How to Take Amazing Social Media Photos and Videos With Your Phone. Create content yourself. The photo should be one that you took yourself. Prepping your phone Since you’ll be doing all of this with your typical smartphone, it’s important that we start by looking at how to prepare your phone to capture the best photos it can. Editing the photo Just because you’ve taken the picture doesn’t mean you’re done. When marketers discuss why Instagram Stories is such a powerful marketing tool, they often mention that it gives brands and businesses an ‘authentic’ way to connect with users. Tools like Instagram Live should be used to dissolve the barriers between you and your followers, not to make your followers question whether they should bother tuning in next time. Here are some quick tips for capturing the best quality video. Video editing Can you edit videos on your phone? What’s your experience been with creating visual content?
You’re on social media because you want to stand out.
But standing out can be pretty tough these days. Especially when everyone has access to the same tools as you do.
It’s the double-edged sword of accessibility. It may be easier to reach your demographic than ever before, but now your demographic is being constantly targeted by your competitors.
If you want to gain people’s attention and earn their respect, you’ll need to create plenty of amazing content.
While blog posts and articles are important, visual content is slowly becoming one of the pillars of most successful social media marketing strategies.
And it’s no surprise, especially when you look at all the science and data supporting its use.
Just look at how Designmantic breaks down the biological reasons why visual media is such a powerful tool on social media.
Success on social media is defined by how well you’re able to balance efficiency with value.
Since your marketing efforts are directly influenced by the needs of your audience, every business will need to adopt a different approach.
But no matter what kind of business you’re running, there’s no getting around the fact that things like fluff pieces and valueless self-promotion aren’t going to help your brand.
When it comes to social media, your marketing efforts must provide value if you want them to be taken seriously.
Speaking of value, few marketing tactics are able to deliver value as quickly or easily as a piece of visual content.
HubSpot found that Facebook posts with images saw more than twice the engagement than those without images!
It’s easily one of the most effective ways to add another layer of depth to your branding efforts. Compelling visual content is the solution to standing out in a saturated marketing landscape.
Why creating visual content matters
Before anyone runs off and starts looking for images online, let me clarify something.
Your social media marketing campaign should have both curated content and unique content that you’ve produced.
Incorporating images into your content is a step in the right direction, but it’s not going to be enough to propel you into the role of online authority.
This is especially important in an age when lots of people are already stealing other people’s content for their own campaigns.
Create content yourself. The photo should be one that you took yourself. The video should be something you and your team put together.
Authenticity is in short supply when it comes to social media marketing, so the more you’re able to provide, the better.
There’s nothing more authentic than a photo or video you took with your own phone!
Take a page out of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book and document your brand.
Having completely unique content is also an easy way to be seen as a legitimate online authority.
Creating your own visual content allows you to take advantage of all the unique aspects of your business and put them on display for the world to see.
All of this leaves just one question. How the heck do you create compelling visual content?
There’s a three-step process to taking amazing photos for your content.
1. Prepping your phone
Since you’ll be doing all of this with your typical smartphone, it’s important that we start by looking at how to prepare your phone to capture the best photos it can.
That’s right, you might have the latest iPhone, but if you don’t tweak the settings accordingly, you might not end up with stellar photos.
So, how should you go about setting up your phone?
Right off the bat, you’re going to want to turn HDR (High Dynamic Range) off.
It’s complex and difficult to get right. Trust me — you’ll thank me later.
This article is going to get technical enough, so I’m not going to spend time teaching you exactly how HDR works.
What I will teach you is how you can turn the darn thing off.
First, open your Camera app. You should see the HDR icon in the top toolbar, second from the left.
If it’s on, tap on it and you’ll see a list of options.
Tap on the off button and now you’re ready to move onto the next step!
The second step to setting up your phone is to change the exposure of your photos.
If you’re wondering why this is important, think back to a time that you took a picture of a bright sky.
Did you notice anything strange about it? Maybe the fact that most of it looked overexposed?
That’s because smartphones tend to blow out certain sections of your photograph naturally, which is why you’re getting those over-exposed areas.
Fortunately, there’s a quick fix for this.
If you’re able to underexpose the shot, you’ll be able to capture everything properly without blowing anything out.
If you’re scared that you might end up with a picture that’s underexposed, no need to worry.
Underexposed photos can be tweaked and brightened up with editing, which means that you can be sure the photo comes out the way you want it to.
Here’s an example off of the Airbnb Instagram page.
Believe me, it’s better to have an under-exposed shot that you can fix with editing than a photo that’s completely ruined due to over-exposure.
To ensure that your photo is under-exposed, all you have to do is tap on the brightest part of the camera and hold it.
This will lock the exposure and the focus, which means you can move your camera around and take the picture you want.
Believe me, this is going to make taking pictures in the sunlight much easier.
And with that taken care of, it’s time to address the elephant in the room.
2. Capturing the photo
If you’re feeling a bit intimidated by this section, don’t worry. I won’t be teaching a college course on photography here.
I’m all about the essentials. Which is why today, we’re going to focus on the two most important aspects of taking an amazing photo.
To put it simply, lighting and composition are going to dictate the quality of your photos.
There’s more to lighting than just making sure your daytime pictures aren’t over-exposed.
It’s worth starting with this topic because, without good lighting, your photos are destined to be useless.
When you’re in a dark room, you might think that there’s enough light, only to find out later that the picture is completely unusable.
If you’re outdoors during the daytime, you might be able to see fine, but your phone just over-exposed half the shot.
The most important rule with lighting is that you need to be aware of it before you start shooting.
From there, you’ll want to make sure you’re using natural light as often as possible.
Take a look at this image from National Geographic to get an idea of what you can do with natural light.
If you like, you can definitely go out and buy some lights for things like product picture photo shoots.
But honestly, natural light should be enough for most of your photo needs.
If you’re shooting indoors, do your best to be near a window and away from artificial light.
The problem with artificial light is that it tints your photos yellow, which can ruin your perfect shot.
Pro tip! There’s…