How To: Create a Fake Marble Flat Lay for Instagram Photos
You might be wondering: So, HOW THE HECK do those cute Instagrammers make those super duper extra cute marble flat lay photos!? Well, today, I'm exposing the secret! Here's the answer plain and simple: it's not marble; it's vinyl. And it only costs $7. Yup... not even kidding!
Back in the day, I shared with you how to create a marble backdrop using slabs you'd find at a hardware store such as Home Depot or Lowe's, and while that has its perks for realism, you can't even tell that this vinyl isn't marble! It is also $3 cheaper (and we love a good deal when we can - you know that!).
What You'll Need:
A thick presentation board (poster board).
- One roll of DC Fix's Decorative Self-Adhesive Film in Grey Marble
- The cutest props / products you can think of!
First things first, you'll want to buy a big poster board from your local arts & crafts store - even Target has them! Then, order a roll of DC Fix's decorative self-adhesive film in the color grey marble from Amazon. This is just ~$7 plus shipping and is eligible for Amazon Prime. You get a considerable amount of film in just one roll, so there's no need for two. All you need to cover is the poster board's main side of use (you can cover both sides, but there's no need - I just tuck the bits of extra behind).
Then, go shopping for your favorite flat lay items: either your business products or cutesy notebooks, succulent plants, coffee mugs, what have you. I can easily blow $150 on shooting props at T.J. Maxx and luckily I have the ability of writing them off on my business taxes, but that's not easy for everyone. Prioritize what items you feel the most strongly about and forego the ones you don't really need until next time.
Once your items arrive, cut a big enough chunk of the vinyl to cover the poster board and you're all set! It helps to get someone else to help you hold the board while you apply the super-sticky adhesive (and not screw up).
After I finished creating my marble backdrop, I took it over to my photographer, Sydney's house. We had so much fun working on flat lays and vowed we wanted to do it again and again (although we were EXHAUSTED - I'm not even going to sugarcoat that). After that session, now I'm well aware why I pay so much for my styled stock photo subscriptions (and they're not even all that expensive in the grand scheme of things). Mad props to you ladies who shoot new professional sets every single month!
Not only had Sydney never shot with my makeshift marble flat lay backdrop, she accidentally sent back her tripod mount when she returned a defective camera - I KNOW! So, we had to create a makeshift stone tripod securer (don't try this at home!). It was pretty ridiculous but made for some fab memories. Hear it from Sydney herself:
It's all about getting the proper lighting (so shooting outside can be a fabulous idea if you don't have a formal photo studio with all the trimmings). I always shoot near the lightest window at my apartment, or I utilize a friend's house with great big windows. It takes fitting in some pretty awkward places and a few bumps and bruises, too. Pro Tip: Use lots of pillows to make the shooting comfortable for the subject.
And it wasn't just a little bump this time... I ended up bumping alllllll of that coffee you see in the photo on the right (above) and spilling it all over myself - including my eyes and my hair. I basically head-butted it, not gonna lie. It wasn't easy, but I laughed A LOT.
Just keepin' it real.
The images from the shoot turned out BEAUTIFUL (including the one I shared at the top of this blog post). Here's a few more of my favorites from the shoot as a whole, including the marble, along with using her edgy concrete ground with fluffy white blanket and a furry white stool as a table (get creative!):
In addition to shooting with the pro, I do some amateur photography for one of my clients, Clean Keto Blog and her delicious food recipes. Below is a gallery example of some photos we took utilizing the marble:
P.S. Exclusive news! We will be releasing two brand new FREE stock photo packs on the blog this month using the fake marble backdrop, so stay tuned for that! We can't wait to see what you think. xo
Did you decide to use the faux marble vinyl? Tag me in your photos on Instagram using the handle @fashionably.frank or comment below and tell me how it went! :)
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THE BLOGGER: KATHRYN COFFMAN
Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating college in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to life's problems + that all women should embrace a #girlboss mantra.