Stuck for ideas for Christmas themed visual content? Pick a couple of items that you can make a story from, hunt around the house for items of a similar colour, introduce some texture, get inspired and create your own Christmas themed flat lay.

Last week I went Live on Facebook and did just that. I bought two props in my weekly grocery shop (one way to make grocery shopping interesting! Seriously, anything can spark an idea, a theme, a story) and I used these two items to build a story around Christmas baking. If you missed it, here’s the vid. I recommend you watch it before reading on.

The workshop I mention has unfortunately been and gone. They have been a great success this year and there will be more in 2018! If you’re interested in learning more about flat lays, improving your photography and leveraging your social media accounts register to be kept in the loop when next years dates are finalised.

This is what the final flat lay looks like.

Now I want to show you that you can create a whole lot more content from this same idea and the same props. I discussed this concept in the post 5 ways to style your flat lay where I used a stationery theme. It works with anything though!

So if I use the same terminology as I did in that post then the image above would be closest to The Combination style. There is an element of a grid with the cookies, cooling rack, spatula and the lines of the accessories but things crop at the edges and they aren’t lined up with the edges of the frame.

Let’s have a look at what The Grid could look like:

baking inspired christmas flat lay in a grid arrangement

I chose a different page of the magazine that still reflected the colour scheme we’ve got going on, with the bonus that it also has the Christmas tree shapes and it already sets up our grid! I tracked down an angel cookie cutter to reinforce those shapes and have balanced out the dark shapes in the magazine with the dark coffee cup on the opposite side (yep it’s empty… totally forgot to fill it!). All the accessories are placed parallel to the sides of the frame with a couple of rouge cookies on the plate to keep things interesting.

baking inspired christmas flat lay in a lifestyle arrangement

This is the Controlled Chaos style. Everything looks like it just been plopped down (and sometimes that works) but usually, things need arranging. Just not so neatly. There is still balance here. The textures, the colours, the layering mean nothing is grabbing too hard for your attention. My eyes eventually settle on the text on the spatula which is great as that’s the focus of our story. When you’re styling “watch yourself” view the picture. Notice where your eyes land and where your attention is pulled. Make sure nothing distracts from your story or your product.

Your image doesn’t have to be full to be effective. The Minimal style is one of my favourites.

baking inspired christmas flat lay in a tree arrangement

The story in a minimal shot can be a lot more subtle. The white space makes your props stand out and using repetition is a way to make a simple subject more engaging.

Framed shot is perfect for adding text to or for highlighting your hero piece (your main story product or prop). Here I have used it to create a little story scene slightly different to the main Christmas baking theme but incorporating the same props.

baking inspired christmas flat lay in a framed arrangement

These images were all taken on my phone and edited with Little Moments App Candy filter (100%) and A Color Story Everyday filter (80%). You can read more about my favourite editing apps here.

Batching your content is a great time management strategy. If you’re going to go to the trouble of sourcing props and setting up a flat lay, have a play with different combinations, different layouts and slightly different stories, and give yourself a heap of photos to schedule into your social media strategy.

If you want some more tips have a read through all my Photography Tutorials. I want to make learning how to create your visual story that is on brand for you as easy as possible. If you have any questions, leave them below and I will be sure to answer them.

AJ