Insights, observations, and stories from the front lines of ecommerce and online marketing

3 Mobile Photography Tips for Better Photos

In the digital age, taking a photograph has become easier than ever. Unfortunately, that also means that anyone can take a photo, even if they aren’t familiar with photography best practices. Thankfully, we’ve got 3 quick tips to boost your brand with beautiful photography right from your phone.

 

Landscape or Portrait Orientation? Both!

It’s the worst when images get cut off in the preview, so when you’re taking photos it’s best to think about what channels this photograph will be viewed on before taking the photo. For instance,  if I’m taking photos for Facebook or Instagram, I might want a more vertical photo (aka portrait orientation) so I can share it on my story and have it take up the full frame. On the other hand, if I’m taking photos for Twitter, it’s best to take the photo with the phone sideways (aka landscape mode) since the preview of the photo is wider than it is tall.

   Twitter Feed Example  Twitter Feed Example

Note that when adding multiple images to a tweet, the preview window changes. Depending on how many images you’re adding to that tweet, you may need to change the orientation. If you’re going to share across multiple platforms, or are unsure of what platform you’re shooting for, take both landscape and portrait oriented photos. You can almost always use both versions at some point,  and the best part is that digital photos don’t cost anything (minus the initial cost of the phone, of course).

  Portrait Orientation    Landscape Orientation  Landscape Orientation

 

 

 

 

Portrait Orientation

Clear the Way! How to Make Your Product Stand Out

When you’re photographing a subject, especially products, it’s important to not distract the viewer’s eye with background clutter. When taking the photo, be mindful of what surface you’re photographing on. You don’t have to  have a fancy backdrop or full photography studio. Even a simple sheet of white paper will do the trick. If you want a more natural looking shot, clean off a table or a section of the floor and shoot there. As long as the surface your photographing doesn’t have distracting patterns, colors, or dirt (yuck) you’ve got yourself a backdrop.

Pro tip: if you’re snapping a quick shot and can’t clear the background, try using Instagram’s “Tilt Shift” feature to blur the edges of the background and allow your subject to look more prominent in the photo.

  Tilt Shift Feature in Instagram  Tilt Shift Feature in Instagram
 

Also, make sure your subject has no lighting shining from behind it. In real life, this kind of light makes your product look angelic, but on camera your product will look like Darth Vader lurking in the shadows. Use natural light whenever possible. Find a nice window, pull up a clean table, and shoot away! 

  Busy Background Example    Clean Background Example
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Busy Background Example                                    Clean Background Example

 

  DIY Mini Photo Studio   DIY Mini Photo Studio

 

Use Your Filters Wisely

Instagram is responsible for making us all a bit filter happy (I mean, who doesn’t love Valencia every once in a while). Be cautious of over using filters and be consistent in which filters you use. Nothing screams “I barely use Instagram” like an overly filtered,faded image with a dark vignette.

It’s best to avoid filters like X-Pro II, Hefe, Sutro, and Toaster that use vignettes and darken corners. This style was popular at one point, but quickly became outdated as more natural looking filters were created. As I mentioned earlier, pick a filter or two and stick to it. Over editing your photos and choosing too many different filters will make your feed look muddy with color and incohesive. 

  Well Filtered Photo Example    Badly Filtered Photo Example  Well Filtered Photo Example                                Badly Filtered Photo Example
 

Just because taking a photo takes less than a second, doesn’t mean your photography process should, too. Taking the time to consider these best practices will make all the difference in your digital marketing. Now that you have these photography tips, your Insta feed will be #flawless in no time. 

Until next time, happy hashtagging!


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