It might feel like video is king right now in the social media world but image content remains crucial and improving your photos will help you stand out from the crowd.
The good news is that accessibility is not an obstacle to improvement. Our smartphones have more than enough technology packed into them to ensure we can all take excellent photos on a daily basis.
However, the devil is in the detail and a little bit of knowledge goes a long way to helping improve the quality of your photos – whether you’re using your phone or a camera.
So today I am sharing with you some tips to level up your images across your social media platforms.
LIGHTING IS KEY
By far the single most important aspect to take control of is the light.
Use natural light where possible. If you’re shooting indoors then a window that receives indirect sunlight is your best bet. If outdoors then an overcast day is better than bright sunshine as you won’t have to contend with harsh shadows.
If natural light isn’t sufficient then consider investing in a ring light which will provide greater consistency. Never use the on-phone flash.
CURATE THE SCENE
Always bear in mind the message you are trying to communicate with your images and style the scene as necessary.
For flat lay photography carefully examine the whole frame from corner to corner to ensure all objects are positioned just right.
If you’re shooting more portrait-style images then use a wide aperture or the Portrait mode on your phone to create shallow depth of field to isolate the subject.
USE CLEAN BACKGROUNDS
It’s challenging to stand out on social media with images alone but one thing that will help is having a clean background.
Now “clean” does not mean plain so don’t think you can only use a blank wall or sheet of paper. You can use a nice textured fabric, your desktop, the grass – it doesn’t matter so long as it is not distracting.
Avoid outlandish patterns or busy backgrounds that contain lots of different distracting elements. Keep your backgrounds minimal and clean to help the main subject pop.
Smartphones are now commonly being fitted with multiple lenses, one of which is an optical zoom. The quality is improving but I would still recommend you avoid zooming where possible.
The image quality will begin to degrade and there is an easy workaround.
Instead of zooming, stick with your standard focal length and then crop as required. This will help preserve the image quality better than optical or, even worse, digital zooming on your phone.
It’s not cheating! Use an app like Snapseed – in my opinion the single best photo editing app out there for phones – and take a minute to tidy up your images.
Keep it simple. A slight exposure increase here, a contrast adjustment there. Some tweaking of vibrancy to balance the colours.
Most of these can be done with just a few swipes and will help polish your images and bring increased consistency to your social media image content.
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