Most of the social media marketers haven’t gone to art school and they haven’t hired a professional photographer as well, yet a lot of the photos we see on social media look like they have been taken by professionals.
That’s crazy, right?
The thing is that in today’s digital age, you don’t really need a Ph.D. or a top-of-the-line camera to take stunning photos. And let’s be honest here: professional cameras are pretty expensive. Sure, they will help you out a lot if you have them but you don’t essentially need them. You could easily take good quality photos that look professional with your smartphone if you follow a few simple tips and tricks.
Posting a photo on social media requires you to take two steps:
- Taking the Photo
- Editing and Posting the Photo
Taking the Photo:
Whenever you are thinking about posting an image on social media, think about what your audiences want. More often than not, we post photos that are pleasing to us like selfies, our food, and other bragging content. What we should do instead is to take a moment to think about what your audience might be interested in because that’s what will help you in growing your community.
Once you have an idea in mind, it’s time to take the photo:
Clean Your Camera Lens:
We manhandle our phones throughout the day and our fingers are bound to touch the camera lens one way or another. This makes the lens dirty and you often end up with blurry or generally low-quality photos. Just cleaning your lens before taking a photo will make a huge quality difference.
Rule of Thirds:
When you are framing your subject, a good practice is to use the rule of thirds. What you do is that you divide your frame into three part horizontally or vertically. Then you frame your subject so that it covers a third of the actual photograph while the rest of it is a good combination of foreground and background to further enhance the subject. Both the foreground and the background should be clutter free so that your subject is properly highlighted.
Tap the subject on the screen:
When you have framed the subject, tap your phone screen on the subject so that it’s in focus. It may look fine to you before tapping the screen but a single tap on the subject will bring more focus to it. This will make a huge difference in the overall quality of your photo.
Capture your photo from different angles to play with lighting and placement of the subject. This won’t take much time because you’ve already put in the effort to take the first photo but it will give you more flexibility later on when you are deciding which angle looks the best to post on social media.
Don’t be afraid of the negative space:
Don’t make all your photos close-ups. You may think that zooming in on the subject brings more focus on it but if you add some negative space around it, it will actually bring more attention to the actual subject. Sure, add in a couple of good close-ups every now and then but they should be few and far between because they give out a feeling of claustrophobia and tightness that is sometimes uncomfortable.
Editing and Posting the Photo:
Editing can make a world of difference in how your photo looks. Just the right amount of editing can make your photo look extraordinary. There are a lot of free editing apps available for smartphones which actually do a pretty great job in making photos look professional.
But, what people usually do on social media, especially Instagram, is that they do too much editing and that takes the photo too far from reality to actually be likable. While editing it’s crucial to know when to stop.
Keeping that in mind, here are a few tips for editing your photos for social media:
- Don’t oversaturate your images because that’s a telltale sign that you went too far and it looks unrealistic.
- Don’t add too much brightness because it will decrease the contrast, hence making your subject merge with the background and losing its attention-grabbing power.
- When editing, keep in mind that you should be making the image as close to real life as possible instead of taking it away from reality.
- The shadows and highlights should be balanced.
- When posting, try to add a good caption as well so that your photo has a story which resonates with people. A high-quality photo with a great caption is a recipe for success on social media.