When it comes to social media photography, you don’t need expensive kit to show off your business. In fact, most of your photographic needs can be achieved using your trusty mobile phone. But how do you make your photos stand out?
Lauren Penman, the newest member of MCE’s consumer team, is a keen amateur photographer outside of the office and has some helpful tips and tricks to create a striking social media feed.
The first step to taking a great photo is to understand why you are taking it and what it will offer to your audience. Telling a story, or giving your customers an insight into your business, is every bit as valuable as a professional photo, if not more so. Why not consider taking your customers behind the scenes of your business, or showing off some of your staff in action?
Think about framing
The art of framing is all about creating a crisp, clean shot. Look through the eyes of your audience, and ask yourself if a cluttered desk is really the best place to show off your product, or if that plate of food would look tastier if it was moved from beneath the glare of the kitchen’s heat lamp. Consider iconic locations, panoramic views or clean and striking backdrops; and be careful to look out for people and objects that may ruin your shot before you start snapping.
How many times have you scrolled on past a badly lit photograph on Facebook or Instagram? Don’t let yours be next! Aim for natural light when possible by taking your subjects outside, or shooting close to a window. Remember to keep your light source behind you and never to shoot into the sun, or you will end up with unwanted silhouettes.
If you can’t go outside, or find a suitable window, it is well worth investing in a Kim Kardashian-style ring light. They might be popular for selfies, but they are also the perfect mobile phone attachment for product photography and a welcome alternative to the harsh light of a mobile phone flash.
Don’t zoom in
It may sound dramatic, but using your phone’s zoom feature is up there as one of the biggest crimes against mobile phone photography. Professional photographers may be able to capture the perfect shot from the other side of the room with their telephoto lenses, but if you want to get close to your subject, you will have to use your legs to avoid compromising the quality of your image. High quality images make your business stand out so keep this in mind as you fight the urge to zoom in.
Use the grid tool
Have you ever heard a photographer mention “the rule of thirds” and wondered what it means? It’s not as complicated as you think! In simple terms, this is the fundamental rule for composing photos and starts by enabling the 3×3 set of gridlines on your camera screen.
To follow the rule to the letter, you should aim to compose your photograph so that the subject you want to focus on is situated where the gridlines intersect. According to science, these spots are the points that the eye is drawn to first and will help to make your photographs more eye-catching. What’s more, placing your subject slightly off centre will create the illusion of space and result in a cleaner finish.
Invest in some apps
Even the best photographs can benefit from a little bit of post-production before you hit the publish button. A few must-haves include Snapseed, an easy-to-use app by Google with enough editing functions to rival some desktop editors; FaceTune, perfect for quick fixes to selfies and portraits; and VSCO, which is packed full of preset filters to make your photos pop.
Rules are made to be broken. As long as your image is in focus, well-lit and uncluttered, feel free to get creative with angles, backdrops and even your subject. Take a photograph of a cocktail on the terrace at sunset, capture a reflection of your building in a puddle, or add some props into the mix – and be sure to let your brand’s personality shine through at all times.
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