flatlays part 2: best light for Instagram photos

Phone cameras these days can take some really professional looking shots. I personally take all my pictures with my phone in natural daylight – I do not have a proper camera or a professional light set up.
But even I have to admit there are some real drawbacks to mobile phone photography. While a regular camera would be able to adjust to the circumstances, with a mobile phone you’re really dependent on good light.

I used to get so frustrated, spending hours trying to make pictures work and not understanding why they weren’t turning out the way I wanted them. So through trial and error, I have managed to figure out what works for cellphone photography and what doesn’t – and the answer? It all comes down to the weather.

Flatlay photography tips best light
Photo taken on a sunny day

I have the most success when it’s a bright, overcast day and the least success when it’s sunny and blue-skied. If it’s a sunny day, my pictures either show up blue from reflecting the sky or green from reflecting the grass.

Flatlay photography tips best light
Same props but on a cloudy day

That’s right – it needs to be overcast for good phone photography. Photographers everywhere are rolling their eyes (they knew this all along) but for your average Instagrammer, the best advice you’ll find on the internet is “use window light” and as we’ve learned today, that doesn’t always work out the way that you want it to.
There are, of course, ways around it – I’ve heard a ring light or a softbox are useful. Personally, I don’t have either of these things and I get by just fine. If I wake up and it’s sunny, I might go for a walk or read a book instead. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break – it is just Instagram, after all.

Read next: best light for Instagram photos

Part 1: finding inspiration

Part 3: best backgrounds for flatlays

Part 4: best props for flatlays

Part 5: how I edit my instagram photos

4 thoughts on “flatlays part 2: best light for Instagram photos

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