Today, more and more small businesses use social media to get their name out there. Filling out your profile may seem easy — you probably have many photos from over the years to show what your brand is all about. If you’re a new business, you might have invested in a professional photographer to help you capture your first round of content or menu photos.
The hard part begins when you exhaust those resources and start creating new, daily content. That could mean photographing a new special or the most beautiful versions of your favorite dishes for a restaurant. For a salon owner, you may want to take a client’s photo after giving them an unbelievable blowout.
In either case, learning and practicing these photography tips will give you the skills you need to capture any picture-perfect product.
Avoid Lighting Issues
While there are many photo editing apps out there, they are not always super reliable. It can be frustrating to alter your photos after your client has left, only to realize that the lighting is unfixable.
Similarly, it’s almost not worth it to post a photo that your customers will be able to tell has been thoroughly edited. Instead, try to focus on getting the perfect shot at the moment, so you don’t have to worry about making any changes later.
Inconsistent lighting is one of the most common issues for new photographers. You can alter the lighting settings on most smartphones to capture beautiful photographs in low light or focus the attention away from a bright target. This article covers a ton of tips for iPhone users and is an excellent resource for new and old users alike.
Keep It Natural
When it comes time to shoot your product, you should never use flash. Natural lighting will soften the image and lend a modern feel to your pictures. If you can control where the lighting is coming from, try to center your product to the side of the light source. With natural lighting, it’s okay to backlight or sidelight a product, as this will also help you avoid creating shadows.
Whereas natural light can highlight your product’s softest details, a flash may create a harsh reflection or glare on your product. If you’re photographing a client’s awesome haircut, the flash could call attention to any frizz and set your client up for a disappointing photo shoot. Remember that while it’s not something to always rely on, you can easily adjust the brightness, highlights, and shadows in a photo editing app — so don’t feel you need to use flash.
If you’re photographing food, you might want to give your dish a quick spritz of oil or water so it looks even fresher. This will help it capture the light and leave your food glistening.
Of course, always make sure your plates and dishware are clean and free of any spills — one stain could ruin the entire project.
The same goes for salons, dry cleaners, or retailers trying to get the best photo. Always make sure to keep your background neat and tidy to drive the focus to your product.
Another way to move that focus forward is to create a shallow depth of field. This means putting only one part of your scene in focus and blurring out the background. Even in the cleanest kitchen or salon, it’s always helpful to blur the background so you can push all the attention on your subject.
This is very easy to do with modern smartphones, especially through the use of portrait mode on iPhones.
For professionals, there are several tips to live by. The first we covered briefly and is called “depth of field.” While this is great when you want to blur out a quiet background, it’s also a super-easy way to call attention to one detail on your plate.
For example, when you rest a tiny edible flower atop a gorgeous salad, you might focus on that one element and let the salad become the background. These kinds of daily closeups reverse the regular use of your subjects and can help you quickly create new, exciting content.
Another tip is the “rule of thirds.” This concept shows that a photograph’s subject is all the more appealing when it is not placed in the exact center of an image.
Instead, try to capture your subject in one of the outermost “thirds” of your shot. Smartphones make this process super easy by allowing you to take photos with a visible grid over your image. Using the grid, you can ensure that your subject is set in the right place.
While both of these tips seem devastatingly easy, they will push your photography over the edge and allow you to capture more dynamic shots. Your content marketing will benefit from this, and you’re sure to impress your customers.
Once you’ve got the perfect shot, it’s time to post it. Posting your photos to social media can be a little intimidating, but there is no reason to worry. The more consistently you post your images, the more you’ll learn about your customers and anticipate what content will receive the most impressions.
Another quick way to hack into your consumer base is to add hashtags to your content. Tags help categorize your content and push your content up in your potential customers’ feed.
If you’re struggling to get your account up and running, you may look into running another campaign to drive attention to your profile. Many small businesses turn to grocery store advertising to build their brand. And by placing your social media handles on your supermarket advertisement, you can quickly make a splash in your community.
If you go one step further and include a coupon on your supermarket advertisement, you’ll be sure to catch your customer’s eye. Campaigns like coupon-receipt advertising are part of why grocery store advertising is such a strong option for small businesses and a reliable way to reach your community.