When it comes to social media success, the first thing your viewers see and connect with are your images. To make them powerful, you need the perfect mix of meaning, quality, composition, lighting and more.
Here are 9 photography tips that will help with everything from likes to follows to overall viewer engagement with your brand.
Make Your Photo Meaningful
First, think of the concept. Next, decide what you want to tell with your picture. Finally, focus on the subject and let it shine. If you follow this simple formula, chances are your social media posts will be enhanced with meaning and authenticity. The key is, if it means something to you — it’s more likely to mean something to your viewers, too. Maybe your concept is the rise of technology. What you’re looking to tell with your picture is the story of the latest filmmaking camera. And your point of focus for a subject is that camera in the hands of an aspiring director. Think of these three points prior to snapping your shot, and you’ll be good to go.
Don’t Let the Point Get Lost in the Background
Often, social media images can lose the intensity or importance of their meaning due to background clutter or noise. So, make sure that your point stands out by considering the background before you snap your photo. Perhaps you love the tropical look of tall palm trees behind the pair of flips flops you’re capturing for an e-commerce image for your website. However, these flip flops might be better suited on a sleek, clean, white background — so that your viewer can better see the texture of the material or the colors of the stitching up close. Details and getting your point across effectively is an important part of social media success.
An example of creative yet not distractive background from Zara
One of the key elements of beautiful photos is composition — in other words, the elements that come together to make the final image appear a certain way. By utilizing some simple composition tricks, you can help draw the viewer’s attention to your subject. Here are a few of the most common compositional tricks that you can start applying to your images today.
The Rule of Thirds:
To use the rule of thirds, simply imagine dividing your image into nine equal segments. Do so with two horizontal and two vertical lines. From there, balance the scene by placing the most important elements in the places where these lines intersect.
Use of Lines:
Lines works to draw your viewer’s attention into the image and improve the overall feel of your composition. You can find lines in a variety of places all around you — the slats of a picket fence, the indents of a wood floor, doorways, trees (and the list goes on). Keep your eyes open and consider placing your subject among these lines to add to your image’s compositional appeal.
The idea of symmetry means that objects in a scene are composed of precisely similar parts. If you divide the image of two trees in two, for example, it will look exactly the same on each side. What this accomplishes, is a photo that looks consistent and appealing to viewers. It adds balance and brings out the feeling of uniformity in social media posts.
All About the Light
When it comes to photography, proper lighting is one of the most significant aspects of a stellar social media shot. When you’re first getting started setting up your shots, aim for shooting during daylight. Natural lighting is easier to work with and tends to make products appear more real and engaging. Search for small spots of disused lighting near windows or doors. Take the extra moment to see how the lighting places with white walls or countertops where you can place your subject. If you’re shooting at night, consider investing in an expensive lighting kit for studio style shots. In addition, wimple whiteboards can work wonders to bounce light and make your subject shine.
Edit Your Photos
Editing can improve every part of your social media images — from the colors, to the lighting, to the cropping. Have a dark image? Just bring the brightness up. Does it look dull? Add some vibrancy or saturation. Making small edits to photos gives them a greater quality and encourages your viewers to come back and see more. Today, there are many editors on the market that are simple yet effective for social media shots, like Luminar. Free programs like GIMP are another excellent option for fine-tuning your end result.
Make Your Branding Subtle
When it comes to social media, branding is best done with subtlety. Viewers want to feel engaged to your passion and enthusiasm for your product without being told what to think. If your brand is wild and energetic — great! Consider representing this by branding your images with splashes of vibrant colors. If mysterious and moody is more your brand’s style, opt for darker backgrounds and styling that mimics this feeling. Remember, every image doesn’t need to scream, “like this post” or “buy my product.” It can, however, give a sense of authenticity and pride for the brand you’ve carefully constructed and created.
Develop Your Own Style
In the wide world of today’s social media accounts, it can often be hard to decipher one account’s image from the next. After some time, images begin to blend together and accounts seem to mimic one another’s rather than take on a style of their own. So — develop your own unique voice and look. Make your picture recognizable by utilizing style, colors or special details. Think of what’s important to you and your brand and how you can convey that in your own uniquely artistic way.
Don’t Neglect the Details
When it comes to social media success, details are what ultimately build trust and draw people in. Be concise with your photos. Check twice to make sure they are unintentionally blurry or out of focus. Take a few extra moments to make sure your details are clean and clear — is there trash that made its way into the image or cropping that could have been done more carefully? These little details make a big difference in the eyes of viewers.
Offer Behind the Scenes Photos
Bring viewers into the scene by taking them behind the scenes. Lively photos make people feel involved and allow them to relate to your brand and its personality. In addition to photography, take things a step further with live videos as another form of visuals.
We hope these 9 tips help you on your pathway to photography social media success.
Best of luck!