Being a blogger means you have to wear many hats: boss, employee, accountant, Human Resources, and perhaps the most important, a marketing expert. In the new digital age we live in, social media has made marketing even easier than ever before and better yet, FREE! The trick for effective marketing is to create content that your target audience not only finds interesting but actually wants to comment/like.
One of the first steps to attracting your ideal follower and potential collaborative advertiser in the 2.5-second scroll on social media is through eye-catching and visually interesting images.
Here are 4 tips that will help you maximize your social media potential with DIY photography.
One of the first things that I recommend you do before taking the actual photo is creating a plan. I am a huge believe in working smarter and not harder. If you are able to produce multiple content images at one time, do it! Doing something blindly tends to produce mediocre results lacking in that extra attention to detail. Sit down, figure out what your end product is going to be like, and write it down.
Some recommendations I have based on personal experience:
- Plan out outfits in advance and have them packed and ready to go.
- Figure out locations & map them to avoid traveling back and forth and all over the place.
- Double-check that you have the correct camera equipment and accessories you may need. There is nothing worse than trying to take a photo solo without the tripod and/or camera remotes.
After formulating your plan, composing your image (whether on your smartphone or with your DSLR digital camera) is pretty important. Arrangement of yourself (or your content) can make a photo more visually pleasing. If you are ever curious as to what are the best composition tips, go visit some of your favorite popular social media accounts and analyze their technique. Take inspiration with their product placement, their on location images, or their text advertisements and modify to fit your business.
Although the composition is a pretty important part of creating that stellar content, capturing your image in the correct lighting is hands down the most important element in producing a great photo. Whether you are going for the golden hour back-lit candid image, gorgeous evenly lit product photo, or a sunny and bright outdoor photo, lighting is KEY! Practice, practice, practice! Natural lighting tends to be more flattering for product photos than uneven, indoor lighting. Think about the shadow placement. For outdoor images, the golden hour, the hour after sunrise or hour before sunset, is a favorite among photographers (myself included).
In regards to lighting and travel locations, sunrise is usually the superior choice because the places tend to be EMPTY! Not having to work around tons of people makes me feel less awkward when it comes to solo photography.
This is one of the simpler tips there is for social media marketing but knowing your crop for whichever platform is something to keep in mind. Instagram can have really two different ratios. If you want the square aesthetic, go for a 1:1 aspect. However, I recommend you go for a portrait orientation 4:5 aspect (easily cropped in Adobe Lightroom)! That ensures that your images is taking up the most screen space you can in the scroll.
If you are using Snapchat, you are dealing with 9:16 ratio which is heavily portrait oriented. Facebook can go either way. You don’t want to take a photo only to have to crop out some of your favorite details due to cropping issues. This goes back to tip 1 in creating a plan, knowing your purpose for the image, and working smarter, not harder!
When it comes to your social media feed, it’s really important to develop a cohesive look for your images. This can be as simple as always using the same filters and settings on your images. It could also be done with including the same pop of color (from your branding) in your images. You want to create something that is recognizable in that split second scroll that gives your audience a pause to view more!
As diverse as your adventures can be, your social media is not meant to be a cookie cutter to another feed. Do what feels right for your brand, your identity, and be sure that it makes you proud!
If you are feeling overwhelmed, hire a professional. Sometimes it is a nice treat not to have to plan just like I did when I was in Santorini!