You’re on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest…we are bombarded with imagery every day. Multiple times a day. If you are posting images that you want to get noticed (not be scrolled past with the dozens of food pics, puppy pics, or Snapchat filtered photos), take a few extra steps to make sure your images are worth stopping for.
1. Lighting: You can create mood and context with lighting. When you see an evenly lit image without much difference between the shadows and the highlights, this is called flat lighting. Flat lighting will appeal to a lot of people – most of these images have a photo filter applied to give their images a soft, ethereal look. This is currently very popular with a lot of brands – the desaturated backgrounds become their signature look. If you prefer to take your photos up a notch, look for lighting that provides both highlights and darker shadows. You can get these looks though adding or removing light. You don’t need fancy photography equipment – you can use a flashlight on your subject, move your subject toward available light (lamp post, window), or use a flash. If you don’t have extra lighting at your disposal, you can always apply a quick edit to your image with a soft vignette and increasing the contrast, shadows and highlights to create more contrast in the image.
2. Composition: Think small subjects in big spaces placed off-center (or keep it symmetrical, as shown below), extreme closeups or repetitive patterns. The more unique, colorful or negative space, the more eye catching it is.
3. Consistency: There’s something to be said for a consistent look among your photos. It can define your brand and people know what to expect. Consistency can be provided either via content, or the aesthetic of the imagery.
4. Text: Once you’ve captured your image, use an app to add a few words onto a photo for people to stop and read. For example, add a quote, advice, information on an upcoming event, engaging questions, etc. onto your images to get people to stop, read and engage.
5. Black and White: There are times when you just can’t control what is in the background of your images. If you have a great photo but too much going on in the background, convert it to black and white. Play with your contrast, vignette, shadows and highlights to make it more or less dramatic. Black and white works especially well to draw attention to the emotion of the subject.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your imagery or remove images that aren’t getting engagement or aren’t consistent with your message or branding. Over time, your message or branding may change or evolve as your business grows so your imagery should reflect who you are and what you represent. Your followers are looking for things to relate with you on – some images will offer that while others will fall flat. Keep at it, use your creativity and give them images to get them to stop and engage!