For years, I thought that a tripod with a horizontal column was the best way to shoot flatlays. There’s nothing wrong with tripods, they’re portable, lightweight, perfect for outdoors and on the go….but if you’re working in a studio day in and day out, sitting on the floor and styling gets old quickly! My back would kill me and me knees would be crying on the cement floors. Even when I had a little elevated cart that I used, it was still unpleasant. I also struggled when I needed a wider shooting area. I got a wide lens which helped, but there were still times when the camera just couldn’t get high enough. I remember balancing each tripod leg on individual chairs to get the camera higher so that I could shoot a large suitcase….not ideal! That was way too precarious for my liking…
About 2 years ago, I bought my first c-stand and it was life-changing! I could now style most of my setups on a tabletop instead on sitting on the floor because I could easily raise the c-stand all the way to the ceiling!
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I like to style a lot of small objects – foods, beverages, office supplies, beauty products…..all things that fit on a tabletop nicely! If I find myself needing a larger surface (for something like clothing or bedding) I will move to the ground, but it’s honestly pretty rare. Below are my must-haves!!!
NO.1: My c-stand is Impact brand, you can find it here!
NO.2: Once you have a c-stand you will need a horizontal boom arm so that your camera can be positioned above your shooting area – here’s one that I recommend.
NO.3: And a bracket to attach your camera to the arm.
NO.4: You will also need to shoot tethered so that you can can control your camera from your computer! Here’s a tether cord that I recommend, although you may need a different model depending on which camera you have!