Producing a Flat Lay
Flat Lays, Top Downs, whatever you want to call them, they're a classic way to showcase a product, but creating the scene for one isn't always easy and to make one look classy theres a few things to think about.
1 - Composition. Composition is probably the biggest thing you need to bare in mind with flat lays. You want to make sure the eye is drawn to the product that you want to showcase or the subject of your picture. You can use the rule of thirds and the gridlines on your camera will help you there, position your subject in a place which feels central to the shot, i.e. in the middle box or where your gridlines intersect, these intersecting line will create a natural position for your subject and give it a clean position within the photo.
2 - Create your own leading lines! This isn't essential, you don't need them, but you can create some interesting images by making your own leading lines. Much like the composition, creating your own leading lines will draw the eye of the viewer to the subject, you can do it in multiple ways, personally one of my favourites is doing it with the props in an image, something as simple as a tea towel can create a corridor directing you to your subject.
3 - Complimentary props. These don't necessarily have to be related to what your subject is, but you don't have to think about them fitting it, think about it in terms of feel, colour, theme, how does it fit your setting. For example, in our Simply the Zest Oppo shots, we added a burlap bag of dried lavender. Literally couldn't be further away from ice cream if we tried, but on a blue background, with a nice yellow primary coloured subject and trying to make the image feel fresh and summery, if fitted the image and gave it a secondary element to elevate the image.
The image below combines the three little tricks and you can see how they can all come together, the tub off to the left on the intersecting gridline, the made leading lines with the lavender and corridor of with the tea towel and scoop and then all the props in general fitting the colour and theme of the image.