Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. Snapchat. Twitter (sometimes). Google + (RIP?). Houzz. Tinder.
They all prominently feature photos from YOU as their primary streams of content. Hundreds of millions of photos are posted to social networks every day. So why do so many of them suck?
I have three theories:
1. The disposable nature of social imagery. It’ll be forgotten soon, so why bother making it good?
2. Imperfect conditions for smartphones, or imperfect conditions for the photographer. Drunk photos are rarely your best effort.
3. Lack of understanding about how to make your photos better. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that photos were rarely seen in social media, other that profile pics and sketchy Myspace shenanigans.
For that third group – people who want to do better but just need some help – we created this presentation. It’s from Daniel Lemin, a senior strategist here at Convince & Convert who is both a killer social business consultant, and a professional photographer.
MUCH more detail in the presentation (you can download it for free), but here are the basics:
1. Framing and Composition
Don’t center everything in the middle of the frame. I realize this might violate your OCD tendencies, but trust me. Off-center is much better.
You’re not going to carry around a whole external light kit with you (although I totally recommend the iBlazr). But, even if your ambient lighting isn’t that great, you can still follow a few tips (in the download) about how to boost your chances of success.
Unless you’re shooting all close-cropped #Selfies, you should be thinking about the background behind the subject of your photo. And if you’re shooting scenery, food, random horses, et al it’s even more critical.
4. Camera Angles
This is the one that never gets talked about. How you hold the camera or phone (and in relation to your subject) is a major driver of visual impact. Many of the interesting photos you see in social media are achieved because of an unusual angle.