Increasingly, the role of a public relations professional has expanded to include many different activities. We are not only writing press releases and contacting journalists. Today, we must add in the role of social media management, blog writing, content creation, website design and management, photography, videography and so much more. Unfortunately, we simply cannot master all these skills through classwork alone, which is why we must take matters into our own hands.
Photography is one of the skills we most likely will not learn about in school, but will likely be responsible for producing in the “real world” especially with the emergence and popularity of social media sites focused on sharing eye-catching images (i.e. Instagram & Pinterest, to name a few). Luckily for us, beautiful pictures can easily be captured with a phone camera and edited using various free or inexpensive apps.
Here are some great (simple) photography tips that will make your photos stand out online and beyond.
Tip 1: Lighting IS Everything
Lighting can honestly make or break a photo. While different shots require different lighting, natural light is always preferred. If you can’t get outside to take the picture, take the picture during the daytime, open a window and stage your photo nearby.
If you are taking pictures of people, try not to plan the shoot during the daytime when the light will be directly overhead. When the sun is high in the sky it will create shadows on the face and colors will often not appear as rich. The best time of day to take photos of people is early in the morning or in the evening, when the sky is lower in the sky. This time of day is often referred to as “magic hour” and there is a reason behind it!
Tip 2: Take Your Time
Don’t be afraid to mess around with the arrangement of things and take multiple shots in order to get that perfect photo. Very rarely is what you see on Instagram the very first (or only) photo taken. Zoom in, zoom out, stand on something or sit on the ground to get a different shot, play around and have fun, but do not take one photo and call it good.
Tip 3: Edit, but Don’t Over-edit
Editing can really take a bland photo to the next level, especially if the lighting was off. Using apps is an easy and affordable way to edit your pictures and “A Color Story” is a great one that allows you to play with different settings, filters and effects. Editing can be a lot of fun, just make sure you are not over-editing photos, a little goes a long way!
Tip 4: Consider the Background
Whether you are taking pictures of people, products or food, the background can really make the content pop. Consider your background when planning a shoot and make sure the photo is not too cluttered. A “boring” background like a brick wall or wooden table top, can really make the image stand out. However, a scenic background can also be eye-catching as well.
Tip 5: Add Life to Your Photos
It is nice to add life to your photos occasionally, especially if you are running an account for a brand. Adding “life” means that you add some element of human interaction to the photo. This can be a hand reaching for a product, a person riding a bike in front a coffee shop, etc. Such examples add a sense of realness to photos and make it easier to connect with.
How did you like these tips? Did you find them helpful?
Abby Cousineau is a senior at EMU majoring in public relations and minoring in graphic design and marketing. She is currently serving as president of EMU PRSSA and is excited to be leading such a creative and dedicated group of individuals. You can usually find Abby outside anytime the weather is nice or otherwise spending her time behind a computer screen, working on one of her design projects. Connect with Abby on Instagram @abcattt.