When it comes to social media photography, marketing photography or my own athlete or photography content, I am always asking, “What separates my work or myself as an athlete/influencer from the rest?” Anytime anyone opens their phone, it’s almost as if they are trying to take a drink from a fire hose flowing at full speed.
How am I supposed to get my content to stand out? What can I do with my social media photography to catch the attention of my audience when there is countless other posts, reels, stories, photos and clips coming at them at full speed? If I am working on Instagram photo content for a client, what will make the marketing photography I’m creating catch the eye of the avid scroller?
Considering the fact that 95 million photos and videos (yes, 95,000,000 photos and videos!) are uploaded to Instagram every day, I have to work both hard and smart to make the content that I create pop. You can use the best hashtags and optimize with SEO strategies but if the photos don’t make an impression and lead to engagement, the exposure doesn’t count for much.
How to Upgrade Your Marketing Photography
It doesn’t take a large marketing budget or an entire team of dedicated professionals to make upgrade your social media photography and content. For me, I have to ask myself, “What do I and the target audience find engaging? What is it about the posts and marketing photography that I appreciate that makes them different from the rest?”
While there is no “one size fits all” approach, I found that using these tips allowed me to elevate clients’ social media photography and increase engagement with client content. Use these 7 social media photography tips to highlight your products and services in a way that catches your audiences’ eye.
1. Be Unconventional
I have found that conventional marketing photography doesn’t get the traction I am looking for when it comes to social media content. An unconventional approach gets people to stop and look twice, it piques their interest and gets them talking.
Remember when Richard Branson drove a tank down Fifth Avenue in New York and blew up a Coca-Cola sign? Even though that business has gone under, people still talk about that stunt. Talk about long-term engagement!
2. Shoot Repeating Patterns to Catch the Eye
Humans are, by nature, pattern-seeking creatures. This is a powerful cognitive feature that I can harness when creating content for my social media feeds. Repetition and patterns are calming and engaging to look at and are aesthetically pleasing. Using these in my social media photography allows me to showcase my products or services but in a more appealing way than products over a flat background.
If my marketing photography has me taking shots of a product, I’m going to make sure either my background or foreground has some type of repeating pattern. A row of products repeated or evenly spaced can turn a simple product picture into a social media photography masterpiece.
3. Use Reflections to Capture Attention
Using reflections in my social media photography has allowed me to add a sense of artistic flavour to what could be a boring and standard marketing campaign. The beautiful thing about seeking out reflections to shoot in your marketing photography is that they are everywhere and in places you may least expect it.
Consider these examples of marketing content that used reflections in their products or personal branding shoots.
- A photo of a bodybuilder, reflected in the mirror in the gym.
- A product placed on glass or a Perspex sheet.
- A person stood against a large glass window of a building.
These photos highlight the people or products but give the audience an image that is beautiful and interesting. This makes them more engaging, more likely to be shared and more likely to be remembered and talked about.
4. Capture the Allure of Symmetry
Symmetry is another curious interest of humans. It shouldn’t be surprising. Nature is full of breathtaking symmetry and people are drawn to symmetrical images. What is symmetry?
“the quality of being made of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis”
To capture symmetry, often I need to adjust the angle at which I am taking my shots. By taking an extra moment to achieve symmetry in my photos, I can take what would be a nice example of marketing photography and elevate it to professional-level marketing content. I look to the horizon, the surrounding environment, or the natural lines that will be in my photos to achieve symmetry in my social media photography.
5. Understand How Composition Impacts Your Photos
Much of effective marketing content has to do with playing to human nature and how people are naturally inclined to find certain things pleasing. The composition of a photo is not an aspect that the audience is thinking about when they look at the marketing photography I produce. It does impact how they are affected by it, however.
What is commonly referred to as the rule of thirds is an important concept to understand. The easiest way to make sure that this is accomplished is by using the grid lines on my smartphone. I can make sure that I place my subject where the grid lines meet, ensuring that they aren’t centered in the photo and creating an appealing composition for my social media photography.
6. Unique Perspectives Invite the Viewer into the Image
By taking a photo from a unique perspective, I can invite the audience into the frame, making them part of the experience. Showcasing products this way is particularly fun! I may use a subject’s POV instead of a frontal shot to show what it’s like to use that product from their point of view.
This works great in conjunction with other techniques like the use of reflections. I can create an interesting perspective (like a personal POV) and use a reflection to showcase a product that the subject is using.
7. Relate a Story with Your Picture
If I can tell a story with a single photo, or get the audience to make one up as they engage with my marketing photography, I consider that a major win. Engaging with a piece of content in this way makes it more memorable, more enjoyable and in the end, more effective.
Whether it is a representation of a fitness lifestyle or a victory for the subject in the photo at a live event, the audience should be able to tell what’s happening and they should feel something about what they see.
Enhancing Your Feed Is Just A Click Away
Social media relevance and engagement is the lifeblood of many businesses today. Social media photography is now a majorly critical component of marketing campaigns and it pays to know how to do it right. That’s why knowing how to leverage platforms like Instagram is important.
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