work as well. In fact, it works even better than professional setups because: 

  • There are no hardware or power tools involved. It is perfectly safe to assemble at home.

  • It holds your camera very securely. With this setup, your camera is not being held precariously at a 90-degree angle by a steel bar that could topple over with the slightest nudge. Instead, it is placed securely and firmly on top of a sturdy board that can withhold even heavier cameras.

  • Your angles are completely adjustable and can be repositioned. Your hanger is a genius tool here because your overhead camera angle can easily be adjusted simply by moving the hanger or the foam board around.

  • It takes up very little space and is not permanently fixed. Everything you used in this setup can be stored away when not in use.

 Hope this was helpful in any way and if you decide to use any of these ideas, tag me @camdotmy so I can see how it worked for you!

The Full Video Tutorial: