Imagery is an important part of any well-done content strategy. It brings your readers in and keeps them there once they’ve arrived. Images are share-worthy and a great way to increase engagement and entice more readers.
In fact, there is an entire social platform built on quality imagery (I’m talking about Pinterest, you guys … stay with me). Awesome, right? Yet many people struggle to procure high-quality images. Do you take them? If not, who does? If so, how?! Stay committed and set aside some time — with these helpful tips, you’ll head down the right track.
Let’s get started:
1. Shoot often.
You’re not going to capture a great photo if you only bust out your camera once in a blue moon. Like everything else, becoming a good photographer — even with just your phone — requires practice.
2. Remember, the sun is your bae.
Try to use natural light whenever possible. Avoid your on-camera flash like the plague.
Why? Check out the two images below. You can see how the artificial flash light blows out the image on the left and well, pretty much sucks the life out of it. Covering your photos with natural light helps them share the vivid story they were taken to convey.
3. Go behind the scenes.
People interested in what you do like to get the deets on how you do it. I’m not saying to give away your secret recipe, but they like seeing you in action and getting an in-depth look at your creative process. Even if it’s just a shot of your desk or your computer screen mid-creation, a behind-the-scenes look can make for a great piece of social content.
4. Intro your peeps.
Photograph your staff so you can give your audience a visual introduction. Your employees help make your business possible, and consumers want to share in the love.
Even if you’re mostly a one-woman shop, snap some pics of the furry sidekick who warms your feet while you work, or the barista who makes your latte every morning (get her permission first, of course).
5. Get your audience involved.
Let the people who love you and your brand fuel your imagery. Reach out to social media followers who are capturing great images that also help tell your brand story or fit into your goals. Share them on your feeds. By doing so, you can celebrate your people’s creativity while also beefing up your feed to increase engagement.
Great example: Sports Authority. This company uses social content created by people in their demographic to help tell their brand story. They ask Twitter followers to hashtag their photos #MyFootballTeam, which makes it easy for Sports Authority to showcase these real-world, brand-friendly images in their Twitter feed. It’s an expert way to connect with their fans on a deeper level and increase engagement.
— Sports Authority (@SportsAuthority) October 10, 2015
6. Set the stage.
The idea is to create a good representation of your true self for your audience. That means you want to capture aesthetically pleasing images from your experiences. To do that, you need to seriously consider things like what’s going on in the background, the best lighting for the shot, and which Instagram filter looks best. (Want a laugh? Check out this post about Instagram filters you wish existed.)
7. But don’t overdo it.
Personally, I crave authenticity — which means overly staged images do little for me. That doesn’t mean some planning shouldn’t be involved (see above). But the best way to capture authentic photos is to push yourself to have experiences worthy of photographing. Setting the stage is great, but don’t spend more time staging than living.
8. Make them yours.
There are some brands and businesses whose photos I can recognize from the moment I see them on my stream. They have done such an awesome job at overall branding that it even shines through in their images.
Take @FoodBabyNY. They snap pics of their adorable mini human grubbing on food around the NYC area. You see the food, you see the baby, and you know it’s @FoodBabyNY!
9. Get some accessories.
I have a big mamajamma camera (OK fine, I have two) to capture images with, but for the most part I use my phone because it’s EASY. Despite the deep-down, powerful love I have for my Canons, I am a firm believer that you can create engaging, powerful images on your mobile device with just a few accessories. Personally, my iPhone tripod and my remote shutter are the two items I cannot live my blog life without.
10. Have fun.
Photography is supposed to be fun! If it feels like a chore, you’re probably doing it wrong. You should enjoy capturing images that show off all of the amazing, engaging, beautiful, exciting and fun parts of what you do. Find a way to make that happen and the other parts will be cake. Or cookies. Or, ummmm, donuts.