Social media is all about content. Consumers like quality photos that represent your brand, story, and product! Good content increases sales, while bad content can be very detrimental to your business. Stop posting sub-par images today and start taking beautiful, sticky photos with these tips:
PICK A THEME
Your Instagram profile is a grid of all your content. When first visiting your page, users will see a collection of your last 6-9 pictures. It is important when you are taking and posting photos to your profile, you are considering what the collection of photos will look like together. It’s great to have a mix of farm and staff photos, with some product photos. You want to share your story and day-to-day, however still show what you are selling.
A theme or general idea of what type of content you are posting, will reduce the likelihood of having a cluttered or unsynchronized feed and help you determine what photos you need to take. This also helps with branding purposes.
IT’S ALL ABOUT COMPOSITION
Composition is a skill that photographers take a career to master. The difference between a beautiful and an average photo is how the elements of the photos are placed within the frame. For beginners, make sure you are focusing on one element (such as an animal for example), and always have something in the foreground or front of the frame and something in the background. This will give your photo depth and make it appear more professional. Also, consider taking the photo from different perspectives and switching the angle. Don’t be afraid to get down on the ground if that’s what it takes.
CONSIDER YOUR DEVICE (IT MIGHT BE TIME TO UPGRADE!)
Your Instagram page starts with your camera. At the end of the day you can’t change the quality of a photo after it’s been taken. You can clearly tell the difference from a high-quality photograph taken by a DSLR camera versus a photo taken by an older digital camera or mobile device. Make sure you are using the best device available to you. Don’t have access to a camera? The hardware on newer models of smartphones are changing the game for photography and can produce high-quality sharable photos.
Note – if a photo looks blurry or grainy – it’s not the best quality. The higher the quality, the more professional the photos appear.
In order to take a beautiful photograph – you need to have good lighting. Be sure to always use natural light. Flash photography and artificial lighting can be very hard to work with and often don’t look that great.
Also, if you’re taking photos outside, make use of “golden hour”. Golden hour is a term used in photography that represents the short period of time right after sunrise and right before sunset. During this time, daylight appears redder and softer due to the sun being higher in the sky. This is the best natural lighting to work with.
SLAP A FILTER ON IT
Filters can work wonders for an image (if done correctly). Filters have allowed the average joe to create beautiful, bright photos without lighting in their favor. Consider playing around with different filters to enhance the natural beauty of your photos.
Note – often pre-made “free” filters provided by Instagram or free apps can appear over-saturated and reduce the quality of a photo. I would recommend using VSCO or any other applications that allow you to adjust parameters such as saturation, brightness, highlights, and shadows manually. This allows you to “create your own filters” that work perfectly for that specific image. This step may take some extra time versus a pre-made filter, however can make a world of difference.
STAY AWAY FROM THE ZOOM!
If you’re using a smartphone for your photography, refrain from using the zoom function. The lenses in our phones don’t have the same capacity as a removable, adjustable lens on a higher quality camera. Poor zoom can quickly reduce the quality and give you a blurry/grainy photo.
TAKING PHOTOS OF PRODUCTS? CONSIDER THIS
Instagram is a marketing tool – therefore you must showcase what you actually sell. Product photographs are an important element of your page. Food must look appetizing, otherwise customers won’t want to buy it. Here are some quick tips:
- Use produce that is bright in color and has the least amount of blemishes. We all know there’s nothing wrong with a piece of fruit that has a few bumps and bruises – however for marketing purposes, pick your best looking products.
- Take the photos with natural scenery. Small scale farming practices are all about the good, natural and ethical production of food. Taking a photo your final product with natural scenery in the background helps connect the product itself with its production. If that’s not possible, consider using natural fabrics, textures and tones as the background of your photos – this will help make the link to handmade and natural production.
- Avoid shadows. When you take a photo of something straight from above, shadows occur and can dominate a photo. Adjust the angle of shooting, to reduce the intrusion of shadows in your pictures.
We hope this helps get you started. We don’t expect to you become professional photographers overnight – however getting better at making your own content will save you the hassle and costs of having to hire someone to do it for you.