There is an ongoing race for grabbing people’s attention on social media. Everybody from marketers to NGOs, bloggers, news sites, educational sites, medical providers and so on, seem to want at least a few moments of our time.
So when you want to start promoting your online course, naturally, you desire that people stop and see what it is about.
The technology for taking photos has never been more accessible. Most phones have cameras and quite a lot of them are better equipped for the task than some actual photographing devices.
5 Tips to improve your social media photography
This, however, is not a guarantee of success as there is a lot more to producing attention-worthy images than simply pushing a button. Here are some useful tips for improving your social media imagery.
Do your homework
You don’t have to take some expensive course to achieve this. It’s sufficient to choose those brands you want to resemble with and study what they are doing imagery-wise.
If they got on your radar in the first place it means that something in the way they present themselves struck a chord with you so it should not be very difficult to find the elements that are attractive.
Look at the backgrounds, the color schemes used, the lighting, and identify the concepts for some of their social media photos. You’ll get a good idea of what the mindset behind them was and how that appealed to the target audience.
It’s best if you choose brands that have numerous followers because that means they are truly successful in their online marketing endeavors.
Love what you shoot
Just because you look to others for inspiration does not mean you have to do exactly what they are doing. Your images should be close to your heart – if you like them and are content with how they turn out odds are your audience will follow suit.
You can start by sharing images from ‘behind the scenes’ and let people see what your workspace looks like, what trinkets you keep on your desk for inspiration or how notepad doodles of how the course you are selling looked like when you started to develop the concept.
Images don’t have to be bumper-sticker-worthy to be inspirational enough for your purpose and have an impact on your target audience. There is something to be said for approachability and showing some of yourself makes you appear that way.
Learn to work with light
This has been an obsession of artists for centuries. One of the best examples is the series by Monet of the Rouen Cathedral. The same beautiful building looks very different when lighting varies.
When it comes to photography, the best light is the natural one.
However, you have to be careful for the sun not to be too bright – when shooting outside it is best to do so on an overcast day or in the shade if it is sunny.
If you have to take your photos inside, the best thing to do is invest in a ring light or other sort of artificial lighting intended for shooting purposes. There are even some that are specifically designed for phones.
If your phone has auto-focus it is wise to use that. All of them have flash but it’s never a good idea to let it fire – it does more harm than good.
Follow the rules of composition
The most important thing when you take a photo is to abide by that classic ‘rule of thirds’. This basically means that if you broke your photos into thirds, your subject will only be taking up one-third of the space in the photo, the rest would be considered “dead” or “blank” space.
Some phones offer the possibility to really see the grid while you take the shot so you can make sure you follow this ‘photographic commandment’.
Another thing to take into consideration is symmetry. Whether you want to achieve it or make a mess of it in order to have an ‘out of the box’ type of image, symmetry is everywhere – in nature and in man-made structures.
These are only two of the important components. You can find a lot more on the subject here.
Use an editing app
Technology is aimed at making things easier for us and, fortunately, amateur photographers have not been overlooked. There are a few free apps available that will help turn your photos from good to stunning. Here are some of them:
- Ribbet – it has great design, works quickly with a number of filters and has a very friendly control system. It also has some tools for color correction and image retouching.
- VSCO – its filters are considered the most popular when it comes to editing for social media. The service is very similar to Instagram, allowing users to edit and post while also offering the possibility of storing images in albums.
- Snapseed – this is one of the best free professional level editing apps from Google. It supports more advanced features such as double exposure or curves control. One of the best perks of this app is that it can determine the genre of the picture.
- Picsart – it stands out because of the many useful tools it offers through a very user-friendly interface. The software has its own camera application, which allows you to see in real time the result of the effects from the library combined with a frame that hasn’t been shot yet.
Creativity is very important when one wants to be seen in the very crowded social media market. Well-tailored images may just be that small extra edge that you have over your competitors so make sure everything you post is memorable and intriguing.
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.