How to Take Good Images for Social Media
Originally Published Jan 12, 2021
Having trouble taking good photos for social media? Not sure how to make more impressive content for your brand?
Here, we’re sharing our top social media photography tips to help you take compelling photos for your small business social media marketing.
Why Social Media Images are Important
Social media platforms are crowded with lots of images bombarding us from every angle. Only the best photos truly stand out. That means, taking good social media photos is crucial.
Plus, many people now turn to social media to scope out a new business before they buy. So, you’ll want to make a good first impression.
Similar to the importance of having a strong website, making sure you’re putting your best foot forward through your visual images on social media is essential.
Not to mention, photos are super shareable and bring a realness to your business. Long story short, high-quality photos are an absolute must for your social media campaigns.
Taking the Perfect Social Media Photo
So, how does one go about taking better photos for your social media profiles?
Get the Gear
As you might expect, good photos come from good cameras. So, whether you decide to purchase a high-quality digital camera or you simply update your smartphone to the latest model, getting the right gear will help you take incredible photos for social media.
Consider a Smartphone Tripod or Mount
For social media, taking images on a smartphone is usually the quickest and easiest way to capture and upload photos to your profile.
So, to make sure you’re getting the clearest, highest quality photos from your smartphone, consider using a tripod or mount that can take more stable images from better angles.
Especially if you’re the face of your brand, self-timers can be a game changer for getting images of yourself without needing assistance. Self-timers allow you to plan out the perfect background with enough time to get in the photo.
Plus, the camera on the back of your smartphone is often superior to the selfie camera. Another reason to opt of self-timer mode versus forward-facing mode.
Enable Grid Lines
Did you know you can enable grid lines to show up on your smartphone camera viewfinder? Grid lines help you center an image or make sure it’s straight up and down.
We’ll go into some more photography tricks later that can help you use these grid lines effectively, but the first step is enabling them to get the perfect shot every time.
Image Source: Quicksprout
Learn About Lighting
Learning the basics of photography lighting can make all the difference in your social media photos. Natural light is always best, so try to get out in the sun for your photos if you can. The best times of day for natural light are the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset.
Ring lights and other lighting equipment can also help you get soft, natural-looking light indoors. But, avoid using the flash on your camera which often leaves your subject looking flat.
Notice Interesting Visual Cues
Professional photographers tend to see the world differently. They notice patterns and interesting visuals in the world around them. So, knowing what cues to look for can help you embrace your inner photographer.
Repetition, symmetry, reflections, and natural frames are some common visual cues that make for incredible photos.
You might find the repetition of a row of red cars to be interesting or the symmetry of a bridge totally awe-inspiring. Reflections in windows and water are fun to photograph and natural frames like archways help focus the eye.
Understanding these basic photography cues can help you take amazing social media photos instantly. Plus, you might start to notice the things around you in a whole new way.
Image Source: Quicksprout
Take Photos from Multiple Angles
Sometimes, it’s hard to know whether you got “the shot” in the moment. So, if you take the same photograph from multiple angles, you can choose the best one when you go through the footage later.
Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds is a design rule that helps you create an aestethically pleasing image by keeping the focal point off-center. So, if you split the frame into thirds, you’ll want the most important part of the image to remain in either the right or left third or the top or bottom third.
Photos with the focal point smack dab in the middle can certainly make a statement, but we’re more naturally intrigued by images with a more interesting balance. This is where your viewfinder grid lines come in handy.
Social media is all about making your brand more approachable and available. So, don’t feel like all your photos have to have posed models. In fact, consumers love candid photos with a relaxed feel. Don’t be afraid to embrace candids in your social media photography.
Crop Instead of Zoom
It’s tempting to use the zoom feature on your camera or smartphone to capture exactly what you’re aiming for. However, the manual zoom feature reduces the quality of your photo.
Your best bet is to take the photo without zoom and crop it to your desired size later. This way, you’ll have the framing just right without sacrificing the quality.
Image Source: Quicksprout
Play with Perspective
Playing with perspective means you capture an image through a certain point of view.
You might capture iconic floor tiles with your feet in the frame, making it clear who’s perspective it’s from. Or you might take a photo of a landscape through a looking glass for an interesting take on the scene.
Edit with Purpose
In most cases, a little bit of editing in post-production is necessary. But, it’s also common to go overboard. Avoid too many filters, making the shot look fake or unrelatable.
Instead, you might clear up the image and perhaps make it a little brighter. Just keep your purpose in mind when editing and do you best not to overdo it.
Don’t Take It So Seriously
Last but not least, try not to take your social media photos too seriously. Yes, they should be high quality and as good as you can make them, but no one’s expecting you to become a professional photographer overnight.
Plus, like we mentioned earlier, social media is all about connecting with your audience and letting your customers see an authentic side of your brand. So, that means taking real photos and incorporating a bit of playfulness if it’s right for your brand.
Have fun with your social media images while keeping them professional and sharp.
Taking photos for social media definitely matters, but it shouldn’t take away from the mission of your business. If you’re spending too much time on your social media images, it could take away from the reason for posting those images.
Always make sure your social media photography is rooted in your message and use these tips and tricks to make your photos the best they can be. So, grab your smartphone and get started!
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