Flat Lay Friday an interview with The Ganeys

Flat Lay Friday an interview with The Ganeys

Meet The Ganeys! A dynamic husband and wife photography duo that have fine tuned their wedding day flat lay skills to create absolutely stunning detail photos at every wedding. Following their journey for years, I've loved seeing the work they put out there, I find it so inspiring! They seem to have mastered the art of finding good light through out a wedding day and as a retired wedding photographer, I have so much respect for that. Another thing I love about their work is their taste in flat lays. She talks about her process in the interview, but I love how simple & clean their flat lays turn out. I hope you love this week's interview & that it inspires your next flat lay!

p.s. I know this post is very photo heavy, but I couldn't keep these beauties to myself.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your wedding photography business!

 I’ve always been the girl with the camera. In high school, my idea of a good time was planning photoshoots with my friends and editing our high school yearbook. But when I got to college, I felt like I needed to get a practical degree, so I chose the most creative business major I could find – marketing. However, before I graduated, I photographed my first wedding (with Thomas by my side) and I was instantly hooked. I knew this was what I was meant to pursue. 

As a husband and wife team, Thomas and I are driven by capturing real moments and documenting love stories in an organic way. Some of our favorite aspects of our job are hearing unique stories and meeting amazing people. We’re inspired by color, authenticity and adventure. After shooting nearly 200 weddings, I still jump out of bed every morning excited to respond to inquiries, edit photos, and draft wedding day timelines.

How long have you been shooting weddings, when did you start incorporating flat lays? 

We photographed our first wedding in 2013. I incorporated flat lays pretty early on - in late 2015, early 2016 - but I was not confident with my flat lay skills. I remember doing a few styled shoots in those days and begging the planner or florist to do the layouts of the paper goods for me. It wasn't until 2018 that I invested in a flat lay course (shout out to Rebecca Yale) and elevated my detail photography and felt confident photographing details. 


How long do you like to reserve for morning detail photos? (We all know not all timelines allow for how much we prefer) 

 I put 1.5-2 hours on the timeline for flat lay photos. We have an "all day" package, so I show up when I need to in order to get them done well. The client isn't charged per hour for these photos. 


How do you prepare your clients for wedding flat lays? Do you ask for anything specific? Any tips for being prepared? 

I send out a GoogleDoc questionnaire ahead of the wedding asking lots of specific questions to prepare me - and the client. I ask about the color palette/style of the wedding (that helps me know what color styling mats and ring boxes to pack). I also ask my couples what details are important to them (I provide a list and ask them to indicate which ones they want me to photograph) so I can allocate enough time ahead of time. I also reach out to the florist to ensure I have the proper flowers for the flatlays. Sometimes I go to the flower market on my own or drive to the florists studio before the wedding to ensure I have them at the beginning of the day (as sometimes I arrive before the florist - or we're in different locations). I even ask my couples to send me three copies of the invitation suite ahead of time so I can practice the invitation suite layout without the time constraint. I create a variety of layouts at home, snapping photos on my cell phone that I can reference later - allowing me to work more efficiently on the wedding day. Most couples don't end up sending these to me ahead of time - but for the few that do, it is a huge win!

Let's get into the technical side of shooting stunning flat lays - What camera(s) do you shoot with? What is your preferred lens for detail photos? 

I photograph my flat lays on my Contax 645 with an 80mm lens (a film camera) and my Canon R6 or 5Dmkiii (depending on what mood I'm in) with a 50mm lens

( ring box featured above is the Georgian oval ring box in dove and the octagon velvet ring box in dove )

What aperture do you like to shoot at? 

I usually shoot at 2.8 or 4.0 depending on how much depth I am looking for in the photo. 


[ If you ever needed a look into what a behind the scenes of a good flat lay is... here you go! I love seeing how she used the reflector to defuse the direct sun and can we talk about that kneeling pad?! Genius! ]

Any tips for how you find/make good light for flat lays? 

I try to find a shaded area that isn't windy. Usually I'm on a porch or outside the venue with direct access to the sky (no trees directly above so I can avoid colorcast). If I'm feeling playful and have time, I'll find some dappled light and do one extra flat lay towards the end with the shadows over the paper goods. 

What are your go to items for flat lays? 
Locust collection styling mats are my go to! I also love ring boxes, small dishes, washi tape (to act as risers) and vintage stamps. 
[ You guys. Let's give a round of applause for the effort that goes into a good shoe shot. They used clear string to hold up the shoe bows and held up the styling mat to create a seamless backdrop! So innovative, I never would have thought of that for the shoes! ]

How do you feel adding flat lays to your portfolio has affected your photography business? 



Incorporating flat lays into my portfolio has elevated my business significantly. Especially once I spent more time practicing and had a better understanding of the art and balance behind the photo that I was creating. Couple's invest a lot of money into their paper goods, shoes, rings, (the list goes on) and taking the time to photograph them beautifully ensures that those vendors are also sharing your work. Brides also love seeing these photos on pinterest! 


Any advice for someone just starting out? 

Practice, practice, practice! Reach out to stationers and ask for some of their extra suites to play with. Look at the photos after and figure out what worked and what didn't. Was the image balanced? Does your eye flow through the image? Was the spacing consistent? Does it make sense? (ie: are there bridal shoes next to a dinner menu? Why would that happen?) Invest in quality styling mats/products to elevate every photo you take, helping you reach a higher end client. 

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