Social Media has become such a powerful tool for users, but it can sometimes be a challenge when trying to grow your sales or audience. At this point, users are competing with so many others in the same niche that the only thing setting them apart, is their quality of content. Today I wanted to share 7 Tips to Improve Your Social Media Photography so you can kick booty online!
#1: Know Your Camera
Whether you're using an iPhone or a $10,000 camera, get to know it. Research it. Figure out what settings work best for you and what feels the most comfortable. You don't need an expensive camera to get quality content - some of my favorite shots have been taken on the iPhone 7.
#2: Look For Inspo
Searching for inspo is such a fun process that I typically spend anywhere from 30 min-2 hrs on. Most of the time when I am intentionally looking for inspo, I use Pinterest or Instagram. Instagram can be a lot more limited and more time consuming because you're only looking at one photo at a time on your screen, but it is still a great way to gain inspo. If looking on Instagram, find people in your niche or a feed that inspires your creative energy! You can saved them by the little ribbon on the bottom right of the photo and create a collection in "Saved".
If looking on Pinterest, create an "Inspo" board. On your board, include anything that you find inspiring and that pushes you to create and elevate. I also love to include color palettes that I find intriguing!
#3: Define Your Vision
Once you have your Inspo, define your vision. When I say define your vision, determine your color palette and think about what your background may be, the lighting, and the composition. You can do this by drawing it out, to just imagining it in your head - whatever works best for you!
#4: Choose Props
PROPS, PROPS, PROPS! Props can be what makes or breaks a photo. Because I do product photography I do have my own prop collection, but if you don't have a collection already, don't worry. Depending on your niche, props can be anything from your phone to a crystal chandelier. When styling a photo, I try to use geometric shapes or organic lines to bring my focal point to life. Another tip for prop styling is to think about the angles, dimension and composition of it all. Also, I don't recommend buying anything that is super busy or that may distract the eye from the focal point. I always tell myself that it is better to buy a few too many props than not enough.
Where To Find Props: Target, Michaels, Home Goods, Amazon, Trader Joe's (they have really well priced flowers!) or a local thrift store1
The creative process can be the most exciting and inspiring part, or the most stressful. If you are a perfectionist, you may struggle here. However, everyone that I have taught or mentored in product photography, has listened to me say "it only gets easier as you go on". When I first started product photography, I struggled. It was not easy and I was taking about 100 photos to get a single good one. Now, I can shoot 30-50 good photos in 45 min-hr easily! It is going to take time and practice, but it will only get easier as you go on.
At this point, you have already defined your vision so this is where you bring it to life. If you are shooting a flat-lay, I recommend you check out my post: "The Guide to Successful Instagram Flat-lays" where I talk all about angles, lighting, and layout. I strongly recommend that you keep your camera straight and shoot birds eye view!
After taking all your photos, go through them and pick out your favorites! I don't recommend that you immediately delete the ones that don't grab your attention right away, unless you know you're only going to post one, because there have been times where I have looked at a photo and said "ew no" and then a couple days later gone back and really loved it...I don't know how or why, but it has happened!
Now that you have created a piece of content that you're proud of and have chosen your favorite shot, you now get to go in and edit the photo! I use Lightroom for all of my editing; however I know that it can be a little overwhelming for some. I just attended a "Social Media Photography 101" workshop at All Hands Workshops here in Santa Cruz that was taught by an artist, Kate Shrine, and she shared a few apps that she finds a little less overwhelming. Her suggestions were: Snapseed & Colorstory. I personally haven't tried either of these apps, but Kate has highly recommended them. With that being said, if Lightroom is a little overwhelming, I would definitely try out one of those!
- For a lighter/white feed: adjust your exposure, highlights, whites and shadows under "Light" and if there is a blue or yellow hue in your white, you can fix that by going into "color" then "mix" (top right corner) and desaturate the blue or yellow!
- For darker/moody feed: play with darker shadows, blacks and exposure.
- Add a little clarity under "effects" and slight sharpening under "detail"
- Grainy look: adjust grain under "effects" (at bottom)
That is all I have to share with you today! I hope these tips will help you the next time you need to create some content. Follow me along on @HeyItsLindsPhoto for product photography inspo and @LetsBeeSocial.Co for social media tips :) Bye now!