Photos for Social Media: why being fussy is worth the effort!

Aug 6, 2018

Social Media is becoming more and more a visual experience. Instagram is the fastest growing platform out there and continues to dominate with the introduction of Instagram Stories and now, IGTV (Instagram TV).

When you’re scrolling through any social feed and you see an image, there’s a good chance you ignore the text that accompanies it, but do you really notice if the picture is good, or great? One of my pet hates is wonky pictures. This doesn’t mean that taking a picture at an angle to be creative isn’t good (although I wouldn’t do it myself), but what it does mean is that if what you’re presenting doesn’t look real, it might not get the attention it deserves. There are always things to look for that can really tidy up your image. Horizons and edges are the biggest of all these, especially when it’s on the coast…the sea just doesn’t go up or downhill! Other things like lampposts, telegraph poles, houses, doorways and walls can all be used as a good guideline to create the right perspective. Pretty much anything that has a straight edge, although we can forgive The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

These are minute details that can change the whole perception and presentation of an image and change it from good to great, and it’s the first thing I do when I edit any pictures I take. They might be from my drone (which is almost always perfect before I even touch it), my DSLR camera or my phone, especially when I’m out riding my bike. You might also not want to get some things in the background. This could be anything like people passing by, a stationary car that you could avoid or something that doesn’t belong in the shot at all, perhaps some litter, a bin or a toilet (I See bathroom photoshoots a lot!). Just adjust your location or position, dispose of it properly or if you can or remove it, then make it happen! I also don’t like taking half or part of a photo. If you’re taking a portrait shot of someone or even a selfie, don’t cut the top of their head or feet off when you crop it, all these little details add up.

Check out the examples below. Which looks better?










A good rule of thumb would be that you should never put something on Social Media which you wouldn’t put in the paper. By this, what I mean is that one way of advertising that used to be more common would have been to have a big ad in the local paper or even the national papers. You’d want this to be perfect, and you wouldn’t settle for it until it was exactly how you wanted. Sp, be fussy over your Social Media presentation, because it’s worth that extra effort!

You can apply a similar principle to videos too. It’s just not well presented when the footage is super shaky and the user changes from portrait to landscape; pick one and stick with it or you might lose your audience before the video has got to the good bit. Personally, I almost always take everything in landscape (certainly with my phone) for photos or video, because it’s a wider shot and leaves more wiggle room when you’re editing, but this is just me. I almost never take pictures when I’m riding my bike if there are cars in and around the shot (or me) and I will go out of my way to better a shot if something is encroaching once I’ve framed my shot or I’ve seen something that I really want a shot of.

These little nuggets of info are great for anyone that uses Social Media, whether it’s for you personally or your business, being fussy is worth it because presentation matters…a lot. Perhaps you’ve never even considered this, but now you can really up your game.