I joined Poshmark in mid 2013. At that time, I treated it like another selling platform that I was used to – place the item on a flat surface, shoot, pray that it sells. Not too long after joining, I came across Kristin’s (@fancypantsmcgee) Closet. I was blown away. Her Poshmark covershots were clean, professional and eye-catching. The flat lays enticed you to look at all of her listings. Her style was something that wasn’t seen all too often at the time.
Today, the perfect Poshmark flat lay has become ubiquitous with selling. While I’ve seen some amazing shots in the last five years, not many are as memorable as Kristin’s. She continues her signature style today, and has offered 4 tips to achieving the perfect Poshmark flat lay covershot. Let’s meet Kristin!
My Poshmark journey began late in 2012 when I found myself with an overwhelming amount of clothing and shoes that fell out of rotation in my wardrobe. Initially, I gave no thought to presentation when listing items in my closet. I’d just snap a few quick pictures (back when you were only allowed 4 photos to showcase your items!) and hope that someone would see my blurry, poorly-lit wares and give them a new home. Months later, I graduated college with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and had some extra time and a need for a creative outlet. During this time, I decided to spruce up my Poshmark closet with new cover shots. This was partially an experiment to see if presentation could drive sales, but also a way for me to express my passion for visual display.
I gradually updated my closet with styled flat lay cover shots and received a surprising amount of positive feedback (and increased sales!). With lots of effort and trial and error, my photographing and styling skills improved. I developed a style that was a bit of a signature at a time when flat lay shots weren’t the most popular styling option on Poshmark. For me, this was mostly a fun way to be creative, so I was shocked and flattered when other Poshers began asking for tips to create their own flat lay cover shots. After years of practice, I’ve narrowed it down to 4 simple steps to help you achieve attractive flat lay photos!
1 Utilize good lighting
Natural lighting is an excellent option for flat lay photographs. I started out using natural lighting by setting up my work space near a large window in my house and waiting for the right time of day. The ideal level of lighting depends on which direction your window is facing, but generally you want soft lighting and not big rays of sun that will cast shadows in your image. If natural lighting isn’t an option for you, or if you want the flexibility of being able to shoot at any time of day, I’d highly recommend purchasing a photography lighting kit. You can purchase a kit for as little as $50 and they are complete game changers. I switched to using umbrella lights instead of natural light when I needed to be able to photograph items at night and it really took my photos to another level.
2 Choose complementary props
Choosing props for your photos can be lots of fun! You’d be surprised what you can find lying around your house that will add some interest to your photos. I’ve seen lots of creative Poshers who use plants, stationery items, or household goods. I like to use other items I’m selling as props as well as cosmetics, perfume bottles, and other fashion items. I try to think about what colors and textures would go well with the item I’m showcasing since these qualities are both great at adding visual interest to a layout. Try referencing a color wheel online to spark some ideas and experiment with adding different fabrics to create depth.
3 Use a clean background
You want your item to be the star of the show and a clean and uncluttered background can make all the difference. While a white background is my personal favorite, this is definitely not the only option. I’ve seen many gorgeous flatlay cover shots on wood, tile, and carpet/rug backgrounds. There’s lots of room for experimentation, but you’ll want to avoid a backdrop that is wrinkled, garish, or that blends in with your item. If you don’t have an available surface that works for you, try using a sheet or tablecloth in a color of your choosing (steam out all the wrinkles!). Vinyl photography backdrops are a great alternative as well! I started out using a white desk for my photos and now switch between that, a vinyl marble backdrop and a white fur rug. I like having a few options for when I want to change things up, but this is not required.
4 Make sure the item you’re selling is the focal point
One of the biggest complaints I hear about flat lay cover shots is that, “I can’t tell what’s for sale!” Ensuring that the item for sale is the focal point of the image is the best way to combat this issue. When I’m creating a layout, I first place the item I’m selling onto the surface. Then I place the props around it and frame the shot in my camera so that the item for sale is taking up most of the space. Once you have your props laid out, try shooting from different angles and distances, then look through your photos to see what looks best. Soon you will get the hang of what setups and angles work best and it will become second nature.
Thanks Kristin! You can check her amazing listings in her closet. Stop by and say hello!