Here are my road-tested tips for taking awesome social media photographs:
- Add an unexpected element. If your photograph has an element of surprise, people will click on the link to answer the question of “What happened there?”
- People are drawn to photographs of genuinely smiling people. These photos are shown to have a higher click-through rate. Most people respond well to photographs containing cute dogs and cute cats.
- Avoid taking a ‘product’ photo where you plonk the product in the centre of the shot. Rather aim for ‘lifestyle’ photos where you are using the product, but imagine if you had to get up and answer the front door. Perhaps the lid is off or a bite has been taken. The main product may be surrounded by complementary products and related tools. 84thand3rd demonstrates this idea well with food shots.
- If you need help selecting your colour scheme, then head to Design Seeds to select from a range of beautiful pre-matching palettes.
- If your audience is females, then randomly placed sprigs of flowers and leaves may take your photo to the next level. Kerrie Hess has lots of gorgeous shots with flowers.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment or chop off the side of your product – it makes your photo more sophisticated if you use the rule of thirds.
- Mix up your photos with shots from different angles to make your overall feed more interesting. Lauren Storey excels at this on Instagram.
- If you are using a smartphone, make sure you are holding the camera in landscape mode.
- If you are taking a close-up, use the macro mode if you have it. Use a tripod to improve your focus and avoid hand-shaking blurs.
- Always use natural light whenever possible (then you’ll need minimal touching up later and your photos will have an irresistible glow).
Practice, practice and practice some more. Take tons of photos from different angles. You can always crop them later, if needed, or adjust the brightness. But you can’t change the focus or make up for shadows later.
Follow professional photographer’s social media accounts to see how they layout objects.
But most of all if you love taking photos, you’ll share your joy will your followers and they’ll see your authentic enthusiasm shine through.