We all know that visual content is the most efficient way to grab your customers’ attention and drive engagement, thus, it is extremely important to plan and execute well. When your social media feed is littered with photos, graphics and other types of visual content, a great image can be what makes your brand stand out in this menagerie of visuals. Many companies will have a graphic designer or even an art director to ensure your visual content is always striking, but for those who run a start-up or a small business, we collated a few photography tips to make sure that you’ve got the basics down pat when creating and curating what images to post online.
1. Crisp and clear
This may sound obvious, but make sure your photos are not blurry! Unless you’re aiming for a particular artistic look (for example, a long-exposure image of multiple cars driving by), most people will write off blurry photos as unprofessional, careless and cheap. Great cameras are available in smartphones and iPads nowadays (and you must know someone with one or have at least one or both yourself!) Making sure the photo is crisp and clear also means that the photo requires decent lighting – of course, this will depend on the situation and the setting, but as long as the main subject of the photo is clearly visible, your photo is good to go.
2. Use the rule of thirds
Imagine each image is divided into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. A great way to position your subject in your photo is either at the 1/3 or 2/3 marks, instead of drawing them closer to the edges. This is usually the most visually appealing, though there are definitely exceptions to the rule. When shooting landscapes or the social setting at a large event, this rule deviates a little – you can aim to take up 2/3 of the frame here instead. If you’re using an Apple device rather than a dSLR, there’s even a setting to break up your frame into thirds before you snap your photo, so you won’t have to do any imagining!
3. Give your subject some depth
Though flatlay images (an artistically laid out selection of objects, usually shot from above) are taking the social media world by storm thanks to fashion and lifestyle bloggers on Instagram, the straight-on or straight-above angle can sometimes make your subject appear flat or two-dimensional. Usually, the best way to combat this is to take a step to your side when taking the photo or get your subject (if it’s a person!) to turn a bit to their side towards a light source. Remember to take negative space into consideration – too much space where, in essence, nothing is happening (like the empty space on a table behind an object) can draw your viewers away from the subject at hand. Using the rule of thirds here can optimise the visual appeal of the photo you end up with.
4. Make it relevant
Let’s keep this point short and sweet – make sure the photo is relevant! If you’re looking for an accompanying photo for a blog or news article you’re about to post online, ensure the image is related to or suits the content at hand. If you can’t find an image to use that is entirely appropriate, don’t be scared to create your own! It’s much better to use an image that perhaps may not be as professional as something you found online, but at least is relevant to the content you’ve created.
Remember, even if you’re not creating your own visual content, these photography tips can even be used to select which photos are the most outstanding photos for your social media content.