Photography for Beginners
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures of your business will give customers a lot of insight into your business, and the more pictures, the more familiar a customer can get.
While more pictures are better than few, it’s all about quality over quantity when it comes to putting your business on display. And you don’t have to fork over a big wad of cash to do so, according to Liz Giorgi, co-founder of Soona, a creative content platform specializing in curated photography for businesses. She knows a thing or two about making a business stand out, and she says it can easily be done with your mobile device.
“We truly believe that being able to create great assets and content is created with your cell phone,” Giorgi says.
Here are her tips on taking the best images all from your smartphone.
Achieve the best lighting.
Did you know that the sun is the greatest lighting tool in the history of cinema? According to Giorgi, that’s the case. Whether it’s of a person or a product, it’s important to make sure the photo is bright enough where people can see the detail of the picture. When taking pictures, make sure to get near a window or a door with an abundance of outdoor light. Throw those bay doors open.
The time of the day makes a big difference, too. Have you ever heard of the term “golden hour?” There’s a reason for this. The best times to achieve your shot and get that golden hue, according to Giorgi, is typically between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., or between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Set the scene.
When taking photos, you want to be aware of not just what’s in focus, but what’s surrounding the image as well. What is behind your image? What are the visuals you are seeing? You need to set the scene according to give a customer an idea of what it will actually look like in person.
Keep it at eye level.
We see the world at eye level, so it makes sense that photos take that perspective. When holding your phone, you don’t want to get above or below the visual you are trying to capture. Keep your phone at eye level and as straight on as possible. Giorgi says this will really help a customer be able to envision what the actual visual looks like in person.
Put it into focus.
While it’s important to put your lens into focus (tapping the photo screen on most phones), it’s also important to center and scale your image. Giorgi says your iPhone (if you have one) already teaches you how to do so. It’s called the Rule of Thirds, which is the grid containing nine boxes that pops up when taking a photo. Giorgi says to always make sure the visual you’re taking a picture of is in the center square. Overall, the photo should be consumed by the image you capture, and if it’s not, crop the image to fit.
If you are featuring a product, scale the photo. For example, let’s say you’re selling cabin filters. To help customers understand just how big the product is, place your hand in the image, even holding the product, to see the size of the product in relation to your hand.
Don’t overdo it on the filters.
Sometimes, less is more, and in this case, the saying holds true. For those that are just getting started with taking photos on your smartphone, try to stay away from photoshop and crazy effects. If you are looking to enhance your pictures just a smidge, however, Giorgi says that two apps to try might be A Color Story and Photofox. These apps will let you see lots of different photo techniques and styles, as well as how to make your image pop. They can easily enhance your photos without going too overboard.
The more, the better.
When running a photoshoot, make sure to take lots of pictures in order to have a robust library of visuals stocked up. You want to think about having these assets to use for your website or social media posts down the road. And best yet, if your shop gets a press opportunity, they will be looking for assets that represent your company best. Giorgi says to have 20 images saved to start off with, and plan on adding 10 to 20 more photos every six months so the images don’t start to repeat themselves in posts.
Show off your people.
People love to buy things from other people, and highlighting your staff in pictures will help you do that, says Giorgi. You can easily take staff headshots for your website, or even take a couple of action shots to show off your shop’s personality. After all, your photos should show off your shop’s best assets, and that’s your people.