As far as research goes, Instagram is my Wikipedia. In fact, a quick scroll through my fashion-laden feed reveals one unwavering trend: Perfecting the art the flat lay appears to be at the forefront of many an Instagrammer’s mind. From drool-worthy tablescapes to exceptionally enviable essentials, the point, it seems, is balance. And as for favorites? Gustav Brostöm‘s inimitable style immediately caught my eye, specifically for his unapologetic use of color and blooming foliage. The Stockholm-based instapro reveals his supreme flat lay technique, below:
What inspired you to begin creating your signature still life set-ups? Actually, it was in a state of grief. I lost my beloved mother one year ago, and when she passed I spent a lot of time at home, sorting through things. I began shooting small-scale still lifes. It became a way to do something creative that wasn’t pure blogging but still said something.
Which artists do you look to for inspiration? Nils von Dardel (an early 19th Century Swedish painter), specifically for his use of color and the way in which he portrays himself and his surroundings. Also, all the Dutch Masters from the Golden Age. They offer a wealth of inspiration.
What do you look for when creating the perfect still life? Imperfection! It wouldn’t be fun if there weren’t any flaws, just like real life. I’m trying to capture my mood in a specific moment. Sometimes it’s dark, sometimes bright. Everything depends on my mood.
How long does it take you to set-up a typical still-life shot? Anywhere from five minutes to five days – but usually the whole process takes about two hours (from composition, editing, buying materials, etc).
How important is detail? Very important! But again, it’s all about the emotion and mood. I want my followers to understand that aspect when they see my images.
What is your favorite angle to shoot from? From above to create a super flat ‘flat lay’. I’m trying to take more standing shots but it’s proving hard. I have to rearrange my entire bedroom every time I do a standing still life, so perhaps I’m a bit lazy in that regard…
Do you work with any clients to create custom still life shots? Yes, and business is booming at the moment! I’ve done still lives for H&M and Nike as well as various major Sweden companies. It seems like people like the things I do. I’m very thankful.
– Infuse your feed with Broström’s inspiring compositions. Follow him here. All images courtesy of Gustav Broström.