Social media photography is amongst the most popular niches of photography. Either as a business owner, a hobbyist, or a person looking forward to getting some nice clicks for their private profile, we all are social media photographers at one time.
With a smartphone in hand, everyone is capable of getting some excellent clicks. If you are good at it, it can also be an excellent source of income both as a freelancer and a hobbyist.
Social Media Photography
Social media networks are not merely entertainment platforms anymore. These platforms changed and are still changing the world in a very unprecedented manner.
For some people it is a necessary daily activity, some use it to spend their leisure time on it, for businesses it is an essential part of their marketing either if they are a corporation or a small business.
But most importantly, in today’s world, there are careers for millions of people just because social media exists, and prime examples are Influencers. Influencer culture introduced thousands of businesses to new heights while impacting people’s day-to-day lives with every post.
Recent figures released by Statista show that the value of influencer marketing more than doubled between 2019 and 2021, growing from 6.5 billion to 13.8 billion U.S. dollars in the three years alone.
Whether from a business perspective, a user scrolling sitting on its couch, or an influencer’s perspective, images are an integral part of social media. Some of the most critical platforms, i.e., Instagram and Pinterest, are all about visual content.
These are also reasons people find social media more engaging because naturally, humans tend more towards visual but textual content.
All this makes evident why social media photography is essential. From staying connected with the audience, using it as a driver to generate sales, sharing your talent with the world, and communicating with friends and family, social media photography holds a different level of importance in peoples’ lives.
Tips for excellent Social Media Photography:
Everyone can click a photo for their social media profile but using a few practices, you can make your work stand out.
These tips are specially targeted towards people who want to become part of the business market, businesses who want to put engaging visuals for their audience, and those looking forward to practicing this niche as freelance photographers.
Your smartphone is the most excellent tool available at your disposal. It gives you the freedom of creating online content anytime, anywhere. You don’t need any expensive camera, gears, post-production setup to get your desired photo. Almost everything you need to get an engaging and exciting visual is already there in this tiny device.
Smartphone photography can be elevated using a variety of techniques such as:
- Use tripods. No matter how good a phone camera or the frame is, a blur can ruin a perfect photo. Investing in a tripod always pays back. Even using a cheap tripod can enhance the quality of images.
- Explore the world of photo editing applications. The best and free apps are Google photos, Snapseed, Pixlr, Lightroom, Afterlight, VSCO, and Adobe Photoshop Express.
- Use timer
- Give importance to lighting. As a hobbyist, getting a light ring can enhance your work.
- Use different camera angles.
Lighting is essential!
Lighting makes all the difference.
Light is by far the most crucial element in all types of photography. Use the world’s most expensive camera, but the image is ruined if the shooting situation is over/underexposed.
Natural light and the outdoors have the best lighting. This is easy to deal with as a photographer is not controlling light, and most results are outstanding. It also allows variety more than studio lighting.
You will get different results from the exact location but under direct sunlight, shadow, golden hour, blue hour, etc. As a social media photographer, prefer outdoor lightning for your shoots. But beware of shooting under harsh sunlight. It overexposes the image at several stops.
For some shoots, indoors can help you get better results, i.e., close-ups in product photography. As a professional, you should have a complete lightning set-up, but at least get a light ring if you are starting. Cheaper light rings are starting for as low as $15. It will also help you if you are shooting videos indoors for youtube, insta, etc.
Learning manual settings, especially white balance, and ISO settings, are also very helpful in taking care of under and overexposure either outdoors or indoors.
Without taking care of light, your images can fail to resonate on social media.
Stay active in online communities
Everything is there in online communities, from data about your target market to the latest trends of your niche.
Being active in an online community can gain you recognition as a social media photographer, a kickstart for your career. By interacting with people, observing the works of others, you can get a lot of new inspirations for your content.
Following the news via social media, you can stay updated with recent trends and incorporate them into your work.
On Instagram and Twitter, follow relevant hashtags and pages. On Facebook, look out for groups. All you have to do is participate in all relevant content.
Do not shy away from exploring unusual and unique angles. This will give your work a different perspective compared to the tons of content posted online every minute.
When shooting, take pictures of subjects from every angle possible to have a variety of results. Different angles have different impacts in terms of depth, appearance, etc. Stepping out of “normal” and exploring unusual angles, you can develop a new perspective.
Such unique images are always a powerful tool to stand out and gain recognition.
Attention to details
Capturing minute details of things related to your niche can boost things up. For example, you are a sports car fan and running an Instagram page related to that. Your usual posts are sports cars photos, but you are posting a snap with just a close-up of the tire and rim of these cars.
It will be a new thing for your target audience and increase their engagement on your posts.
Shoot close-ups of specific parts of the subject. A macro lens or digital camera zoom for professional-level photography, and simple smartphone camera zoom works perfectly for this purpose.
The easiest way to highlight the features of a subject is by keeping the background clean. Cluttered frames decrease the attention span of people resulting in reduced engagement on the post. Tidy backgrounds give a professional look to the image. Investing in a plain and subtle pattern studio background can pay you back in this regard.
Keeping the background plain does not mean that your image has to be boring. Applying principles of minimalistic photography and rules of thirds can get you some fascinating results.
Don’t be random
No matter how great your content is, if you are just randomly putting content and not following any defined niche on your page, you won’t be able to grow your presence on social media.
Before starting a page to publish your photography content, decide your niche and stick to that. For example, if you are into astrophotography, post content related to that on your page. This has mainly to do with your target audience.
Posting specific content will gain you a clear sense of identity. Take the example of makeup bloggers. Their posts, even their affiliated reviews, are related to make-up; and that’s actually what their audience expects. If any of those bloggers start posting tech-related content, they will begin losing their followers.
Research your target audience and post targeted posts after scrutiny to make an impact.
Take care of resolution
Usually, when images are posted on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, they lose some of their resolutions. Grainy and blurry impacts in these low-resolution pictures are easily noticeable.
If you are serious about social media photography, invest in a good camera; either a smartphone camera or a digital camera. If you are shooting with a DSLR, always shoot in RAW format. If shooting with a smartphone, shoot in the highest resolution.
Avoid using Snapchat filters, Instagram filters, and akin things. These thighs are good for fun but are image quality killers.
There is a plethora of content posted on social media platforms every minute. A massive chunk of this content is still images. Everyone, no matter what their demography is, is coming across this content one way or another.
This presents photographers with massive platforms to establish their reputation as photographers and make good money by shooting for others’ social media pages.
As a photographer, you must utilize the opportunities social media has to offer. Anyone with any niche of interest and any place of interest can be a social media photographer.