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May 23, 2022 - By Hawke Media

Social Media Photography 101

Good photography on social media makes it possible for you to stand out above the rest. The right lighting, following the rule of thirds and using a variety of scenes or backdrops is going to get your photos the attention you want. Whether you are in social media marketing, or you are just trying to learn the basics of Instagram photography for your personal social media platform, there are a number of tips to consider as you create content. 

Understand the Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a photography rule that helps you create more compelling, eye-catching photos. If you are trying to make your Instagram photography more interesting, the rule of thirds is the first thing you want to learn. This rule helps you to compose your photos by creating a grid of nine squares — two lines are vertical, two are horizontal. When you use the grid lines and position focal elements on these lines, your images will improve. The composition of your photos matters, and this is one of the first rules to abide by in Instagram photography.

Choosing Your Light

Good photography is all about the lighting. While you might not understand why an image looks great, you probably know when a photo looks bad. Chances are high that an image you don’t like has poor lighting. Good lighting can come from anywhere, as long as you follow some basic tips. These include:

  • Don’t shoot images of people with the sun in their face. It causes squinting and unflattering shadows.
  • On bright days, take pictures in shaded areas.
  • The best images can be taken when the sky is overcast but it is still bright out.
  • Early morning and early evening are both excellent times to take outdoor photos.

If you are indoors, use a ring light to brighten up your image. Watch out for reflections in eyeglasses, and pay attention to uneven light sources. Consider making a light box for product photography. When you focus on your lighting, you will see your images start to pop.

Brand Consistency is Important

Take a look at your Instagram grid of photos. Are they consistent? Do your images reflect the message you are trying to portray to your audience? The photography you use in marketing or in your own social media efforts needs to be consistent in order to build your brand. Whether you simply want more followers in your personal brand, or you are growing a business, consistency with your photography is essential. 

Don’t Post Snapshots

A snapshot is a photo you took on a whim, with no thought about lighting or composition. Not every picture you take is worth posting on social media. Many people trying to become influencers think that constant sharing will get them noticed. While this method can work in the short term, bad images will lose you followers in the end. Take the time to think about what you are posting, and decide if it is interesting before you share the image. If you are building a brand, the last thing you want to be is boring.

Photography has become easier over the years due to advances with cell phone cameras, but there is still skill involved when it comes to creating images that work. Learn about the rule of thirds to compose your images, and pay attention to the lighting at all times. Figure out what works best for your brand, and be consistent with your images. 

You can create amazing images, once you start to learn about basic concepts in photography. Make your brand stand out with consistent, engaging images that attract attention.

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