How to look good in photos

Social media is one of the best places to engage your audience. No matter your chosen platform, there are a few golden rules to succeeding with social:

  1. Be engaging and entertaining before being self promotional
  2. Actively update your accounts
  3. People are visual creatures, give them something to look at

It’s that last one that tends to be tricky. If you’re not a photographer, or if you don’t have an overly visual brand, it can be difficult to take pictures for your social media accounts.

Luckily, in today’s age of smartphones and editing-made-easy apps, you can take beautiful images with just a tiny learning curve. In this blog post, I’ll be teaching you how to do just that by covering:

  • How to take social media images with your cell phone
  • The best editing apps for your phone
  • Understanding DSLR basics
  • The best editing programs on a computer

If you’re looking for really customized and personal social media images on a budget, your best bet is to DIY your photography.

Gone are the days where it would take an expensive camera and a PhD in photoshop to produce beautiful imagery, you can actually take stunning social media pictures with most smartphones now.

Cell phone photography tips

Smartphones have pretty impressive cameras nowadays that shoot photos in such high-quality that the untrained eye (aka the average person) could easily mistake the photos for professional.

With that said, there are a few things to consider when shooting with your smartphone:

  1. Wipe off your camera lens. This is true no matter what you’re using to shoot, but especially so when you’re using a cellphone. Because we manhandle our phones all day, the lenses tend to get smudged. These smudges can distort your image, make it look foggy, or just decrease the quality overall.
  2. Tap on your subject when taking the picture. Once you’ve framed your picture, before you hit the shutter button, tap on the subject of your photo. This lets your phone know where to prioritize the focus, and will help your image come out sharp.
  3. Be wary of the lighting. Lighting can make or break a picture, whether you’re using a cellphone or an expensive DSLR. Shoot your images using natural light if you want to shoot on a budget, or you can invest in a ring light or kit lighting set. (Consider setting up a DIY photo and video studio!)
  4. Shoot from several angles. Don’t shoot one picture and call it a day. Play around with angles and perspectives to give yourself flexibility when choosing a picture to post.
  5. Utilize negative space. When I was learning how to take photos, my biggest mistake was making every picture a close up. That oftentimes results in a very tight, claustrophobic feeling photo that’s hard to look at. By adding empty, negative space around your subject you’ll actually demand more attention to the object or person you’re photographing.

Cell phone editing apps

If you’re taking photos on your phone, it can be a pain to send them to your computer just to edit them and then back to your phone to post them to Instagram.

Luckily, there are a ton of great editing apps that you can download straight to your phone, and many of them are free!

Canva, Lightroom, Google Cam.

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