The Typist Crew and Friends had a lot of fun last week at the Faber-Castell Philippines Bloggers Day with workshops and activities by Tippy Go of GooglyGoogeys! Tippy started with a basic color theory class followed by us trying our best to blend paints together. Thankfully, we (kind of) succeeded and we went on with assembling our flatlays for the second half of the workshop.

Here’s the thing – I can’t flatlay for my life. I can do portraits and street photography but never flatlays. I feel that the flatlay is another world of art I can never achieve. But from the Faber-Castell workshop, I learned two super simple hacks on how to nail that flatlay for the ‘gram!

Your main weapon isn’t your camera.

Lighting is key. Use natural light for a soft and warm look, and maximize this using reflectors to bounce the light source and avoid intense shadows unless of course, that’s what you’re going for. Remember that your eyes are your best tools, not your camera. Whatever looks natural and simple for your eyes to look at, that’s the goal.

Here’s a short video on interior photography to guide you on composition and basic lighting.

Know which colors go together.

Here’s where you Instagram “theme” comes in. Users can pull off themes because they know which colors go with use this knowledge to seamlessly incorporate their new photos into the feed they already have.

IMAGE Pinterest / PinkBlushCakes

One of my favorite color combinations are pink, green, and white. The reason why this combo works is because pink and green sit directly opposite each other on the color wheel. These opposite colors are called complementary colors and are fool-proof combinations for color design and photos.

IMAGE Adobe Color 

Here’s the color palette of the Pinterest photo we used as an example. Its two main components are pink and green, complementary colors, and with a bit of brown and tan to balance.

Brown and tan also sit beside the pink shades and this is what we refer to as analogous colors. These colors also work well together in a feed, as well as providing balance to complementary colors

IMAGE Adobe Color

That was a lot of theory. Let’s get down to business.

Analogous Color Scheme for Street Photography: The Typist Team tried to test this theory for on our own Instagram accounts. I actually started with an analogous color scheme for a street/landscape photo instead of a flatlay and ended up with this. A photo of the color scheme I used follows right after.

So many words but so many feelings! 🍂 A time for seasons to change. When a good friend told me about a beautiful change in his life, I broke down in tears. My eyes welled up and I didn't know what else to do but ugly-cry. Somehow far beyond our bewildered expressions, all was beautiful. 🍂 For a moment, on our terribly impersonal Telegram conversation, I was the happiest I've been in the longest time. It was sheer joy. I felt that for all the good things this person has done in his life, it was just right that he would be given immense love in return and at the most perfect time. 🍂 "Inconsiderate and selfish. You deserve all the pain you are feeling and you obviously don't deserve to be given kindness or respect." These words have lingered long enough to trickle down my veins and break into my heart's most safeguarded places. I stopped believing that I could be a good person until the other day's news and crying session. I thought it was a gentle tap, but it was strong enough to send me into a complete turn. 🍂 I didn't know I was capable of caring for others so much and so genuinely, that I would wish nothing else of the universe but for them to be completely happy. 🍂 Perhaps it was a perfect time for me too. "I think you just realized what we've known for a while now – that you're actually a good person," someone would later console me with. It's a work in progress, since I've not successfully chased out the self-loathing just yet. But I know now. I know that with a stroke of fearlessness, I'll come to understand that I deserve to love and be loved again. 🍂 Flowers bloom and wither, and all seasons change in their own perfect time. Isn't that why fall has its own kind of beautiful? . #AbbyReallyTravels #AbbyReallyTravelsTokyo

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Monochromatic-Analogous Color Scheme for Flatlay: Armand opted for a monochromatic-analogous color scheme with this elegant green and beige flatlay.

Balance Bright Hues with Muted Tones

I had a teacher once who told me that after properly learning all the rules, you have to learn how to break them all like an artist. We can have sure-fire ways on how to properly assemble our flatlays by color, but honestly rainbows work too. Analayzing one of my own flatlays, I realized that it was a bunch of seemingly unrelated bright colors. Adobe Color showed me how my photo was just all over the place with colors but weirdly enough, I thought they looked good together.

Saturation balancing. That’s not the official term, but I’d like to call it that way. And it’s one of the main components of a good ~ rainbow ~ flatlay or any photo in that sense. Here’s my flatlay and its color palette analysis. The bright colors of the books were balanced with the muted browns and greens, even if it looks like the whole rainbow on the palette below.