Fundamentals of Photography for Social Media

Companies that effectively use pictures on social media know it’s a powerful way to improve branding impact. Images are far better than text alone in conveying messages, feelings, and desires. Images with branded text and logos have been found to convert even better. Is your company posting the right kind of images? Here are some tips to help you get it right:

Maintain Consistent Lighting, Color, and Mood.

Let’s look at some good examples of companies setting the tone with lighting and color. We’ll start with Google, a mastermind company that nails down it’s branding. Here is their Facebook page, followed by a screenshot from Instagram:

Notice the consistent colors and overall feel of their images. Now, let’s take a look at the Instagram profiles of other well-branded companies for comparison. Here is Diet Coke, Etsy, Macys and Papyrus Paper, respectively. 

Diet Coke

Etsy

Macys

Papyrus Paper

Do you see how each one has its own feel? Try to follow this model for your own branding. Discover what images make a big impact on your audience, then stay in a very similar vein going forward. Most companies stick with a fairly consistent color palette of two to four colors to help tie together their entire collection of imagery. Consider the psychology of color when choosing your palette.

Select Font Pairings and Logo Size

You need to choose a font that works well with your brand’s personality. Will you use a handcrafted font, elegant script, simple sans serif, or something a bit more traditional? Your brand should probably only use three fonts maximum for all marketing materials (i.e. for titles, subtitles, and body copy). Your subtitle and body font should be straightforward and readable. If you plan to use a fancy, stylistic or unique font, only use it for your title font.

Once you’ve determined your fonts, you’ll also want to establish a size and common placement for your logo. Branded images are more sharable and convey more information faster to your audience.

 

Brand Filters

You’ll want to be careful with filters. Make sure they fit the overall feel of your brand and add to the emotion you want to evoke. The golden morning shots on the Diet Coke profile exemplify a well-used filter. If you’re editing your images with Lightroom, considering preparing a set of presets to help you find consistency when editing. Filters can be overdone, so be careful not to go with cliché filters, or Instagram filters on full opacity (if you are even using them).

Plan Ahead

Finally, don’t let your images appear haphazard. Plan ahead for images that will resonate and work hand-in-hand with the rest of your materials. Google and other brands even use three images in a row for a profile banner (see above example). Also, always pair your profile cover and profile picture to work together. Create reuseable templates so that you can edit your pictures quickly and save them at the right size for the right platform.