When I purchased my Cannon Rebel T2I camera years ago to capture family memories, I couldn’t have imagined where it would lead me in my professional life.
As a freelance journalist, marketing consultant and writer, I had mainly lived in the world of words. To my surprise, my camera has literally helped me see my surroundings through a whole new lens. I now find myself being able to translate events and stories through pictures in a way that I never expected.
Without formal training, I have become a sort-of self-taught amateur photographer, picking up tidbits, tricks and an eye for what makes a good picture along the way.
While I use my skills and talents for my clients and the Northwest ISBDC, entrepreneurs can share their businesses, communities and industries through photos. Pictures on social media channels can be a great way to connect with your audience as they encourage engagement as well as sharing, which can help with branding and further develop your online marketing efforts.
Today more than ever, social media avenues provide a path to showcase happenings and insights from small business owners with a device always on hand: a phone camera. You don’t need to lug around a big device to translate your business into good photos to share with the social media world. It really starts with a shift in mindset to have your phone ready and on hand for when a photo opportunity strikes.
Here are some of my do’s and don’ts that I have unearthed over the years from behind the camera lens.
Do be comfortable in the spotlight. To capture the action, you have to be in the action. When I have covered events over the years working for the local newspaper and for my clients, I have had to get out of my seat. You have to feel a sense of comfort being up and about in order to see things from a different perspective and find a good shot.
Don’t default to using the flash. While sometimes necessary, the harsh white light can reflect negatively in photos from red eye to bleached skin. I try to use natural light, which can offer shadows and lines that add depth to photos.
Do spotlight the action. While posed pictures are a great mainstay, being able to see people in action is so much more engaging and that can be seen in the final product.
Don’t hit click right away. Take a moment to see what is within your frame. Is there something in the background that is distracting or appears to pop out of a person’s head? If so, move a couple inches to reframe the photo.
Do get up close and personal. Tight shots of people and objects can offer an interesting view that translates into fun pictures.
Don’t focus on just people. Some of my favorite photos are of objects, landscapes, animals or nature. All of these provide avenues to unique and appealing photos.
Do take many shots. I will click up to 10 times minimum per perspective in order to have many shots to choose from later when I view my pictures. Sometimes minor differences can drastically improve a picture.
Don’t be afraid to edit your photos. You don’t need Photoshop to alter images in a dramatic way. Basic photo software is a useful tool. Sometimes just a crop or change in brightness or color can powerfully alter an image.
Finally, do have fun. Making photos an instrumental component of your professional life and social media avenues doesn’t have to be work. If you enjoy the process, your audiences will feel that through your final photo products and embrace your business even more.