By REDC Design Advisor Laura Harper Lake
If you are able to hire or barter with a photographer to take photos of your products, services, or events, that's wonderful. Most small businesses don't have the resources to do that often though, and when that is the case, it is the business owner or an employee who is capturing the business with the camera on their phone. This is a great alternative, especially for your social media, however poor-quality images, cluttered settings, and bad composition can make your online presence suffer.
We've compiled our most common tips on social media and website photography that we've shared with our small businesses:
Take Many Photos, From Many Different Positions
Be agile as you shoot and experiment with different angles. You won’t know for sure which one will bring you the winning shot. Moving around will also teach you a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of the different positions.
For example, standing in the corner of a room at an evening will often give you the largest viewpoint of the entire room.
Change Your Elevation or Viewpoint
Move the camera up or down for a more interesting shot. Get closer and further away and think about the whole environment around your product or service being featured.
Remove all of the distracting items out of your shot. Focus on your subject and notice what is around it and decide if it is really necessary for your photo. Also avoid unsightly objects in your shot unless relevant, like trash cans, dumpsters, dirty dishes, toilets, etc.
Rule of Thirds
Using the rule of thirds helps create an interesting composition in your photos. When composing your picture, imagine two horizontal lines splitting the frame into three equal parts. Then imagine the same thing with two vertical lines, so you have a nine-square grid. Place your subject matter along these lines or their intersections. Here are some examples:
Natural Light is Best
For sharper, less blurry photos, utilize natural lighting when possible. This can instantly improve the quality and combat shutter lag.
Depth of Field
Depth of field is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a photo that appears acceptably sharp. Many newer cameras have a portrait mode option, which helps narrow the depth of field to focus on your subject more fully, making the background blurry. This is a tool that can create more interest in your photo. This also is a helpful tool if you are in a situation where you can't control the background of your shot, which may have unnecessary clutter in it.
Edit Your Photos
Enhance your photos by using filters to edit shots, or better yet, learn some photo editing software tools. Instagram filters are an obvious options, but there's are many options for editing your photos. Experiment with different apps if software isn’t the route you want to go. Below is an image of software called Adobe Photoshop, which we use and can teach to our clients.