The One Instagram Shot That Will ALWAYS Get You Likes

Photo: Via @christenebarberich.
Sometimes, as much as you love your outfit, you don't necessarily want to take a photo of yourself —whether it's an #OOTD, mirror shot, or traditional front-camera selfie. That's where the fashion flat lay comes in. Having blown up on Instagram over the past few years, this particular shot is a great way to showcase clothing, shoes, and accessories without actually having to wear them.

Whether two items or seven, all it takes to nail the perfect picture is laying your thoughtful pick of pieces on a flat surface, arranging them nicely, and snapping a photo. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. If you've ever attempted to style one of these images, you know it's actually a lot tougher than it looks. That's the funny thing about flat lays: they look totally effortless, but the truth is, everything in the idealistic, aspirational photos you see on your feed was picked and placed just so to create a pleasing-to-the-eye vignette — and often, it takes about 50 bad shots before you get "The One."

For a double-tap-worthy flat lay, we're zooming in on some Insta-stars and breaking the formula down, step-by-step. Click on for 17 tried-and-true tips that will help get you snap the 'gram of your dreams.
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Photo via @collagevintage.
Feet Are Fair Game
Don't force yourself to do some crazy acrobatics just because your feet are in the frame — embrace it, especially if your shoes (and toes) are photo-worthy.
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Photo via @lefashion.
Make It A Complete Look
Believe it or not, people like to picture themselves in your photos. Let your flat lay feature a complete outfit, so your followers can pull inspiration for themselves.
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Photo via @happilygrey.
Marble Is A Girl's Best Friend
Marble backgrounds are a crowd favorite among top Instagrammers. It's subtle, as not to make your image too busy, but gives any mix of items an overall luxe, minimalist vibe.
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Photo via @nakedcph.
Know Your Angles
Taking the photo from above is a safe bet, but not the only option. Arrange items nicely into a square layout and take the photo from a slight diagonal for a fresh twist.
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Don't Ditch The Small Stuff
Not everything in a flat lay has to be big and in-your-face. In fact, sometimes, it's all in the details. Show off earrings and other small pieces of jewelry by placing them neatly in a photogenic dish.
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Photo via @thefrankieshop.
Get Matchy-Matchy
Less is more when you've got a super-cute matching set on your hands. Pair them on a white background and everyone will want to know where it's from.
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Photo via @twoson.co.
Go Monochromatic
Another theme that's appealing to the eye is a monochromatic layout where everything is in a similar color family. Denim-lovers, blue is a great theme to show off your favorite pair of jeans.
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Photo via @moreislove.
Center It
Depending on your style (some prefer more disheveled flat lays, while others prefer something more composed), it may be a good idea to center the focus of the photo in the frame. And a simple background keeps distractions at a minimum.
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Photo via @sincerelytommy_.
Set The Scene
Give your flat lay a central theme that allows the viewers to imagine where this look is headed. This one, in particular, is beach-ready with a cute suit, straw hat, and bright sunglasses.
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Play With The Unexpected
Yes, that is a pair of shoes and a clutch on a table setting. Yes, you should get quirky and unexpected with your own shots. A surprise factor will only add to its likability.
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Photo via @sincerelyjules.
Show A Little Scenery
Sure, a flat lay is all about spotlighting the items in the photo, but if you're at a scenic place, zoom out to show more of the surroundings — it will only make your photo that much more aspirational.
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Photo via @collagevintage.
Snap When You Pack
Packing is the perfect opportunity to take a good pre-trip photo, since your stuff is already folded perfectly into your suitcase. Add a few accessories around the exterior, and you've got a bon voyage post that's ready to go.
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Photo via @double3xposure.
Use Jewelry As A Prop
Don't know what to add in to a photo of an outfit or lingerie set? Throw in some simple jewelry that coordinates with the piece you're trying to show off.
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Photo via @lusttforlife.
Space It Out
There's nothing wrong with having items overlap, but many flat lays space things out evenly for clean feel that isn't too busy or messy-looking.
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Photo via @sincerelyjules.
Your Bed Is Your Set
We're not all lucky enough to have marble tables or colorful backgrounds in close proximity at all times, but most of us do have beds. Plain, white sheets make a great go-to set for a mini shoot.
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Photo via @lusttforlife.
Up The Texture
If you're dealing with neutral colors, play them up with different textures to keep things interesting. Break out all the lace, tassels, knits, and straw you have to give the image a multi-dimensional affect.
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Photo via @songofstyle.
Seal The Deal With Sweet Stuff
Clothes are great on their own, but how can anyone not like a baby kangaroo and some beautiful peonies, too? Cute add-ons, like magazines and flowers, give your followers all the more reason to ooh and ahh (and like) your shot.
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