What is #5FLATLAYS?

#5flatlays is a monthly photo challenge created by blogger Emma Highfield of Beau Monde Mama. The challenge is run via Instagram and for the first five days of every month participants are invited to create a ‘flatlay’ image that fits in with the daily theme and to share it via Instagram.

How do you participate in #5FLATLAYS?

For the first five days of every month create a flatlay that fits in with the daily theme, photograph it and upload your image to Instagram. The themes for each month will be announced via Instagram in advance so you will have time to prepare.

Your images must be tagged with the #5FLATLAYS hashtag, @beaumondemama and our monthly sponsor in each of your five photographs. 

Every month we have a prize sponsor, the prize sponsor will be announced on the monthly theme list via Instagram. To be in the running to win the monthly prize you must be following the prize sponsor on Instagram and must also complete all five days of the #5FLATLAYS photo challenge. 

If you miss a day don't worry, you can still be in the running to win the monthly prize as long as you have completed all five days of the challenge by the end of the competition. 

  • The winner will be selected by our monthly sponsor. 
  • #5flatlays is open worldwide - anyone is welcome to participate. 
  • Please note: we allow an additional two days for participants to complete the challenge - please ensure all five images are uploaded by midnight NZST on the 7th day of the month, any entries posted after this time will not be considered.  
  • #5flatlays is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.
  • Prizes are non transferable or able to be exchanged for cash. 

So what is a flatly? 
Pretty much exactly as it sounds – objects/things arranged on a flat surface and photographed from a birds eye view. Typically flatlays are fashion/beauty related but we are going to mix it up a bit and I would love to see people get creative will home décor, food, stationary, kids décor etc

A few people have asked for some tips to get started so below are a few guidelines that you can draw from to create the perfect flatlay. Most importantly this challenge is all about having fun so remember there is no right or wrong way to do it! Just get creative!

How to create the perfect flatlay – tips and tricks:

Think about how you are going to arrange your objects. Use a variety of objects in different shapes and sizes to create balance and build up your flatlay. Play around with different compositions, position objects next to one another, or try layering. Remember objects don’t have to be perfectly aligned (unless this is your style) items scattered or placed randomly in the composition also work well. Don’t discount white space; some of the best flatlays I have seen are ones where the objects in the image have space to breathe.

Plain background:
Start with a plain background, something that doesn’t distract from the objects you are focusing on. I find a plain white background works best. I use my coffee table but if you don’t have a flat white surface you can use a large sheet of paper, a bed-sheet or try something with texture like a fluffy rug or plain knitted blanket to add texture.

Natural Light:
This is really important, make sure you shoot in good natural light (not direct sunlight) as this will make your image clear and bright.

Stick to a colour palette:
I find sticking to a colour palette helps to create a stand-out flatlay. Focus on pastels, earthy tones or a black and white with a pop of colour. If you try and include every colour in one image it starts to look messy.

Take the image in a square frame:
This helps to give you an idea of how the objects will fit into the space and look in your final photo. Most phones have a square setting for taking images (which is ideal) but if you don’t have this feature or are shooting with a SLR camera try using masking tape or string to mark out a square. You can always crop out the border afterwards.

Shoot From Above:
Pretty simple – take your flatlay images from a birds eye view.

I find Instagram itself has some great editing features and I also use an app called whitagram to edit my images. Play around with the brightness and contrast to really enhance your images, the sharpen feature is also great for producing sharp, in-focus images.

And most importantly take lots of photos and have fun!



  1. Think you need to sub-edit your post again...is it flat lay? or flaylay? or flayflay? :)

    1. Ha! Thanks - the joys of trying to blog with a toddler on my knee!