Picture This: You’re scrolling through your Instagram feed when all of a sudden you’re captured by the most beautiful spread of fresh fruit, buttery croissants, and fluffy scrambled eggs. Every dish looks so tantalizing that you swear you can smell the aromas through your screen. A few questions come to mind: 1) Where can I get this amazing breakfast? 2) How did they make everything look so appetizing and picturesque? 3) Should I bring a cute pair of sunglasses to my next breakfast outing?
For everyone who isn’t a photographer or lifestyle influencer, styling an interesting photo might not come naturally. It can be difficult to choose the best angle or assemble a “casually strewn” flatlay. That’s what we’re here for. We’ve rounded up a few tips for you to keep in mind when creating content for social media.
Tip 1: Think Before You Shoot
We all love a good candid shot here and there, but the key to any great photo is planning. Are you shooting in the middle of winter? Be mindful of holiday decor around. Shooting a lunch menu? You’ll want to have a variety of dishes available.
Schedule when and at what time you’re going to shoot. Block out at least an hour in your day to take some photos. Even if you don’t use the whole hour, having that time completely dedicated to shooting means you can focus on both the quantity and quality of your photos.
Tip 2: Bring in the Human Element
A photo of a pretty room is fine, but anyone can capture that. Use your imagination and bring some personality to it! Have someone snuggling under the covers or jumping on the bed. Adding in a human element to your photo brings it to life and lets your audience picture themselves in that space. Even if it’s just a hand drizzling some syrup over a stack of pancakes, it’s a lot more interesting than seeing the pancakes on their own.
Tip 3: Show Minimal Branding
If you have branded mugs, business cards, or cocktail napkins, feel free to use them in a photo; you want people to know who you are! But don’t go over the top with it. If you hit your audience over the head with branded images, you’ll lose them. Instead, add in one or two branded items to a layout and make it look like a natural scene.
Tip 4: Take Advantage of Natural Light
If our photographers have taught us anything, it’s that angles and natural light are your best friends. The light from the window in the photo above changes a simple pour of cabernet into a moody, après-ski moment. When shooting photos inside, find the best light in the room and style your photos around it. Capturing this backlit scene adds drama and interest to the foreground while still highlighting the details in the background.
Tip 5: Showcase the Great Outdoors
It doesn’t matter if you’re in the heart of a bustling metropolis, or tucked in a mountain valley—there’s always something beautiful to find outside. Go outside (remember natural light is your best friend!) and start snapping everything you see. People want to be inspired by incredible views, interesting architecture, and the natural beauty around them. Incorporating a few shots of the outside world adds depth and intrigue to your social strategy. As a bonus, there’s always something new to capture.
Tip 6: Keep Your Brand in Mind
Capturing photos is your chance to make what you love about your brand shine through on social media. While it might seem like you need to take a photo of everything to attract the largest audience, using that kind of strategy will ultimately leave you spread out and unfocused. Instead, select a few brand pillars you want to highlight. Also, keep your brand in mind when it comes to aesthetic and atmosphere. If you’re known for having a wilderness-focused, outdoorsy theme, don’t shoot photos in a high-end boutique because you think it might perform well on social, you don’t want to confuse your audience.
Shooting photos for social media can seem like a daunting task, but in the end it all comes down to planning, focus, and a bit of imagination. Employ these tips and you’ll be on your way to sitting back, relaxing, and watching the likes roll in.