If you thought “a picture is worth a thousand words” was just a cute old saying, think again. In this age of social media, pictures dominate your feeds on every platform and for a good reason! In fact, they make up almost 75% of the content posted on Facebook, the largest social media network. So what does this mean? You need to be posting pictures to get your page noticed, but posting just any picture won’t work. For this week’s Social Media Monday, we have a few tips to help you take pictures that will help get you noticed int he flood of pictures on your feed!
Taking high-quality photos is a must in the engagement-craving world of social media. Your followers want to like what you post, but you need to catch their eye first. Thankfully, you don’t need a fancy camera to take amazing, high-quality photos! With your smartphone and these 5 tips, you’re on your way to appealing, engaging photos:
1. Flash is not your friend.
Lighting can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to taking a good photo. Since smartphones aren’t necessarily the best at dealing with low-light situations, it can be tempting to tap on that little lightning bolt button to compensate, but think twice. In most situations, the flash simply causes harsh highlights, harsh shadows, and unnatural lighting. Your best solution? Try and find a source of natural light! Shaded light is best for portrait photos since it helps to eliminate the dark shadows and illuminate your subject (person or product) while maintaining the vibrancy of the image. Also, avoid shooting straight into the window if you’re shooting inside. Instead, place your product or subject at an angle and shoot with your back facing the window!
2. Use the grid.
You know that tic-tac-toe grid that pops up on your camera screen? It’s actually very helpful when you learn how to use it! It’s great for helping make sure your shot is straight and helps you utilize the ever-important “Rule of Thirds”. This principle is one of the first you learn in a photography course for creating well-balanced and engaging photos. It breaks down your photo into 9 sections as follows:
When viewing images, people’s eyes naturally go to one of the intersection points rather than the center of the shot – using the Rule of Thirds works with this natural way of viewing an image rather than working against it.
3. Backgrounds matter.
Many pictures on social media are taken in peoples’ homes on their counters, in messy rooms, or in poorly lit spaces. While there isn’t anything wrong with these natural shots, they don’t necessarily stand out in the masses of images being posted every second. For an eye-catching shot, try decluttering your background, opting for clean colors, textures, or patterns! Still stumped? Try these ideas for a little inspiration:
Go outdoors to find patterned inspiration like the side of a brick building
Place products on wooden tables, floors, or cutting boards for texture
Hang a piece of ironed fabric on a wall to use as a colorful backdrop
Find a mural or brightly-painted wall
Use stone, tiles, or rock walls that you find in your city
4. Use your angles.
Most of us fall into the trap of the “straight on” photo. There’s nothing wrong with these images, but they aren’t going to draw much attention to themselves. Camera lenses are usually made from some sort of curved glass, so don’t forget you can use that to your advantage! Changing where the lens is relative to the subject or object of the photo can add a new style and even add some creative elements to the image with no extra work on your part. Check out the difference between these two very similar, simple images of someone drinking coffee.
Another tip: remember your object is 3D. You can move around, take shots from the side, behind, or above to change the vantage point and give your image a little life!
5. Ditch the zoom.
It’s tempting to try and use digital zoom to bring the subject closer in the frame, but it’s not worth it. When you find yourself zooming in on a subject, you’re losing image quality! This can cause your pictures to turn out slightly blurry or grainy which is a no-go on which ever social media platform you’re posting to. Quality is top-tier important. How can you avoid this? Try taking the image as-is and cropping it later. Chances are you’ll have a higher picture quality and more control over the angles and placement (remember that Rule of Thirds principle?) than you would in zoom. Better yet, get up and get closer! The best zoom is usually your own feet.
If you’re trying to grow or be noticed on social media, the little things matter! Uploading quality images that grab the interest of your followers is key to keeping them looking at and engaging with what you post. Armed with these tips and a smartphone, you’ve got what you need to start building an engaged social media page. Plus, when you post great photos you might be featured on one of our pages! Free social media exposure, anyone?
Do you have any social media or smartphone photography tips? Share them in the comments!