How to take better photos on your phone
We all know social media loooooves images. With the rise of Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, visual media is currently dominating social. What’s more, you don’t even need any fancy kit in order to take great photographs. All you need is your phone and a trusty bit of know how! Even those of you with the smallest of budgets can nail this whole social media thang.
It’s easy to see why imagery is the be-all and end-all of social nowadays – with our attention spans now less than that of a goldfish and emoji becoming the fastest growing language in the UK, humans are constantly craving visuals to satiate our appetite; as they say, ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ (or perhaps more accurately, ‘an emoji can sum up a response in less than 140 characters’).
Using an image in a tweet can even average a 35% increase in retweets, but before you whip out your phone and start snapping away, read our top tips for making your social media images legendary. We’re talking Leo-DiCaprio-and-Daniel-Radcliffe-and-their-pets-skipping-down-a-path-legendary. Regardez ici.
First up – what exactly are you trying to achieve with your imagery? Do you just want to show your product off in its best light? Give a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your company to show how wacky and off-the-wall you are? Or maybe you’re tapping into a younger audience and have decided upon Instagram as a way of curating beautiful content which expands your brand and reach. Nice work, my friend.
Take a look at other people’s imagery and Instagram accounts and figure out what it is exactly that they are doing that you like. Take Corona’s Instagram account, for example. Their clever use of colour, cohesion and product placement makes you scream “DAAAAAMN. That’s a tasty looking beer, I want a slice of that action!” Keeping a simple palette of colours and using a clever mix of lifestyle and product photography, Corona have completely nailed their IG game.
Even if it’s a quick snap to share an update on Twitter or Facebook, follow our simple tips for some top-level imagery from your mobile device.
Keep It Simple, Stupid (K.I.S.S.)
Clear the clutter and opt for a simple background. Some of the most striking images contain very minimal elements. Take this Instagram account for example – I know we’re not all travelling the world in a campervan with our pet dogs, but he keeps things in the frame to a minimum, with really beautiful effect.
Angles, angles, angles, people. Or, as the French say “Les anglais!”
One of the fundamental principles of photography is the rule of thirds, which is basically visualising your frame chopped up into 9 segments, like dis:
The point of the rule of thirds is to make your images more balanced and therefore more visually engaging. Try placing the elements of your image in the cross sections of the segments – for example, Josh is lying seductively across the lower three segments, and Jon is peeping over his shoulder in the second and third segments. It all adds up to make an aesthetically pleasing and powerfully erotic image (ok, we might have been lying about one of those…).
If all else fails and you’re struggling to find a nice angle, then the ‘top down’ approach never seems to fail. Take these images, for example…
Simple layout, excellent use of colours, and creative composition. Beeyootiful.
Always, whenever you can, USE NATURAL LIGHTING. Unless you’ve invested in some serious lighting equipment, indoor electrical strip lighting ain’t going to cut it – it can really alter the sublime and delicate palette of colours in your image.
Your best bet is to position yourself next to a window and shoot with as much natural light as possible. For the love of God, turn that camera flash off! If you work in a dungeon or a cave or some other place with little-to-no natural light, then venture outdoors for some creative shooting. We’re big fans of taking our staff photos on the wall outdoors 👍.
Sure, you can slap that image on the internet nekkid if you like, but it’s going to look about a million times better if you do some simple editing tricks to make it POP.
It doesn’t take much - you can even do basic editing in your phone. If you really want to get creative though, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite photography apps for wizard-level editing. You’re welcome.
As a general rule of thumb, I tend to edit the following:
- Up the brightness
- Up the contrast
- Sometimes tweak the saturation (depending on how colourful you want it)
- Little bit of sharpening
… and that’s it!
We get it; it's not easy. If you've got any questions or tips of your own - hit us up, yo! Tweet us @noisymonkey.