There are several different components that make up a successful social media page, but one of the most important is quality imagery. As a marketing agency, social media can be one of the best places to engage our audience. That’s why we understand the importance of a great photo.
We don’t need expensive cameras to take quality photos. Our cell phones can take such high-quality photos, and most people can’t tell if they are taken with a phone or professional photography equipment. The camera can’t do all the work, though.
There are a few key tips to keep in mind while you’re trying to capture that Kodak moment.
#1 — Light it Right
Lighting is one of the most important tools you can utilize when taking photos. An easy tip to remember is to ensure your subject isn’t backlit, and that the light is shining down on it directly or coming at it from an upper-diagonal angle. If the light hits it from the back, you’ll be left with a dark, indiscernible green smoothie bowl, which is social media blasphemy.
You can combat this in a few ways:
- The first way is to make sure your light source is coming from behind you (facing the subject).
- You can also take the photo in HDR mode.
- The third option is to fix it in post-production.
#2 — Shoot in HDR Mode
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. In HDR mode, the camera will typically take two, three, or more photos at different exposures in quick succession, and then blend them together into one image with detail in both highlights and shadow.
Smartphone cameras that have the HDR feature usually offer the option to switch the HDR setting to On, Off, or to set it to Auto-HDR. Having HDR set to “On” tells your phone to capture a high dynamic range image every time a photo is taken.
#3 — Understand Depth of Field
Creating depth of field with your phone camera is a really cool way to up your Instagram photo game. When you’re shooting, always take into consideration the foreground, middle ground, and background in relation to the subject of the photo.
Let’s say you’re taking a picture of a subject some distance away from you and you want the subject in focus and the background blurry — simply tap your subject and wait for a yellow square to appear. Shooting in portrait mode on your phone is a great way to effectively highlight the depth of field, too.
#4 — Learn the Rule of Thirds
Rule of thirds, also known as the golden grid rule, is a technique where a composition is aligned to a three-by-three grid.
By dividing a composition into three grids, we section it into nine imaginary rectangles with four intersections. The focus subject is aligned at one of the intersecting points or close to them. This creates an asymmetry in the composition.
In Settings, tap Camera, and then enable the Grid option. That’s all you have to do to turn the feature on! Your next step is to apply the concept: remember to put important things along the lines.
#5 — Have Fun With Camera Angles
Playing with unique angles can help your photos stand out and offer you a variety of options to choose from when it comes time to post. Angles can create the illusion of depth and height, making your images more interesting to look at, thereby generating more views.
TIP: Try lowering the angle to create a new perspective instead of shooting straight down.
#6 — Use Negative Space Appropriately
Negative space is the area surrounding the main subject in a photograph that is left unoccupied. Basically, it’s the space around the subject that helps define the positive space (or main focus).
Leaving a large amount of negative space in the photo can emphasize scale and simplicity, but make sure you are using it correctly.
TIP: If you’re trying to highlight the subject in the photo, make sure you’re taking the photo close up and filling the frame with the subject. This will reduce the surrounding negative space.
#7 — Tasteful Phone Editing
We could break down each category of editing you can utilize on your phone, but for simplicity’s sake, we want to highlight the three tools that can really elevate your photo:
- Brightness: It’s always a safe bet to bump up the brightness a bit unless your photo is already over-exposed. Indoor lighting rarely provides you with adequate illumination for a decent photo.
- Contrast: Adjusting the contrast ever so slightly helps to make the darks darker and the lights lighter. This can help your image appear less “flat.”
- Saturation: Delicately increasing the saturation will help to bring out some of those vivid colors that poor lightning may have counterbalanced. Make sure to not overdo this one or you will end up with some radioactive colors.
With over 4.6 billion people around the world using social media, online engagement is higher than ever. That is why it is so important to have content that is not only engaging but aesthetically pleasing. Take each one of these tips into consideration the next time you are taking a photo with the intention to post and you’ll look like a pro in no time.
And the Mad Men Marketing production crews are always ready to step in and help elevate your content for you! So, are you ready to interact? If so, reach out to our team today by calling 904-355-1766!