One of the most important things in constructing a killer flatlay is the background. You need a good, clean background. A grubby counter top doesn’t work and neither does carpet (for some reason, carpet is just super not pleasing).
I tend to stick to the same three backgrounds. My favourite, the hexagonal marble tiles, is actually gift wrapping paper from Whitcoulls. I keep it on the roll and when I go to take a photo, I just unroll enough for what I’m doing and then when I’m done I roll it back up. It’s cheap, and it’s lasted me a really long time.
I also have a roll of marble contact paper which is from Kmart. You can stick your contact paper onto a board or something but I like how easy it is to store when it’s rolled up. The only drawback to keeping it on the roll is it occasionally has ripples when laid out flat.
If I’m using either my wrapping paper or my contact paper, I drag my kitchen table up to the window (for the light) and lay them out flat.
Otherwise, I’ll go into my bedroom and use my white bedsheets or taupe linen duvet cover. I like the way the folds in the fabric cast shadows. It also looks a bit more natural for outfit flatlays – because you could believe that I’d laid my clothes on the bed before getting dressed. You don’t often wander out to the kitchen and lay your clothes out on the counter, so I try to stay away from marble for outfit posts.
The only trick with choosing a background is to make it look natural. I don’t want it to look like wrapping paper, even though it is.
Read next: how I edit my instagram photos
Part 1: flatlay inspiration
Part 2: best light for Instagram photos
Part 4: best props for flatlays
Part 5: how I edit my instagram photos