Social media is practically unavoidable nowadays. In 2020, 3.6 billion people around the globe were utilizing some sort of social media platform. Most people use it to connect with friends and family members and share their life snapshots. Of course, businesses and organizations use social media to promote their goods and services and attract bigger audiences, too.
Guest post by Katie Brenneman
Whether your goals are to post better personal photos or use social media for marketing, it’s never a bad idea to improve upon the pictures you post.
Images are huge when it comes to social media. They are more likely to attract attention and boost social engagement. When you have a business, that’s crucial in capturing your target audience and looking legitimate and professional.
Even if you use social media for fun, having high-quality photos can help ensure your family members and friends will see your posts (thanks to changing algorithms), and you’re bound to get more “likes” and interactions!
Thankfully, most smartphones today are equipped with high-quality cameras that can take good photos easily. That kind of camera technology continuously improves, so the newer your phone model, the better your pictures will look.
However, if you want your photos to stand out, or you’re not much of an “iPhone photographer,” you can do things to improve the quality of your social media pictures, and it doesn’t always have to take a lot of time or effort.
Depending on your goals and why you want to improve your photos, you can choose how much work you want to put into it.
With that, let’s cover some of the best ways to boost the quality of your pictures, from quick fixes to major changes.
Again, for most causal purposes, using the built-in camera on your smartphone is an effective way to take quality photos that are suitable for your personal social media account. There are a few tips and tricks you can use to make your phone pictures look even better, including things like
- Using natural light
- Taking multiple shots and selecting the best one
- Avoiding digital zoom
- Applying the “rule of thirds” as you set up your shot
If you’re limited to using your phone camera and still want quality photos, take the time to learn about all of the features of your camera. Get to know how it works beyond just snapping a quick photo. The more you know about utilizing all of its features, the better your pictures will be.
In some cases, however, you might want to upgrade from a phone camera to a professional DSLR or point-and-shoot model. With a little bit of research (and understanding your budget), you can find a high-quality camera that will fit your needs and can help you publish crystal clear photos. Whether you want your personal memories to look their best, you’re in charge of marketing for a business, or you’re trying to become an Instagram influencer, having the right photography gear is an excellent place to start.
Become an Expert Editor
If you don’t have the budget for a fancy camera or want your smartphone pictures to “pop,” take the time to learn more about photo editing.
The first step is to choose the right editing program to fit your needs. There are programs available for pro-level editors as well as beginner-friendly options, including apps that allow you to touch up your photos right from your phone.
Once you choose the editing software or app, the best thing to do is familiarize yourself with the basics, including
- Cropping and resizing
- Removing unwanted elements
- Colour correction
- White balance improvement
- Correcting exposure
Editing programs like Adobe are designed to guide you through these features. There can be a bit of a learning curve, so take the time to “play” with different editing tools until you become comfortable. You might even develop a signature style with your editing, so you can create different presets and saved settings that allow your pictures to evoke the same tone every time.
Lean On Your Lighting
Ask any professional photographer, and they’ll be able to talk to you for quite some time about the importance of lighting when it comes to quality photos.
It’s not uncommon for commercial photographers to have elaborate light setups because they’re doing most of their work in a studio. However, whenever possible, you should try to shoot in natural light.
Utilizing natural light doesn’t require any expensive equipment. It can help make both products and people look more like they do in real life, rather than causing them to look too perfect or plastic – an unfortunate drawback of studio lighting.
You may have heard people talk about the “golden hour” before. It’s a term photographers use to describe the short period right after sunrise or just before sunset. Photographers love to shoot during these times because of the warm natural tones and how they can play with the light and shadows to create more interesting photos. Additionally, natural light allows you to play with shadows and get creative with the way the light is moving.
If you’re taking pictures for your social media accounts, getting outside shouldn’t often be a problem. If you want to see the differences for yourself, try snapping a photo of a person inside and out in the same pose – you might be surprised by how much more vibrant they appear in natural light!
Pay Attention to Your Setup
All of the high-quality equipment and editing expertise in the world can’t fix a poor photo setup.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to think about things like how the background of your photo can draw people’s attention away from or how the camera is angled might make someone look different.
If you want a high-quality picture, don’t just focus on the subject itself. Start by utilizing a clean, clear space. If you’re taking pictures of your family at home, for example, make sure the background is clutter-free , and nothing is going to draw the viewer’s eyes away from what you want them to see.
Additionally, it’s important to know how to set up your pictures so the people or products you’re shooting look their best. For example, subjects who look directly at the camera in a dimly-lit room might end up with red eye in the final photograph. You can fix that by guiding them to look slightly away and by making the room brighter. If you’re shooting an item or product, use a non-distracting background that keeps it as the center focus. Consider using different areas of depth, angles, or the “rule of thirds” to break up your photo and make it more interesting than a direct shot.
As you can see, there are plenty of tips and tricks for improving the quality of your social media photos. Whether you’re a casual poster, working for a company in their marketing department, or taking up photography as a hobby, your photos can end up looking great with a bit of extra time, research, and maybe a small investment or two. You might find that photography has become a passion of yours, and you’ll continue to improve the quality of your photos with each new skill you learn.