How to Create Beautiful Flat Lay Instagram Photos to Display Your Art

Hey Briolettes! Here's your exclusive video tutorial and post for the month. Again, Briolette tutorials will be focused on digitizing your hand lettering and art using Photoshop and Illustrator.

In this tutorial I'm going to show you how I edit my Instagram photos so they look crisp, clean, bright, and staged with art supplies. 

Enjoy—and post any questions you have in the comments below or in the Facebook group!

Learn how to create professional looking flat lay photos for your Instagram account with this exclusive Briolette tutorial. Become a Briolette at

Here are a few examples of photos I've posted on Instagram that are created using this clean-up method.

A photo posted by Jenn Coyle (@hijenncoyle) on

A photo posted by Jenn Coyle (@hijenncoyle) on

A photo posted by Jenn Coyle (@hijenncoyle) on

A photo posted by Jenn Coyle (@hijenncoyle) on


Benefits of Taking the Time to Edit Photos You Post on Instagram

If you want your art and your business to be taken seriously, it's a really good idea to go the extra mile and take care and pride in the photos you're posting to Instagram. Bright, easy-to-see photos will stand out from others and will help your art look more professional.

Take a look at the Instagram accounts you love most. Does it look like they're taking photos late at night by the amber light of their side table lamp? Probably not.

As much as I hate to admit it, my Instagram following and engagement started growing tenfold after I started to put a lot more care into staging my photos and editing photos in Photoshop. As a result, I've also been able to sell more products (such as my e-book, Getting Started with Brush Lettering), because my work looks professional.

I know what you're thinking: "My art should be so good that it stands on its own” or “If I stage and edit photos, I'll just be selling out.” I'm asking you to reconsider your train of thought and consider your Instagram account as a visual representation of your best work, shown in the best light possible!

Here's how to do just that, and create photos of your artwork and the supplies you use that look natural yet beautiful.


Scan Your Image

As usual, scan your image at 300 DPI. Even though this image will end up on screens (which are 72 DPI) it's always a good idea to scan at high-res. An inexpensive Canon LIDE Scanner will do.


Take Photos of Your Art Supplies on a White Background

This will help speed up the editing process significantly, if this is the look you're going for. Take photos of your art supplies on top of poster board or card stock, or take photos on top of a white desk.

I take these photos using my iPhone and my Diva Ring light (a super bright light I use for filming video). You could also try using daylight or adjusting the exposure of the photo on your phone by tapping and dragging upwards while you're taking the photo.

Import all the photos onto your desktop and open up Photoshop


Create Your Square-Format Photoshop Document for Instagram

You need to create your document to be at least 1080px square, as this is currently the standard resolution for most iPhones. Otherwise, your photo may end up looking grainy on some devices. I create my documents at 1400px to cover even larger screens and to future-proof my posts a little. Also, create your document with a white background and at 72 DPI.

Document Settings

Drag in all of your scanned artwork and photos into your document. They'll be quite a bit larger than your artboard, but we'll re-size appropriately next.


Re-Size Your Images

Within Photoshop, re-size your images so they're the appropriate size. First, place and position your artwork in the center of your artboard. Use CMD+T (or CTRL+T if you're on a PC) to scale your layer, and hold down SHIFT to scale it proportionally. You can also hold down OPT (or ALT) at the same time to scale it proportionally towards the center of the layer; I find holding down SHIFT+OPT will help me scale my images faster.

When you're scaling your art supplies, make sure they're in proportion to your artwork. You don't want your pens to be huge when your artwork is tiny, or visa versa.


Clean Up Your Images

Use CMD+L to bring up the Levels Panel for all of your layers, and slide the rightmost slider to the left until the backgrounds disappear into the white background.

Use the Eraser Tool (E) to clean up harsh lines where needed.

Clean up your artwork where needed.


Save For Web and Share on Instagram

Now, go ahead and save your image as a JPEG and share it on Instagram! If you want to be able to upload it from your computer and be prompted to share it later on your phone, an app like Latergramme works wonderfully.

A photo posted by Jenn Coyle (@hijenncoyle) on


Watch the video!

Enjoy the video. Password is brioigedit.

If you start to use this method, please tag me in your photos so I can see what you're working on! Share your progress in the comments below, or in our Facebook group.

If you liked this exclusive tutorial, please share the Briolette membership with your friends so they can join in on the fun.