8 Tips to Ace Your Social Media Photography

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8 Tips to Ace Your Social Media Photography

With more than 500 million active users on Instagram today, garnering the right attention to your visual feed on social media is going to take a little more than just choosing a fancy filter.

Hootsuite’s ‘Digital in 2017’ survey revealed that more than half of the world’s population now uses the Internet. Narrowing down to a local context, a Straits Times article reported that 3 in 4 Singaporeans use social media, and that’s an increase of 22 percent from 2016, with 800,000 new users coming on board.

With so many eyeballs present on social media today, it is a challenge for brands to attract the attention from their target audience because after all, insta-worthy images are aplenty out there.

But, have you wondered what it is about those amazing photos that make you stop for a second look while browsing through your feed? Well, besides being professionally taken and aesthetically pleasing, there are other factors that make them stand out from the rest.

1. Nail Your Overall Theme

Think of your social media feed as a jigsaw puzzle. It’s the little pieces that form a big picture. With that said, it is crucial for brands to nail down a theme or concept for images that will be published on social media. Having a brand guideline will be helpful to set the tone, colours and messaging the images should have a unified visual identity.

Images will also need to be relatable and relevant to your audience, so it’s important that you spend some time figuring out just what is it about your brand that is different from others and how it can be presented and positioned in a more unique and appealing manner. We guarantee that nailing down a theme will make it much easier for you to map things out.

1. Nail Your Overall Theme

Think of your social media feed as a jigsaw puzzle. It’s the little pieces that form a big picture. With that said, it is crucial for brands to nail down a theme or concept for images that will be published on social media. Having a brand guideline will be helpful to set the tone, colours and messaging the images should have a unified visual identity.

Images will also need to be relatable and relevant to your audience, so it’s important that you spend some time figuring out just what is it about your brand that is different from others and how it can be presented and positioned in a more unique and appealing manner. We guarantee that nailing down a theme will make it much easier for you to map things out.

2. Master Your Angles and Sizes

Flat lays are a great way to present content in a beautiful manner, but there are other creative executions to achieve the same result as well. Trying out different photography angles and styles are examples of how to create variety to your visual feed.

One of the most basic but crucial rules to note when taking photos for social media is to always shoot the photo in a square, or 1:1 dimension if you are taking the shot on your phone. If you are using your DSLR camera, be sure to change the image dimensions to 1080×1080 pixels (or as close to as possible) so the whole image is in the frame for posting on Instagram.

There are of course more sizes you can play with on social media today, but the square style is always the most popular choice. Below are some other image dimensions to experiment with.

 
 
 

SQUARE IMAGE

1200×1200 pixels

RECTANGULAR IMAGE

484×252 pixels

 
 
 

VERTICAL IMAGE

1080×1350 pixels

HORIZONTAL IMAGE

1080×566 pixels

Presented here are also some examples of flat lays, angled and straight shots we’ve styled and photographed:

 

Angled Shots

 

Straight Shots

3. Framing & Composition

A good photo has a clear point of interest. Look for strong colours, shapes and lines when styling your image. The most successful and visually engaging social media accounts use similar compositions and framing techniques to craft a unique visual identity user will remember.

4. Pay Attention to Details

Photographs help to tell a visual story, so it is important that the elements within the image are coherent when combined as a whole. This is why investing in different types of backgrounds and props is important as they can add dimension and creativity to your styling.

Whether it’s sporty, glam, brand-orientated, food-inspired or simply an #OOTD shot, each visual element needs to make sense when combined together. Having people in the image can also bring a warm human element to the shot.

5. Lighting Makes A World of Difference

Lighting is the single most important styling factor that defines a brilliant image. Whether you use natural or artificial lighting, be sure to keep the light source consistent for an evenly lit photograph.

The key isn’t necessarily the shoot location, but rather how much light you can capture the image. Good lighting can bring a subject to life, so be sure to use lighting strategically to your advantage.

6. Invest In A Proper Camera

While smartphones are amazing at capturing photos for social media, it is incomparable to the power of a mighty DSLR camera. It may seem like an expensive investment to make, but it is a purchase worthy of consideration, especially for brands that are seeking to shoot products or services professionally. With countless settings and varied shooting options that produce crystal clear images, the possibilities with a professional camera are endless.

The key isn’t necessarily the shoot location, but rather how much light you can capture the image. Good lighting can bring a subject to life, so be sure to use lighting strategically to your advantage.

7. Keeping Up With Photography Trends

There’s always something new in the world of social media so it is important to keep up with the latest trends in photography to stay relevant to your audience.

While static photography may present many creative shooting opportunities, we cannot deny the benefits of other visual mediums such as Cinemagraph, GIFs, Stop Motion Animation, Boomerang and more! In fact, a study on Cinemagraph did by Microsoft showed that engagement rates increase by 85% with social ads, versus the 0.83% increase of still image ads on Facebook.

The key point to note about such hybrid styles is to ensure that you have a storyline, concept and good visual flow in order for your Cinemagraph or GIF to stand out.

8. Be Consistent 

We cannot emphasise this enough – consistency is key when it comes to taking social media photographs.The image taken should not only be visually appealing but also consistent with the rest of your visual feed.

To successfully market to your audience on a visual platform such as Instagram, you need to develop a visual identity that can be recognised easily. From your overall feed to the individual images and videos you post, the content should all reinforce brand recall easily.

A brand’s social media feed, follower engagement, brand recall and loyalty are only as good as the visuals posted. Follow these key tips presented above for your visual content and we are sure you and your business will stand out for all the right reasons.

P.S. If you rather have us implement these tips for your brand instead, sign up for a free consultation with us today!

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