Who says ‘Beauty’ cannot be arranged? Your views will stand corrected once you familiarize yourself with a unique concept that is slowly but surely catching on in India, like it has done in other countries of the world.
“We are referring to the concept of flatlays.”
The Uncommon Box has been associated with this concept and its execution for the second year in a row and we thought that it was definitely the right time to share the entire project with you.
Our associate in this collaboration is architect Sangeeta Mahale. She is also a photographer by sheer curiosity and passion.
Before we get down to our chat with her, let us explain the concept of a flatlay.
The concept of Flatlays
If you search the Net, the keyword ‘flatlays’ will flash some extremely artistic arrangements of different objects presented as aesthetically as possible.
A flat lay is basically a photograph of items usually taken from the top so that the impression created is a two dimensional one, as the objects look laid out flat on the surface.
Now the options to create such an arrangement are endless because the key element here is creativity, an eye for detail, a sense of appropriateness of arranging items and of course, keen aesthetics. The photography is the icing on the cake, adding to what you have already set out to be captured.
Learning by doing is the best way to understanding something. So let us teach you…
How to make a badass Flatlay
With much help from Sangeeta, Team TUB put together a checklist on how to make one amazing flatlay:
# Get yourself some inspiration.
Sangeeta says, ‘In architecture we always do case studies before starting off any project. Similarly for a flatlay, get inspired.’ Look at Nature, go for a walk, look at paintings, and go to exhibitions. Or the easiest way out…use the internet.
# Use a basic background.
A good background can make or break your image.
Choose the background wisely. Make sure it’s a non-reflective, non-glossy surface. Suggestions are dark wood, rusted metal or even fabric.
India is blessed with good light. Use natural, diffused light for best results. Please don’t use artificial yellow light. Daylight works best for flatlays. Side light from the window works the best.
# It is advisable to choose a theme.
The image should look cohesive. Props should be gathered wisely.
# One should try different compositions.
Different locations, playing around with various elements in different combinations should be experimented with. Incorporating natural elements like leaves, flowers, stones make the image look more appealing.
# A camera phone works just as fine as a dslr.
There is no pressure to use a top end device to capture a flatlay effectively. Your keen eye along with the other points in this checklist should help you through.
# Ensure that a good top view of the composition is available.
The flatlay must capture all the elements adequately to make a picture look complete.
# Editing also plays an important role.
Editing apps like Snapseed, Aviary, VSCO can be used to edit pictures. Appropriate editing is important. These apps are free, user friendly and fun to work with. YouTube tutorials are of great help too.
# Images should be labelled.
Nothing fancy but just a few jottings on the flatlay helps the viewers to understand the feeling behind the process.
More about the enthusiastic organiser- Sangeeta Mahale.
Sangeeta is a believer that there is inherent beauty in everything and everyone. She explains the genesis of the Flatlays competition that she has been organising for the past two years.
‘I am obsessed with flatlays and love composing with food, vintage items, and artwork. Instagram was the place where I first saw flatlays and was mesmerized by them. I somehow felt India lacked representation in this field. We have so many beautiful things that can be portrayed through a flatlay compositions. I feel flatlays are very therapeutic, almost meditative in a way.’’
Sangeeta credits the book “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert for inspiring her to be creative daily. She highly recommends it to everyone.
It was in April last year (2016) when she hosted the first flatlay competition on Instagram and it proved to be a most encouraging experience with 60 participants in the fray.
After an encouraging response to her Instagram stories this year whether people would be interested in another flatlay competition, she organised one with the theme “Summer”.
Participants were asked to create their original compositions in the form of a flatlay which represented their idea of Summer, which could include anything and everything connected with Summer – from vacation destinations to food, beverages, adventure, activities and clothing.
The sky was really the limit here.
Participants could post maximum three flatlays images, using the hashtag #g21b.
The contest period was from 19th to 27th May 2017.
The winner gets awarded a well-stocked flatlay prop box.
This year’s contest turned out to be a bigger success than last year and The Uncommon Box is delighted to co-announce the names as well as feature the winner and the special mention winners. It is our way of encouraging the initiative and the creativity of those involved.
So we are delighted to feature the names of the following participants and feature their entries on our website:
The winner of the Flatlays Competition 2017 is:
Dhaayakattai..!! This game is my favourite indoor activities since from my childhood, learned from my grandma..! She was an expert in this, i never won this game whenever I play with her..!! We play dhaayam usually in summer holidays when we go visit her in village, this game is also called as vaahanam widely play this in villages..!! And we never play this without a snacks!! We buy all this theanmittai, poriurundai, Kadalaimittai, mango in our opposite pottikadai(tinyshop) and eat, lol we almost empty that shop ..!! and till now this is my favourite game which we need lots of talent and luck to win..!! We still play this in summer holidays and when @gampu21 posted a flatlay competition thought of give a try which I do in summer..!! That’s the theme..!! .
The following are the names and entries of those participants who won a Special Mention for their work. They are :
SUMMER….Indoors and outdoors is my take for flatlay theme for summer inspirations! Made me nostalgic about the slow days… with indoor games, books or painting nails and mixing it up with the outdoors sports especially ‘lagori’ and catching up with friends… Thank you @gampu21 for this lovely way for bringing those memories alive… Thoroughly enjoyed putting this together!
The Red Summer
What’s summer without Watermelons?
What’s summer without the Gulmohar canopies all over the city?
What’s summer without playing cards late in to the night?
Summer holidays have left behind so many memories throughout school days; fun times like using coins as poker chips, writing postcards to your friends once you’re back from your dadi’s/nani’s place, kokamsarbat made by your neighbours post langdi/hide and seek sessions and so many small happy things like this:)
The Summer Flatlay.
It was tough to think & organized all the stuff perfectly for the FlatlayPicture. Using Natural Light was great but it was windy today and my flowers were just flying all the Time.
The Fruits were easy to find at home & flowers are from my Balcony Garden. Pile of books consists of all the books that I am currently Reading. InSummer we always imagine about the coming Monsoon, the open book is the one that consists all photographs and details of “Flowers of Kaas Plateau” & the Cactus represent current Hot Climate. This is all about my Summer 2017.
In my previous post I talked about bring narcissists, and here, see, I am being one. Summers to me is all about books and jewellery and that eyeliner near the jumbo glass bottle, and if you ask me about the rest of them, well, I would tell you that it was just to keep the colour theme running.
Credits : Shruti DudhaneFor me, summers are for searching comforts in all possible way …Nothing is comparable to the cool breeze induced by this intricate hand-fan!
☀️Frames of Summer☀️
Summer for me isn’t just one thing in particular. It’s shades of many different things that come together to form beautiful pictures of love, laughter & memories, forever framed in my heart. ♥️
Summer for me is travel ⛰ Trips back home to visit loved ones. Or exploring different parts of my country or the world. From beach sides to the mountains. Broadening my outlook, collecting souvenirs, experiences, culture, friendships and most importantly memories.
🍓Summer for me is colourful fruits Juicy delicious sustenance thats fresh, healthy and light on the tummy, keeping you full yet refreshed during the summer heat.
And finally, Summer (or any season for that matter) always includes my favourite beverage – Tea. ☕️Healthy, refreshing &soothing, it can be had hot or cold. It calms my senses, refreshes my body and mind and makes wherever I may be in the world feel like home.
The tans will fade but the memories will last forever
*TEMPTATION ALERT* .
.♡Masala Nimbu Soda ♡ .
Summers means coolers and refereshers are a must. What best cooler than our age old Nimbu Masala Soda with Pudinaleaves ? .
In frame you will see sugar, pestle, mortar with rock salt which is grounded into a powder, potted pudina plant (they are fresh and home grown) , lemon squeezer (very very old one, even its handle is broken, probably bye only … hehehehehe) , lemons (of course it is the must.. isn’t it 😉 ) , chat masala , knife, my favourite mason jar with ice cubes in it. .
The assembly of the NimbuPudina Masala Soda
Title: Sherbet love. 😍😍Absolutely love Wood Apple (Bael) Sherbet, which is a staple every summer at my home. Home grown wood apples from the trees in courtyard into home-made refreshing cooler.
A must try recipe and fruit. Wood Apple is commonly eaten as well after breaking the hard shell. But I prefer the sherbet more than eating fruit.
Hop over #ontheblog and look for Wood Apple Sherbet recipe in the archives.
Summer meant cousins, cricket on the terrace, silly fights and endless yapping. And, can a summer memory be fonder than the times spent with cousins sitting around paati for comfort food in the afternoon post a ‘hard day’s play’ under the scorching Madras sun. ‘Thairsadam’ (curd rice) and ‘vadu manga’ (tender mango pickle) with vadaams was our afternoon staple. Paati would take turns to feed us each everyday. Though this was considered a huge distraction and waste of play time then, the memories remain and I cannot but recall them with utter fondness and nostalgia.
I learnt that small motivational push, correct directions and inspirations can make me go crazy.
You scream,I scream, We all scream for ICECREAM!!!
Summers have always been all about mangoes, vacations, snow-clad mountains and preparing for the new academic beginnings.
Though there also lies a dark perspective to it.
For the faraway lands where summers are dreaded, humans are surviving on limited resources and animals are forgotten. But summer is piling through rising degrees just every year.
Friday today is for a flat lay of our fond memories. Summer by far is the happiest time for us Canadians after being caged in indoors for a long treacherous winter. Every year exciting adventure gets added to our summer itinerary as we never throw away a chance of being off the grid. The ritualistic jet set rhythm of summer vacation also turns out to be an ultimate way to connect and bond with our family. On the flat lay here I have tried to piece together few memories of such wonderful vacation places. A magnet and a souvenir always come back with us to keep the memories alive of our unforgettable time. We have lost a count of magnets we have collected over the period. Here are very few of them that spill the stories of our great time.
My today’s flat lay is exclusively for an uber talented artist @gampu21. She has opened up a new window of creativity of flat lays for many like me and playing around with these beauties has help me shape my own aesthetic skills.
Everyone starts planning their gateway as soon as summer approaches and so do I being a travel lover! These are few of my essentials while being on board! They being so colourful and pretty I laid them down for a Flatlay composition trial.
On a day when the wind is perfect, the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty, TODAY is such a day… (Rumi) – Come summers, and I crave for the beach for there is nothing impossible with sunshine and a little blue… HAPPY FABULOUS BLUE SUMMERS! My bags are packed with a motley assemblage of all things summery – for the love of travel and the calm of sea, for blue is the colour of summers for me.
When we say summer- The first thing that comes in my mind is that art work and creative stuff we do in summer holidays…
We play, we create, and we rest, etc. in the bright sun.
“Climb beyond the heat.” Summer is when rock climbers try to beat the heat and do as much climbing as they can before the monsoon arrives and ends the climbing season. It’s all about dried grass, hot rock and mango breaks.
Summer fashion flatlay
The first edible memory and symbol of summers strikes me, which is watermelons and lemons, I call them the Ambassadors of summer food, what is summer without them? Also, to take a break from winter blues, summer comes along with splash of colours and ya…the colourful food as well, so how can one resist the vibrant summery colours. So here we go…tada…
This picture count as my second entry to the “all things summer”.
The artistry of these flatlays indicates the limitlessness of the creativity of the human mind.
The Uncommon Box would like to thank all the participants for their hard work and wishes them the very best.
A special word of commendation to SangeetaMahale for her enthusiasm and dedication to boost this art form in her own way.
You can follow her on Instagram @gampu21
The Uncommon Box would like to thank Sangeeta for having us as her associate in this wonderful annual endeavour and we are sure, every year, this competition will get more popular.
The Uncommon Box invites collaborations and associations for all kinds of events. We will be more than happy to promote events which support and encourage all art forms. Mail us at [email protected]
We encourage all kind of creative work whether articles, poems, sketches, doodling, painting, food styling or about fashion or travelling or photography.