Taking Photos for Social Media? Try These 4 Tips

On social media, a picture is worth a thousand clicks. And images get more than double the engagement on Facebook compared to text, according to Hubspot.

The 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry report stated that 80 percent of marketers use visuals in their social media posts. With photocentric platforms like Pinterest and Instagram amassing 250 million and 1 billion users, respectively, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to connect with potential customers if you don’t up your photography game.

Pinterest example

Don’t know where to start? Here are four tips for taking photos for social media that will help you attract an even larger audience.

Tip #1: Take advantage of your smartphone

You carry a multimedia studio in your pocket every day. Today’s smartphones are equipped with advanced technology to help you produce higher-quality imagery, like 3-D and panoramic capabilities, time-lapse mode, self-timers to take even better selfies, and more. Take advantage of these features — and a camera tripod — to produce better images.

For example, if you own a furniture store, you can use your smartphone to showcase your latest designs or even to give your audience a sneak peek into your woodworking process. Or you can create new content in a matter of minutes to keep your business’s social media pages updated and to connect with more potential customers who might visit your page or your business in person.

Tip #2: Use negative space

Images with a lot of negative or white space tend to perform better on Instagram and Pinterest.

In photography, the rule of thirds typically applies, which says that you should divide your image into thirds and frame your subject so that he or she is positioned into one of these sections in order to create a more visual interest.

But with negative space, this rule is turned on its head. The negative space is the background part of the photo. By taking advantage of negative space, it can actually attract viewers more to the subject of the photo.

Tip #3: Don’t forget your angles

Head-on photos tend to be visually boring and they often look unnatural. Taking photos from different angles and perspectives can make your social media images look more appealing.

Experiment with different angles, such as a bird’s-eye view, where you take a photo from overhead. Try a low angle, where you take a photo from below eye level. Or play with a basic zoom, which will allow you to show an item in more detail — this one can be particularly engaging if you’re in the restaurant industry. People eat with their eyes before they do with their stomachs, so highlighting some of the dishes on your menu up close could drive more foot traffic.

WordPress.com Instagram example

Tip #4: Light up your photos

Even if you’re a novice photographer, you can use some lighting tricks to take better photos for social media. Take advantage of natural light during the day, including window lighting, to improve the quality of your in-store images.

If there’s not enough natural light, you can purchase basic equipment like a reflector to improve your lighting. You can also play around with the features and settings on your regular camera or smartphone camera — like the LED flash or High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode — to improve the level of detail captured in your images when there’s low light or too much sunlight.

Get started taking photos for social media

Social media has an insatiable appetite for content — you can fulfill this need and draw more visitors to your social media pages by capitalizing on visual content. With some easy-to-learn photography skills, a decent smartphone, and some basic equipment, you can capture images that visually communicate what your business is all about.

After all, everything you need to do it is literally in the palm of your hand.

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Satta Sarmah Hightower

Satta Sarmah is a writer, editor and content marketing manager who launched her first personal website a decade ago — on WordPress, of course.

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