Photographs Integral To Brand Management
As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s never been more true than in the digital age. Photos can serve as the building blocks for brands and relationships.
You need good photography for your social media, your website and your advertising campaigns. You also need great video. It pays to sharpen your skills just a little. Try these simple tricks to get more likes, shares and searches.
- Start a file of photos that you like. What’s the common thread? What makes them great to you?
- Camera/settings: Understand the limitations and strengths of your camera.
- Goal: What do you need/want? Do you need high resolution or something simple to put on the Internet?
- Lighting (sun and flash). Make sure the sun is behind you and in the face of your subject. Shoot in the early morning or late afternoon when possible (warmer light and fuller light on your subject). When indoors, always use a flash. Don’t have bright lights behind your subject–that throws off the camera and will darken your subject in the eyes of the camera. However, if you want a silhouette, shoot into a subject that has a bright light/sun behind them.
- Timing (for people and animals). Try to get people while speaking or in action (except for studio shots). Beware of closed eyes. Shoot everything 2-4 times for insurance. Shoot animal shots that also reflect some personality or action when possible. Sometimes an animal works well in action and/or at rest. Again, look for open eyes. Again, get low–shoot from ground level or below the subject’s eye level. It makes for a more dramatic shot.
- Composition: The camera sees everything. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes it’s distracting. Do you want a wide angle shot or a close up to tell your story? It’s best to shoot a little wide, because you can always crop the photo tighter later. A closeup, however, cannot be expanded during editing.
- Background: Sometimes the background adds to the context of the shot and sometimes it doesn’t. Look out for power lines that can take away from beauty shots. Look out for anything that will detract from your subject and compensate as necessary (move left or right, move closer, or move your subject).
- Camera angle: Shooting slightly upward glorifies the subject. Eye level is Ok. Shooting downward makes your subject look small and the camera/viewer look dominant. Just depends on what you want.
- Motion: If your subject is moving, you may need a faster shutter speed to avoid a blur. Sometimes, the blur is a cool effect. Know the variables and try to control them.
Photos Feed Social Media
Shoot, shoot, shoot and experiment (practice makes perfect and digital is great for this purpose). You will need a computer to download/view them, though. Practice makes perfect and sometimes the perfect shot is a total accident, so shoot as many shots as possible when practicing and when it’s the real deal. Many professional photographers will shoot dozens of shots to get one that they like.