Here’s the thing:
We all possess the ability to be amazing photographers. With the invention (and innovation) of smartphones, we all have the ability to take great photographs.
Accessibility is not the problem.
The problem is, so many people tell you that you have the ability to take great pictures, but fail to teach you the specifics in taking them, especially when it comes to social media.
Simply put, people are not taught the best practices to build their brand up with amazing content on social media!
So, we wanted to help walk you through what we believe to be the best practices for social media photography.
Listed below are our six #KajabiPhotoTips for taking your social media photography skills to the next level, with virtually little materials needed.
For these photos, we used the iPhone 7 Plus, but any smartphone will do the trick!
With these tips, your online business will take on a new life aesthetically!
1. Do Your Research
The first step in improving your photography skills is to do your research. This is as simple as finding a brand that you love and studying how they present themselves on social media. Instagram is a great platform when it comes to photography because of its visual nature.
*Keep in mind that the brand you choose has to at least have 50,000 followers, if not more. You want this to be a credible and reputable company that you can really learn from, not just a person you admire.
Study the backgrounds, the colors, the lighting, and the concepts for each of their Instagram photos. The point of this is to get in the mindset of a professional photographer/social media manager.
Pay attention, because every detail about their social media platforms is picked for a specific reason. Nothing is random that you see or read. Someone took the time to plan and strategize these accounts, which means every detail counts!
Remember that it is absolutely okay to be inspired by the content you love. It is important to identify the style that you are drawn to so that you are able to replicate this for your brand.
Here are some accounts that we love and draw inspiration from all the time!
2. Lighting is EVERYTHING.
This is by far the most important tip of them all.
Lighting truly is everything when you are taking photos. It doesn't matter what kind of device you are using - if the lighting is too dark your photos will not turn out great.
The best kind of lighting is natural lighting, but make sure that the sun is not too harsh as this will cast weird shadows in your photos. When shooting photos outside, it is best on an overcast day, or in the shade of a sunny day. This will allow for a beautiful natural glow in your photos without the harshness of the sun.
If you are shooting photos inside, we recommend investing in a ring light, or some other sort of artificial lighting. You can typically find these online... and don’t worry, there are definitely more inexpensive options available if you are on a budget (like this one for a cell phone)!
Another (free) option for shooting indoors is making sure you are standing in front of a window, where the natural light is coming through. Place the subject of the photo facing the sun so that the camera is shooting the way the light is coming in. Never face the lens of the camera towards the light source.
Another super important note about lighting is to never use the flash on your camera. The flash on the camera will be the most washed out and overly intense lighting option, which is not what you want for your photos.
Here are some lighting examples:
This was taken inside the office under florescent lights.
This was taken by a window with lots of natural light.
As you can see by the images above, the natural lighting allowed for the Kajabi name to be seen and the image to have an overall brighter look simply by changing the location where the photo was taken!
**Another quick tip on lighting is to enable the autofocus/auto-exposure setting on your iPhone. To do this, simply tap the screen where you want to focus and hold down. A yellow box will appear and you can toggle the settings to lock your lighting and focus into place!
3. Attention to Detail & A Focused Subject Will Make For Better Photography.
The best way to take a better photo for your social media is to simply capture your passion!
If you are not taking photos of things you love, you can get burned out by the process very easy. Always take photos of things that inspire you, that you believe in, and that match your business' vibe.
Let people into your world by snapping behind-the-scenes shots of your everyday business routine.
For example, take photos of your workspace, cool trinkets you love, or your office pets! You can take a photo of things related to your niche in order to shake things up (e.g. golf, photography, healthy living, painting, etc).
Now that you are taking pictures of what you love, make sure that all your photos are taken with a clean background to really make your social media stand out as professional.
This does not mean the backgrounds have to always be plain; however, it does mean that you need to pay close attention to what is in the frame of your photo.
While you are snapping pictures, make sure to be aware of your surrounding and always strive to be as clean and simple as possible! With this, the subject of your photo will pop more and your social feeds and website will look more clean and professional.
For example, look at the difference between these photos below:
4. Framing & Composition are Great Ways to Make Your Social Feed Look Different!
In order to make your photos look more interesting, try implementing the "Rule of Thirds."
This basically means that if you broke your photos into thirds, your subject will only be taking up one-third of the space in the photo, the rest would be considered "dead" or "blank" space.
In order to identify this, turn on the “grid” setting in your iPhone camera (to do this go into settings > photos and camera > grid). Your subject should be centered on one of the intersecting lines of the grid.
Here is how NOT to do it:
Here is the correct way:
The correct picture draws the viewers eyes to the subject immediately, making him stand out more prominently than the photo above. If you simply place your subject to the left or right of the center it will make your photo much more interesting in a social media feed. Only use center focused photos for special occasions where you want the subject to really stand out.
By off centering your subject, you are allowing more “dead space” into the photo, therefore making it look a lot cleaner. The more “dead space” you allow in a photo, the better it will look paired next to other photos on your social media profiles as well as your website.
Cleanliness goes a long way in branding your business.
5. Don't Even Think About Using Zoom.
Additionally, if you want to bring your photo in tighter, never use the zoom feature on your phone.
You never want to compromise professional looking photographs for a close-up. Quality images are what makes your brand stand out. This is vital when thinking about marketing your business.
Good quality photos boost a potential customer's view of reliability because they find your brand more professional and on par with the industry!
Instead of zooming in, simply crop your photo in the editing process.
6. Use an Editing App to Make Your Image Even Better!
Now that we have the basics of actually taking photos down, let’s dive into the editing process that follows!
Before posting a photo, you want to make sure that it's edited to match your branding and to present the best image possible. Here is a list of the (free) apps we love!
- VSCO Cam
In the video, we used VSCO with the A6 filter. We always use the same filter and then adjust the exposure, saturation, temperature, and contrast to get the desired look. We recommend finding a filter you love and consistently brand your business that way, as it will make your social media feed look fluid.
Also, a quick side tip, if you are using VSCO to edit your photos, you can copy your edits from one photo and paste them to another to save time!
Now It's YOUR Turn!
We hope that you enjoyed (and learned from) these simple tips to step up your social media photography game. We would love to see you put these tips into action, incorporating your own style and brand!
If you take photos for your business and post them to any social media account, tag @Kajabi and use the hashtag #KajabiPhotoTips.
We can't wait to see your brand succeed 👍🏻
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