So, obviously, we all know that professional photography is essential to a business. Stock photography, (shivers) and badly composed photos, with awful lighting, (shudders) can be very harmful to your business. However, as much as I like to big up myself and my fellow professional Togs, the fact is that we still haven't quite mastered appearing at the rub of a magic lamp or come floating in when the wind gets up, clutching a black umbrella and all our gear in a deceivingly small bag!
So, what do you do when you are at work, at an event or on your way to a meeting and a brilliant photo opportunity presents itself, that you just can't wait to flash about all over your social media feeds? Well, fear not! Below I have chosen five basic tips that may just give your smart phone grab shots a more professional look and whole lot more impact when they hit your feeds, waiting to be liked, loved, commented on and hopefully shared too!
1. Lighting. If you are able, always use natural light! Take your subject outside or near a window if possible. Phone flash is rarely a flattering thing!! If you are in a position where you can't do much about the lighting, (maybe you have seconds to get the shot!) at least use your focus and metering tool on your phone to make sure that the most important parts of your photo are well lit. If part of the scene that you are attempting to capture is really bright (the sky, a white wall, a window etc), the camera will try to balance things out and as a result, your main subject could be left in the dark, so move your phone position a little and push the focus button to see if you can get the lighting to change. Better still, try to avoid high contrast scenarios, so if the sun is very bright, try to move to a slightly more shaded area, if there is a white wall that is affecting things, try zooming in a little (not so much that your picture gets 'grainy' though)
Use a window for good natural light
2. Angles. Get creative when it comes to angles. Getting down to eye level of products or objects can be a great way to add to what would otherwise be a very ordinary image. Try shooting your subject from above or maybe below!
Getting an unusual angle, can make everyday fixtures and fittings more appealing
3. Consider the background. If your background is cluttered or messy, it will detract from the main subject of your photo, so always be aware of what you can see, apart from what you are actually wanting to capture. Photographers can use settings to blur untidy backdrops but phone cameras try to get as much as possible in focus, so if you can't physically move the subject, move around yourself, to get an angle that cuts out some of the background.
See if you can move around to help keep the background clean and simple
4. Rule of thirds. Whilst rules are sometimes there to be broken, this is a good one and an easy one to apply. Don't always assume that having your main subject in the centre of your image is going to give the best outcome. Sometimes it works well, but more often than not, keeping the main subject in the left / right / upper / lower third of your screen, gives a much more professional look. Imagine a grid over your photo as you take it.
Here, the subjects eyes, which are the main point of focus, are in the left third of the frame
5. Have fun! Whether you are posting photos that represent a snippet of your daily work routine or maybe a special moment that happened within your team, at an event or awards ceremony, remember that these are a brilliant way to show what your business is all about and let your clients see the people behind your brand. Show the moment that you've felt compelled to capture, at its best.
Capture a moment, a smile or something that adds to the human side of your business
Hopefully, you have found the above tips helpful! Try to practice them whenever you use your phone camera, so that next time a photo opportunity jumps out at you, you are ready to make the most out of it and create a visually engaging post that gets plenty of post interaction!
If you would like photos for your website, publications or need a new up to date Head Shot, you can contact me here. If you would like a Social Stash, to give you months of social media photos ready at your fingertips for unique, professional photos, ready to upload to your feeds anytime, anywhere, take a look at my Social Stash package.