So – I’m probably doing myself out of a job here, but I thought I would share with you how you can take better photographs to use on your social media posts. Obviously ideally you’d book me to take them for you (!) but if not, these tips will at least make your social media photos as good as they possibly can be!
But first – why use social media photos?
According to Media Blog - tweets that include a photograph are 35% more likely to be retweeted . Plus - Facebook posts that have a photograph in will obtain on average, 87% more interaction . So there is definitely big value in adding some pictures to get more people interacting with your posts.
How to take the best social media photos:
Tip 1 – The rule of thirds: images where the subject is off centre are always much more interesting. Divide your camera frame into 9 squares (see below) and place your subject on one of the intersecting lines – instantly your photo will look much better.
Tip 2 – Use leading lines to create interest in your shot. So – a bit like the rule of thirds, you are basically just making your shots that little bit more creative than just photographing from straight on. For example, use things like walls, horizontal lines and a pathway to add that interest. See below for an example.
Tip 3 - Do NOT use flash! Particularly if you are using a phone, the flash is never good and the photos end up looking really rubbish. So – take my advice, take your photos on overcast days – you won’t get any shadows or rings under the eyes. Or – if you can’t avoid a bright sunny day, head for some top-shade. This is created either by doorways or under trees. Your subject will still be lit beautifully but won’t be blinded by the sun.
Tip 4 – on the same subject as tip 3 (ie – lighting….) try to shoot your photos during the ‘golden hour’. This is the time either shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which almost all photos look absolutely gorgeous. (Think those holiday photos early evening when the sun is going down). Literally everything looks good in this light! Again, see below for an example.
Tip 5 – Control Exposure. This is fairly limited on smart phones, but can still make a big difference. On I-phones when you have a photo you’d like to take, simply tap and hold the screen and you will see a slider, which allows you to increase/decrease exposure, and lock it. This can also lock focus – so you can decide what is in focus and what is not.
Tip 6 – minimize your editing effects. I’m a sucker for a filter on instagram, and it can be fun to apply them but before you do it, ask yourself is it really necessary? Is it possible they detract from the image? Sometimes, a simple crop, good lighting and composition are all that is necessary.
Finally, Tip 7 - Keep your lens clean! It may sound really obvious, but you’d be amazed what I see…..your phone sits in your pocket, your handbag, on your desk etc. and gathers finger prints and goodness knows what else in the process. Before you take a photo – give it a little wipe and you’ll be guaranteed crystal clear photos every time!
But remember…….if you want really
fantastic professional photographs to represent your brand, take a look at www.photosbypennie.co.uk
or call me on 07715 889457. I have worked with all sorts of businesses including interior designers, schools, commercial lighting companies and many more to supply them with a bank of photos for them to use on social media. Thanks for reading!
If you are hosting a sales conference/new product launch/company party at some point and are considering having some event photographs taken…read on to find out how you can get the best ‘value’ out of them afterwards plus a few handy hints for what to look out for in a good event photographer.
The versatility of event photographs from a
can be used in a number of ways either immediately in terms of social media or
in the future where you can extract some added value from a marketing
· Immediately after your event
o For use in press coverage in industry media or social pages
o For use on your company social media channels
o To include
in post-event correspondence to delegates and guests
· For future marketing projects
o For use in promotional material for your next conference/exhibition/dinner/product launch
o On your company website - promoting the company culture and it’s people
o In the company annual report
o PR campaigns/media features
o In print/online ads
Here are 10 top tips to help you find the
perfect event photographer
· Who to book – ask colleagues/business contacts for recommendations. It’s always best to go with a photographer who someone you know has used before.
· Budget – don’t just book anyone with a decent camera. As the old adage goes……’you get what you pay for’. Get 2 or 3 quotes from recommended photographers.
· Portfolio – take a look at the photographers’ portfolio. Does their style match your branding and image?
· Insurance – does your photographer have professional indemnity and public liability insurance? You don’t want to be held liable if your photographer causes an injury or has his kit damaged/stolen at your event!
· Equipment – If your conference is happening in a dark basement or a well lit room, make sure the photographer you use has the correct equipment necessary.
· Lighting - consider if your venue will be dark….will flash be necessary? You may not want flash going off at your event all the time!
· Photo sharing – is your event photographer happy for the photos to be shared in social media?
· Shot list – spend some time putting together a base list of ‘must have’ photos from your event. Eg – keynote speakers, important guests, detailed timings so your photographer can always be in the right place at the right time.
· Post event marketing photos – if you want to use the event photos afterwards to market your company, consider what sort of photos will be useful and add those to the shot list too.
And finally…….if you want some really fantastic event photography in Berkshire, the Thames Valley and London, take a look here to see more examples of event photos or call me on 07715 889457. Thanks!
Head Teachers can't just be experts at knowing how to get the best out of children nowadays, they also have to know how to run a business and how to 'sell' their school to prospective parents. Schools are having to market themselves with fabulous websites, beautiful prospectuses and well-managed social media posts. In order to really bring these marketing materials to life and stand out from the crowd of other schools, it is crucial to have a wide range of beautiful school prospectus photographs which really show exactly what the school is all about - it's facilities, it's ethos and what parents can expect their child to experience there.
My background is in marketing, so for me, it's not all about getting the perfect light for a specific shot (although that does help!) - it's working out what each photograph will show about your school. For example, if the school is known for it's academic prowess - does it show engaged, hard working pupils? Or if the school is especially proud of it's pastoral care, are there plenty of photos showing the children interacting with teachers and fellow pupils?
I have a wealth of experience photographing schools throughout the Thames Valley and London, so thought I would share with you what makes for a really effective school prospectus photography session and how to get the most out of your photographer. Here are some things to consider when planning your school photography session:
- Has your photographer worked in schools before? I can't stress the importance of this one - school photography sessions are usually fast-paced, fitting in and around lessons, getting around the school to be in the right classroom at the right time, working in tight spaces as well as checking uniforms are correct, ties are done up etc. etc.! Experience working in schools goes a long way here!
- Ask your photographer to have a chat with your web designer or prospectus designer before the shoot - they may have some suggestions on the sort of images that are needed - or indeed, there may be some specific 'hero' shots that are needed to be photographed in a particular way/shape/dimension.
- Brief your photographer on what the school is renowned for - academic results/pastoral care/sporting achievements? if your photographer knows this, they can bear this in mind when they are 'visualising' specific shots
- Consider which subjects are important to show? Don't just plan photographs for every single subject - remember, topics like geography, history, english etc. all look very similar in photos, whereas more practical subjects like science/music/art are much more impactful.
- Involve the teachers - this is REALLY important. Photo sessions are always much more effective if the teachers are expecting a photographer to be coming into their lesson. If you have 15 minutes on the schedule to be in a particular lesson - it's much better that the teacher has specific tasks already set up rather than interrupting a planned lesson and then trying to set up certain scenarios.
- Engage with the pupils - try to get reactions from them or get them engaging with each other. It's much more interesting to see photographs of pupils enjoying themselves than just immersed in a book.
- Warn parents/pupils that photography is taking place. Some parents don't like their child being used in publicity photographs. Conversely, for those who are being photographed, parents can ensure that their uniforms are smart and correct!
- On the subject of uniforms - the best possible time for a photo shoot is in September. You'll have lots of fresh-faced pupils in new uniform to photograph. Also - establish how much emphasis the school puts on smart uniform. Some really like to make sure that uniform rules are adhered to. Equally, some schools like to allow pupils to express themselves through what they wear at school, so in this instance, uniform rules will be more relaxed.
- Have a shoot timetable - this brings together many of the other points as it means teachers will know when to expect you photographing their lesson. It also will mean that you are able to review what lessons you are going into to ensure that you are going to be getting exactly the right kind of photos that you want. But within the timetable, allow for some flexibility - the photographer will need to get between classrooms and sometimes, you will come across scenarios around the school which are naturally happening which you won't want to miss.
- Finally, on every school photography session I have photographed, bear in mind that you will always get more photographs than you plan for - your school will be operating a normal school day and your photographer will spot things during the shoot that you might not have thought of but which will represent your school.