Are you scrolling through your photo library wishing you had better images for your small business’ social media channels?
Using stock photos and graphics for every post can make it harder for your audience to connect with your brand. However, professional photography can be expensive and with most people working remotely, it’s even harder to get up-to-date images of your team to share.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer, or have an expensive camera, to capture great images for your small business’ social media profiles. But before you open up your camera app, do yourself a favor and make sure you wipe off that lens!
Check out these tips to help you build a better photo library in 2021:
1. Invest in a Tripod and Ring Light
Have you wiped off your camera lens and are still seeing blurry photos? Shaky hands can lead to blurry images. Consider investing in a tripod set up to help eliminate camera shake and amp up your selfie game. Tripods are a great investment too if you plan on shooting video content (which you definitely should be – check out our last blog post on video marketing for the reasons why). A ring light will help if you are working in a space without natural lighting. There are a variety of great, inexpensive ring lights and tripods on the market.
2. Your “real” photos don’t always have to be of people
While people love to see pictures of your team and real customers on your feed, if it’s not possible to get a “real” photo of people, grab a piece of your company’s swag (i.e. a water bottle with a logo on it), find an interesting background, (even a computer screen with your company’s website loaded on it works great!), and snap away!
Which leads to the next tip….
3. Vary your photo composition
Turn on the grid function and follow the golden rule of photography – the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds means that instead of always placing your water bottle in the center, try placing it in any of the intersection points on your grid. Then try taking photos of the same subject at different angles; stand on a chair (safely, of course!) and look down or get down on the ground and shoot up. Don’t be afraid to try something different – you may be surprised at which shot you like best! Plus, having a variety of shots of the same subject allows you to have a plethora of options when you are trying to find the perfect fit for your Canva template.
4. Schedule a photo shoot with your team
Scheduling a photo shoot doesn’t mean that you need to hire a professional photographer, though if you have it in your budget to do so, certainly do! When it is safe to be together again, schedule a specific day where you know a few of your team members will be in the office and have them come “camera ready.” Find a place with the most natural lighting in your office, or if the weather is nice, find a spot outside. We love brick walls! Headshots with masks on are great to have too!
Worried about being too close to your subject? Try to avoid using your smartphone zoom because it degrades image quality; however, you can use the crop tool after you capture your image. The resolution on most smartphone cameras is high enough to allow for you to “crop to zoom.”
Portrait mode on your smartphone camera will help mimic the blurred background look of a prime DSLR camera lens. Pinterest is a great place to look for quick pose ideas.
Bonus Tip: Ask your team to bring an extra shirt so they can swap outfits and bam, you have another set of images to use. When time together in the office is limited, you want to make sure to maximize the photo opportunities when you can.
5. Capture candid moments too
Your subjects don’t always have to be posed and looking directly at the camera, take photos of them at work – whether that be sitting at their desk at the computer, or helping a customer at the counter (although you should always ask if it’s okay if their photo gets posted on social media). Try to make a point to take one photo a day to help build a content library.
While your team is working remote, come up with a few ideas of photos that you need for your upcoming content calendar, share your new-found knowledge of the Rule of Thirds, and task your team to help bulk up your content library. Your audience will love seeing your team’s work from home set-ups.
Ready, set, start shooting!