Taking pictures is easy. We all do it every day with our camera phones.
Taking good pictures, however… well, that’s a little lost on a lot of people. If you’re looking to improve your content and influencer channel photography, here’s a basic starter kit to hep you get going to produce images that enthralled your audience and convert to new customers.
Rule of thirds
This is the most basic rule of photography and yet most people aren’t fully aware of it. To give you something solid to work off of, the rule of thirds is a way to align your object within a block frame. If you split your photo into three, vertically and horizontally, which give you a handy 9 square grid on your phone – you need to ensure your image takes up two thirds of the grid frame.
Here are some tips to get this right:
- For portraits, it’s generally accepted that the eyes should align with the top line of the grid, so if you aren’t getting that, you have to crop in or move your subject’s face up, even if it cuts off the top of their head, although ideally, it doesn’t.
- For a full-body portrait, your subject should take up one of the thirds vertically and fill it out well.
- When it comes to the setting, you want your background to line up with at least one of the lines on the grid. So, say you’re taking a photo of someone standing in front of a wall overlooking the sea. You want that wall to line up with the bottom line on the grid or the sea on the horizon to line up with the top line of the grid.
None of these are hard and fast rules so you’ll have to visually assess what looks right and best. In that last example, for instance, it’s more important that the person’s eyes line up with the top line than the wall lining up because people are instantly drawn to the eyes for a bit of human connection, not the wall.
Closer is better
No-one is expecting to you to become a professional photographer. It’s more likely if you’re starting out as a blogger or content creator that you are going to be using your phone camera. Plus, with the smartphone market the way it is, that means it’s more than likely that you’re using an iPhone for your influencer photography.
The connectivity and the user interface on your phone make that a great choice, but the fact of the matter is that iPhones have subpar cameras that cannot handle zooming accurately without blurring. Get into the habit of taking a few steps forward rather than tapping the zoom on your phone. All it’s doing is making the picture it can take bigger, not zooming like a DLSR camera would. You might as well take the picture from where you are and crop it in.
Play with perspective and light
The problem with that advice is that it doesn’t help you with big photos. You know, the ones of the Eiffel Tower from your Parisian hotel room? It looks massive to you, but when you raise your phone, it’s a stick in the distance. In instances like this where distance is a problem, get low, or high. Play with forced perspective and rest your camera on a wall or the ground to make the subject look bigger. Think about the tourists “holding up” the Leaning Tower of Pisa. That’s a forced perspective. You don’t need to do a cheesy pose, but you can play around with perspective in the same way.
And when that doesn’t work, call a taxi and brave the tourists to get nearer to your subject matter.
Tell a story with photoshop
Remember how the Wes Anderson trend went viral?
Shockingly few people understood what the Wes Anderson aesthetic is. A pink front door does not a Wes Anderson shot, make. It did however teach people how you can use photoshop to tell a story and made it clear that the shot isn’t just about taking the picture. Would you say a Wes Anderson movie looks anything like a David Fincher movie? Even if they are shooting the same thing?
Photographer and creator, there are plenty of instagram or Tik Tok influencers showing everyone else how to photoshop their photos on their phone to fit various aesthetics. Everything from dreamy to grimy, cyberpunk to simply “cinematic” is covered. We all see the subject of your photo but how it’s taken and its post-production all contributes to the narrative you’re trying to give as well. Use photoshop to give your photos a narrative, whether you’re simply looking to make your photos stand out or you are marketing an item that might contribute to a favoured lifestyle.
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