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Insider GA 17 Picture Perfect

By Melanie Ethridge on Jan 18, 2017

No matter which social media platform works best for your business, there's a good chance you're utilizing photography to get your message across. Sure, there are plenty of excellent stock photos available for you to illustrate your intentions, but when it comes to helping your clients get to know you and your business, you're better off using your own photos to give them a clear idea of who you are.

It's easier than ever to take good photos, even if you don't think you have an eye for photography. Smartphone cameras get better and better, and the variety of simple editing tools available right there on the device make it easy to enhance your shots without expensive editing software and extra time. Even if you're a small-business entrepreneur doing a lot of the work yourself, you can make your photos look professional in just a couple of minutes. Here are a few guidelines to help your photos make a bigger impact on your audience.

Explore Perspective

Most photos are taken from shoulder height: right where we hold our smartphones out in front of us. Try dropping the camera to knee height, and look for opportunities to look down—or straight up—on your subject.

Keep It Simple

Some of the most striking photos make good use of negative space—the empty areas around your subject. Good examples of this might include a single flower against a brick wall, or a bird against a bright blue sky.

Zoom With Your Feet

Instead of zooming in on the camera, get as physically close to your subject as you can to prevent any graininess in your shot.

Get Candid

Behind-the-scenes shots are fun for your followers. You can catch real life moments that still look good by taking a lot of candid shots so you can choose a striking one that still catches you and your teammates being themselves.

Frame Your Shots

Look for naturally-occurring opportunities to frame your subject: shooting with trees, doorways, or arches along the edges of your shot will help draw attention to the subject in the middle.

Use the Rule of Thirds

You've probably heard of this: divide your frame into a grid of nine sections (four intersecting lines, like a tic-tac-toe board), and position your subject where the lines intersect.

Ditch the Rule of Thirds

Some compositions don't fit that rule—for example, if you've got two beautiful tall trees and a horse standing between them, you will probably want to position those trees on either side of the frame with the horse in the middle. Symmetry also creates beautiful photos.

Look for Reflections, Patterns, and Shadows

These all add visual interest (and out-of-the-ordinariness) to your photos. Reflections might come from a large or small body of water, a mirror, or a store window. Patterns of colors and shapes are everywhere, from the rows of glasses behind the bar at a restaurant to the tiles on your floor. Shadows can make beautiful abstract photos on their own, even if the object making the shadow isn't in the shot. For the best shadows, take your pictures when the sun is low in the sky.

Edit

Even simply clicking “enhance” can make the photo look like that much better. Play with the filters. Devote a little time to getting to know the editing options on your smartphone, and as you take more and more photos you'll know exactly what you need to do to bring out the best in each one.

Take a Lot of Photos

If you just keep snapping away, some of those photos are bound to look good. Take photos of things that wouldn't normally strike you as photo-subject material—sometimes those unconventional subjects turn out to make the most interesting photographs.

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