A picture is not just worth a thousand words—on social media, pictures are worth shares and likes, too.
As a small business owner, you know the importance of using images in social media posts, but you might wonder if it’s possible to create eye-catching pictures without hiring designers or learning Photoshop. The answer is, yes!
It’s now easier than ever to create aesthetically pleasing graphics thanks to the dozens of photo tools out there. In this piece, we’ll share some of the tools we’ve used to create images for our own clients.
This one is a no-brainer, right? You need something to capture the actual images you want to show off. You could go down the route of only using stock photography, but this blog is specifically about making great social media photos. Not mediocre ones.
But luckily for you, you don’t need to invest thousands of dollars on a DSLR camera along with several camera lenses to accompany it. All you need is a newer smartphone and that will get the job done just fine.
Sounds easy, but you’d be surprised how many of our clients are still rocking their iPhone 8 from 2017 because they didn’t want to make the jump from the home button to FaceID.
But as any Gen Z or Millennial will tell you, the photo quality on older phones is known as “potato quality”. You need to make sure you have something a bit more recent to make sure you are getting high-quality photos and videos.
We’ve actually already gone over tips for social media lighting, so you know it’s important, but we’ll go through it again.
For outdoor lighting, it’s easy enough in terms of equipment since you technically don’t need any at all.
All you need to do is take advantage of what’s known as The Golden Hour. This is the period of time immediately after sunrise or prior to sunset when the lighting is warmer and softer than the rest of the day, creating a golden glow perfect for your content.
If you need to shoot in the middle of the afternoon when the sun is at its brightest, utilize shade from a tree, an overhang, or anything else that can block the sun. If none of that is available to you, you’ll need something to diffuse the light such as an umbrella.
If you are shooting indoors, there are a couple of steps you can take to improve the lighting and quality of your images or video. Piggybacking on the topic of natural lighting, you can find it indoors by taking your pictures near a door or window.
If that isn’t an option for you, or you just don’t want to do that, you can still provide good lighting options for yourself for not much money.
There are plenty of portable light kits that you can attach to your phone that provide diffused lighting instead of the harsh lighting of the flash on your camera. This is great for selfie content or anything that is close to the camera.
If your subject is a bit farther away, you might need to invest in a light diffusion kit, or learn to make a DIY version for yourself. Harsh overhead lighting can lead to unprofessional picture quality, so these minor changes can take your photography to the next level.
3. Editing Tools
For social media photography, these tools will fall into one of two categories, touch-ups, and graphics. Now some programs are able to do both of these such as photoshop, but that’s a heavy investment that some might not be willing to take.
As any photographer will tell you, taking a photograph is only half the battle. Even the best pics need some retouching to be shareable. Fortunately, there are some excellent photo editing apps for iPhone.
There are many photo editing apps available on app stores, and retouching tools are some of the most popular.
These apps can be used to remove blemishes, smoothen features, place a filter over the image, change the hue and saturation, and much more.
It’s quite normal for social media posts and stories to need things like transitions, text, animations, etc., and for that, you’ll need more in-depth tools.
One of our favorites is Canva. It’s a great design program for non-designers. Canva makes image creation super easy with their premade templates, custom image sizes for every social media channel, drag-and-drop interface, cool fonts, and more.