Whether you’ve been photographing weddings for years or you are just starting out, styling details and designing flat lays can be intimidating, but they don’t have to be. I am Mary of Mary Fosky Photography, wedding and portrait photographer based in Florida. Over the last 10 years, I’ve captured almost 200 weddings, so I’ve have had a lot of practice capturing flat lays. In recent years, I’ve been artfully styling wedding day details in three styles; documentary, styled flat lays and curated flay lays. In this blog, I’ll explain the difference in styles. I’ll also share my basic approach to flat lays, the tools I have collected, what I bring on a wedding day, my basic camera settings, and more. Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you would like to schedule a 1:1 mentor session.
Wedding Story: Different ways to capture details
There are three ways I capture details,
- Documentary: Capturing rings as they are tightly guarded in the couple’s palms before exchanging, documenting the shoes as they are being placed on feet by a trusted friend, or photographing a watch as it’s laying on a wooden desk with the window light gleaming on its face. Documenting the details of a wedding day as they are, not moving them or adding enhancements.
- Styled: A styling of wedding day details with added elements that compliment the wedding day colors and style. Items are brought on the wedding day to enhance the wedding story.
- Curated: A collaboration of styling between the couple, planner, florist, stationer, and or photographer. With the sole focus on styling the details that tell the full story. Every item has intentionality. Every detail is carefully planned in advance.
Capturing Details: My approach
My approach to flat lays has evolved over the years. 10 years ago, as a newbie photographer, my approach was by trial. I had a huge love for details, I would spend hours on education, and research to try and style them in a way that was both beautiful and told a story. Like with learning anything new, my journey took some time before I finally arrived and I felt my ideas and vision came to life.
Throughout the wedding day, my approach to capturing details is of course different. But when it comes to the “Getting ready” and wedding typical “details” of a wedding; invitation suite, dress, shoes, cufflinks, rings, jewelry, perfume, etc. my approach is based on the preference of the couple. In a discovery call, I ask:
How do you envision your memories being photographed? Would you like me to document them as they are?
Would they like me to style the details based on your wedding colors and aesthetic?
Would you like to share your inspiration? If so, please review your details with me and let us dive into more discussion.
Once I have my answer, I know exactly where to go from there. The curation approach is my favorite. I really enjoy working with the planner or couple, It’s like a fun challenge to find the right pieces, whether it’s something from the bride/groom’s home, something special from their family, a newly purchased item, or an item from the MFP Wedding Story Design Collection.
Flay lay styling items or props
One of the many resources available to my clients is access to the MFP Wedding Story Design Collection. The collection features a guide to styling and photos of over 100+ of my styling tools; all available for styling wedding details. Here are a few of my (wedding photographer’s) favorite flat-lay items that add a touch of elegance and personalization to every album. Non-Amazon are not sponsored, but hey if you’re interested, email me!
Ring Boxes- My favorite is a tiny velvet ring box. The most beautiful boxes I’ve purchased are from:
Ribbons and Fabric- these are just a few of what I have. The ribbons were the last of the items I quickly threw them on my style board and photographed. Why so haphazardly? My back porch has the most beautiful light even at 12 pm. However, yesterday in Florida it was 105 out. So after a few hours, I was done.
- Silk & Willow
Plates, Dishes, & Embellishments
When searching for items, I spend a lot of time looking at the quality, and reading reviews. Each item I purchase is an investment. And most of the time I don’t have a specific client I am shopping for, I am looking for beautiful pieces that will inspire.
Flat lays should be fun, it should NOT be a stressful time. With some practice and a plan in mind, it will get easier. Contact me today for a 1:1 or group flat lay session!
Details Photo Mentorship: Contact me today! Let’s level up your flat lays.
Mentor Session Overview: This 1:1 mentoring session is designed to provide wedding photographers with the necessary skills and techniques to effectively document bride and groom details. From capturing the intricate elements of bridal attire to highlighting the groom’s personal touches, this session aims to enhance photographers’ abilities to create stunning visual narratives that encapsulate the essence of the couple’s special day.
- Evaluate and refine your current approach to wedding photography by conducting a comprehensive review of your portfolio and the tools you utilize.
- Familiarize yourself with various tools available for wedding photography and gain proficiency in their usage to enhance your workflow and image quality.
- Master techniques for capturing bridal attire, encompassing the dress, veil, shoes, and accessories, while also exploring imaginative methods for highlighting groom details such as attire, boutonnieres, and personal items.
- Develop a nuanced understanding of lighting principles, compositional techniques, and advantageous angles specifically tailored to photographing intricate details, ensuring the creation of captivating and visually engaging images.
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