Flat Lay Clothing Photography –  A Complete Guide to Get Quality Images

In the era of Ecommerce, consumers are mostly persuaded through photographs. To thrive in the online clothing business community, all you need is enchanting photographs of your product which will make them feel the clothes on their hands without touching them. 

For that, you have to click pictures in such a way that every detail of your clothing, starting from prints, patterns, logos, buttons, and zippers to stitches, is prominent. One of the most effective ways of taking such photographs is flat lay clothing photography. 

In this article, you will learn about Flat Lay photography, its advantages, tips, and techniques for doing Flat Lay clothing photography. On top of that, to give the photographs professional touch, we will recommend some Flat Lay photography services that you can hire. So, without further ado, let’s dive in! 

What is Flat Lay Photography?

Flat lay photography is a way to take pictures of clothes where the camera is placed directly parallel to the objects laying on a flat surface which functions as a background. In other words, the photograph is captured from a bird’s eye view without showing angles.  

Does Clothing Business Need Flat Lay Photography?

Among different types of clothing photography, flat lay is one of the most convenient types of photography. Also, this is now trending in the E-commerce clothing business. A question may arise in your mind regarding why you should opt for flat lay clothing photography! Knowing the positive features of flat lay photography will help to answer your question. 

  • Eye Catching

In flat lay clothing photography, the focus goes directly on apparel. The simple style makes the photographs captivating and easily approachable to gain customers’ interest.  It is also suitable to make the details of your outfit prominent as well as realistic, which may help to build trust in your brand.

  • Organized Presentation

It is easy to display clothing in an organized manner in this type of photography. As flat lay photos require a simple background or flat surface, there is no chance of having extra items. Hence, the photographs will not have any distracting elements and will provide visual satisfaction to potential clients. 

  • Social Media Friendly  

Social media is a place to showcase aesthetic photographs to seize customers’ interest. Flat lay photography provides numerous scopes to be creative, unique, and aesthetic. Customers can get a brief overview of your products which may persuade them to visit your website to look for more products. 

  • Multipurpose Use

The simplicity and exclusiveness of the flat lay photography ideas for clothes make its use versatile. Apart from social media use, these photographs can also be used in blogs and websites. You can also use them as covers on your social media business pages as they can be resized easily.  

  • Cost-Effective

Flat lay clothing photography setup requires minimal preparation. A flat surface, clothing, a good light source, and a good quality camera are all that are needed. Most importantly, you don’t need to hire a professional photographer or be one. Even using a smartphone is good to go. 

Get Started With Flat Lay Clothing Photography

While doing flat lay clothing photography, try to maintain the following aspects to shoot the best quality photographs. 

1. Table For Flat Lay Apparel Photography

Using a Backlit table is a good choice for flat lay fashion photography. The biggest advantage that comes with it is that the camera can be attached to the table. Besides, the adjustable side lighting will provide the best lighting for flat lay photography. 

2. Camera For Flat Lay Photography

The quality of your photographs mostly depends on your camera settings. Therefore, to capture the best quality photographs, ensure the following camera settings:  

ISO: The clarity of the photographs determines whether customers will be attracted or be disinterested. So to make your photographs less noisy and less grainy set your ISO between 100-200.

Aperture: For aperture, you should stay in the middle ground. A higher aperture like f/22 or f/32 will make photographs blurry. So, to maintain the sharpness of the photographs, keep the aperture above f/8. It’s best to use f/11 to f/16. 

Focal Length: Any lens is suitable for flat lay photography except any wide-angle lens. Therefore, it is recommended to use a 50mm or higher focal length. Lower than this will make the photograph wider and include distortion. 

Shutter Speed: Shutter speed mostly relies on Aperture and ISO. So, by making Aperture priority your default exposure mode, you can let your camera choose the shutter speed automatically, depending on the light condition. 

3. Background For Flat Lay Photography

To hold the focus of the customers only on the product, the background for flat lay photography is preferred to be kept monochromatic such as white and gray should be used.  To make the products pop out, contrasting colors can be used as well. 

For example, if the color of the cloth is from darker shades, then the background should have a lighter color. However, for brighter colored clothes, darker backgrounds like black, navy, and gray are preferred. You can also use color palettes to see which colors will act complimentary. 

4. Lighting For Flat Lay Photography

Proper lighting for flat lay photography is important to contribute life to your clothing. A higher angle clothing photography lighting setup will make the clothes appear like paper. So, to give the clothes a bit of 3D effect, lower angle lights should be used. 

For flat lay photography, it is mostly recommended to set the lights to 45°.  This angle will create natural shadows and help to add dimensions as well as enhance the texture.

5. Photographing the Clothing Product

  • Central Composition

To make the photographs product-centered, central composition photography is the best option. Just put your clothing at the center of the frame, and you are done. No hassle of putting in any extra elements to be creative. 

  • Rule of Third

If you feel central composition shots are making your photographs boring, then go for the rule of third. Simply put your product on either the left or right side of the frame, which will cover one-third of the frame. The remaining two-thirds of the frame should be kept blank. 

How To Edit Flat Lay Clothing Photography?

Edit Flat Lay Clothing Photography

Apart from taking photographs, editing them is also important for photo color correction, fixing a light, or other imperfections that can ruin the overall impression of the photograph. 

1. Edit Your Own Photos

There can be many issues related to photos, such as cropping, straightening the image, color adjustment, and so on, that may need to be edited. Nowadays, editing photographs is a piece of cake when you have lots of software available to make your work easy. Also, numerous step-by-step tutorials are available that will come in handy.  

2. Outsource Apparel Photo Editing

If you are unable to edit photographs on your own, then you can outsource apparel photo editing services from a professional photo editing company. They will edit the photographs for you as per your requirements. All you need to do is just buy their service and relax.

Flat Lay Clothing Photography Ideas and Tips

Knowing some simple tips and tricks will certainly come in handy while doing flat lay photography. 

1. Be Creative

Creativity is the most important factor that will make your photographs stand out.  Therefore, set the camera on a flat lay tripod and study the frame. Figure out how you should place the product in the frame to provide as much detail as possible.

2. Layering Clothes

To give the clothes a natural look, you can create a ghost mannequin. For that, place the clothes as a person would wear them. For example, place the top inside the jacket with a few folds on the sleeves.  

3. Proper Styling to Show Details

Fitting long or numerous clothes in a small frame for flat Lay fashion photography is challenging. As styling it in a way that shows the details properly is crucial, you need to experiment with the position.

You can fold the clothes in a certain way that shows prominent features like print, pattern, neckline, sleeve length, or anything unique that the customer would love to see.  

4. Angle Variation 

It is recommended to place the camera parallel to the product for flat lay photography. But making the camera slightly angled can sometimes make the texture of the clothes more visible. Some patterns of some fabric require angled shots to make them look prominent and give a natural vibe.  

5. Provide Styling Ideas

You can capture photographs while keeping the complementary products by the side of your product to give styling ideas to the customers. For example, placing sunglasses, a pair of shoes, or jewelry will give ideas to the customers about how they can style the clothes if they buy them. 

6. Style variation

You can experiment with different types of flat lay photography, such as-

Formal Style: Make the clothes look formal and rigid to create structure and clarity. For example, keep the buttons and zippers closed or collars tight using pins.  

Casual Style: Make the clothes look a bit relaxed while maintaining the structure. For example, open up the buttons, and zippers, or fold the sleeves to give a natural look. 

Grid Style: This style is perfect for showcasing numerous clothes in one frame. Just fold the clothes and place them side by side to give the impression of available clothes in various colors or designs.  

7. Iron for Smart Look

Having wrinkles on the clothes will give a messy look. Ask yourself, will you ever buy such unattractive clothes? Obviously no. So, to make the clothes desirable, you have to iron your clothes to keep them as neat as possible. 

If you are thinking about editing, then remember, the eraser tool of the editing software will distort the texture of the clothes. Therefore, try to fix it before the photo shoot.

8. Proper White Balance 

Maintaining color accuracy is important for online business. IF the customer complains about getting a different colored product than the one shown in the picture, it will create trust issues. Also, such a review will have a negative impact on your business. 

Hence, after changing the light setup, put a gray card on your cloth or beside it. This will provide information on your editing software and adjust the white balance as required. 

Learn, How to Color Correction in Photoshop

9. Take Negative Space Positively

You may feel the urge to fill the negative space with other products to give it a complete look. But the more elements you have in a frame, the more chaotic it becomes. 

So, to make them look neat and uniform, keep the negative space as it is. You can also use these spaces for graphics, such as for including the company logo or any other necessary information. 

Flat Lay Clothing Photography Services to Hire

Thinking of taking professional help for flat lay clothing photography? Here are some recommendations from us-  



Squareshot has numerous studios throughout the US and is dispersed all over the world. Extraordinary photography skills and experienced professionals make Squareshot one of the best photography services. 

To take their service, submit an intake form with your project details. If you are okay with their proposal, make payment and send your products to their studio. They will send you the pictures for approval within 8 business days.

Reasons to Hire-

  • Best for beginners
  • Offers membership plan
  • Discount for the members
  • Service includes retouching
  • Transparent and predictable 
  • Provides different options to return your products

Results imagery

Results Imagery

The eCommerce-based company Results Imagery is one of the best flat lay photography services available when it comes to creating engaging content to build emotional connections. If you want to connect your product with the sentiments of your customers then you should take their service. 

Reasons to Hire-

  • Reasonable price 
  • Retouching available
  • 100% custom created content
  • Perfect for product details and storytelling
  • Full resolution and web optimization are available
  • Free storage opportunities for photos, videos, and graphics

Pencil One

Pencil One

Pencil One is one of the leading commercial photography services for eCommerce businesses. Extremely skilled professionals with years of experience will ensure you satisfactory service. They will customize every flat lay photograph with a personal touch keeping customers’ needs into consideration. 

Reasons to Hire-

  • Keen for every detail
  • Originality guaranteed
  • Consult all aspects of the shoot with you 
  • Receptive to incorporate your idea
  • Satisfactory customer service
  • Provides several options for the final edit



Zeelum is a team of professional photographers and creative experts with greater knowledge of the fashion industry. Apart from doing flat lay photography, they offer some other necessary services which you may not get from other service providers. 

Reasons to Hire- 

  • Studio Rental Services
  • Machine Rental Services
  • Custom Photography Service
  • Hourly and full day rates are available
  • Have DIY-ing option
  • Rapid delivery 

Final Thoughts

Flat lay photography may seem pretty easy, but every new skill takes some time to master. However, we hope our guide will make your way into the clothing photography world easier. Till then, have patience and keep practicing. Good luck! 

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About the Author

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Amy Grace


Commercial Photographer, Writer

Amy Grace has been engaged in commercial photography for a long time. She has enough proficiency and skill set in photography and has nailed the task up to the mark and has helped a lot of entrepreneurs create a brand. Aside from photography, Amy has passion for travelling.

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