Flat lay photography is the new black! It's taken over Instagram & Blogs during 2014 and I don't see it slowing day quite yet. I myself started to get into flat lay photography and it's always developing & changing. It can vary from personal style and remember flat lay doesn't just end wit beauty products and clothes. Experiment, here's some tips.
Posterboards x Tack - These are the soundtrack to your photos. Aim for a white background (table/A1/A2 paper) to make the items pop or dark or light wooden floors, fluffy throws, rugs work for clothes and products too. While blue tack or double sided tape will help your rolling items stay put or if you want a change try different surfaces this website could give you ideas
Natural is Bliss - Set up by a window where you get a good source of natural light (or even outside if possible). Try stand facing the window when taking the images to avoid your body being a recent eclipse on your images.
In the Scheme of Things - Try stay with the similar colour scheme or compliment each other. It's more pleasing on the eye. When adding items stick to a theme - if you're posting about beach wear, why is a candle included?
Eye on the Hero! - Work around your main object. Then use other items that compliment the overall look that's generally smaller than your main object.
Arranging - Use the rule of thirds (the grid) to make sure that your main focus items are centred. Of course you don't have to keep it in the centre play around with different corner and positions. If you're using a smart phone, find the setting that allows you to shoot in a square.
Space is nice - Don't feel like you need to feel up every inch of your photo station. Having space is nice and clutter is distracting.
Shoot Birds Eye - Give your buns a workout with this. Stand on a stool or chair and shoot downwards if you are working on a high surface. If you're working on the floor of course stand up and do it. You'll need to experiment with this as not all items will look great from above.
Edit & Filter - You'll want to cut any unsightly corners plus you'd like it to look square and neat. There are some great apps if you're looking to post images to any online source (instagram/twitter/pinterest/tumblr) Camera360, Afterlight, VSCO, Snapseed and Square InstaPic. If you're working on the laptop I know that Photoscape is a good program that is free to download and you can edit images such as adjusting the contrast and brightness.
Find Flatlay inspiration at Flatlays on Instagram.