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5 Photography Tips For Social Media

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

If you read our quick chat with urban photographer Lee Yik Keat, you’ll realise one of his top tips for budding photographers included the importance of lighting.


These days, a surfeit of social media content is readily available for users all over the globe. Curating quality visual content becomes increasingly crucial in the age of social media, with the daily influx of content produced by brands and individuals alike.


How can you harness the potential of your social media platforms to build relationships with consumers? Here are five photography tips to stay on top of your social media game.


Less Is More


Less clutter, that is. When your photo is overly cluttered, people don’t know where to look. When users are confused, it increases the likelihood that they will no longer pay attention to your content. Remember that the attention span for social media content is extremely short.


Adopt a minimalistic approach to photography, with defined subjects and clean, clear backgrounds. Such visuals are less jarring and more pleasing to the eye.



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Chanel Beauty opts for simple art direction, featuring its Ombre Premiere Gloss against a plain powder blue background


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Gucci’s post about their Rouge à Lèvres Voile lipsticks created in collaboration with Alessandro Michele.


Be Relatable


In our previous article about creating conversations with consumers, we talked about how it is essential to keep your audience engaged.


A picture paints a thousand words. Apart from good lighting and composition, focus on curating photos that your target group can relate to. Think about which kinds of images would speak to them before you compose your shot.


Additionally, using pictures of people and brand ambassadors also make your page more relatable to users.


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Overlaying inspirational quotes or text can also be a great way to engage your social media audience. Of course, crafting a witty caption to grab the attention of the user is key too!


Get The Resolution Right

Nobody likes to squint at pixelated images. Make sure your photos and clean and sharp, and are not too small for various viewing screens.


Social media management and optimisation platform Sproutsocial recommends an image size of 1200 x 630 pixels (width x height) for Facebook.


As for the photo-sharing app Instagram, the recommended size for users is 1080 x 1080 pixels for shared images.


Businesses who may use the professional networking social media platform LinkedIn to engage with clients should note that the recommended size for LinkedIn shared images is 1104 x 736 pixels.


Lighting


“Lighting is important — master it!”


This pro tip from our conversation with Yik Keat is an important point to note for budding photographers, creatives and businesses who are venturing into social media to promote their products and services.


Lighting is key because it sets the mood for your visual. Teen Vogue warns against using backlight for your photos (meaning, you should always face the same direction as your light source).


At Teen Vogue’s interview with Vers Sepasi, the Montreal-based photographer and social media influencer advised users to ensure that the light shines “directly on the subject, at an upper-diagonal angle.”


This is so that the light hits the subject at the right angle and illuminates it without affecting the focus on the image.


Here’s how US-based cult beauty brand Glossier did it. Notice how the light hits the cloud paint at an upper-diagonal angle?




The photo below by Helena Lopes illustrates how the golden hour helps to achieve a warmer tone for photos. The warm light helps to “paint” an outline of the subject, illuminating the fur of the golden retriever, making its silhouette stand out from the rest of the picture.



Natural lighting is always the best — if you’re trying to achieve a warmer mood, the trick is to catch the golden hour.


The golden hour refers to the period of time just after sunrise or before sunset. During the golden hour, the sun is positioned lower on the horizon, resulting in the warm light that appears more diffused and less intense. The term “hour” is used figuratively, as the actual duration could vary depending on time zone and weather conditions.


Known for being a natural Instagram filter, the golden hour helps you achieve a soft, warm effect on your photo.

Can we just say...#nofilter #ftw?


Good Editing

Yes, we know we literally just praised natural light for being the perfect filter, but the sad truth is that platforms like Instagram and Facebook are all carefully curated digital fronts.


When it comes to photo-editing for social media, you want to remember that the whole point of editing a photo is to enhance it, and not to morph it into something else entirely.


Start off by picking some colours to determine your style. This varies for everyone. Some Instagram accounts go for a pop of pastel, others opt for a burst of intense hues, while the minimalist folks prefer the pared-down, monochrome aesthetic.


Choose colours that will accentuate your brand colours in your photos.

You could consider applying filters to multiple photos to achieve consistency and visual uniformity.


Even if you’re no Adobe genius, photo-editing apps like VSCO and Snapseed have ready-to-use presets that allow you to toggle with contrast, shadows, saturation and more.


The Outsiders Co. Social Media Guide

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Drop us a line if you’d like to work with us! We would love to take you from where you are to where you need to be.