How to Take Better Pictures and Videos for Your Social Media Channels

How to Take Better Pictures and Videos for Your Social Media Channels

Using photos and videos on our social media channels in an effort to stand out is a crucial aspect of digital marketing in 2023. Without imagery of some sort, it’s going to be difficult to catch the attention of potential customers and win them over.

Once upon a time, an image of any sort might do the trick. But these days, with everyone doing it, you must use the best imagery you can capture to really stand out and reach your marketing goals.

In an effort to provide our audience with insight into using photos and videos for their social media channels, we spoke with some experts we know we can trust. Danielle Hu of the Wanderlover Business Masterclass is an influencer with over 106K followers on Instagram who uses great photography to grow her following and promote her business. And Jonathan Phillips of inMotion Real Estate Media is someone who helps real estate agents use photos and videos to have their listings stand out on channels such as social media.

Each expert provided some tips, which we’ve compiled and elaborated on below:

1. Take multiple photos/videos of the same thing

One of the most common mistakes by people is that they simply don’t give themself enough options to choose from. When you’re in a position to take a photo you believe could do well on social media, be sure to capture as much as you can in order to have more to choose from.

For example, Danielle Hu always takes at least a dozen photos when in position: “If you’re in position to capture something cool – like a sunset or meal you’re about to eat – take as many variations as you can to give yourself lots of options. Someone could close their eyes or a shadow could reak havoc on your photo without you knowing. If you have multiple versions to choose from, you have a better chance of capturing what you want and you’ll also have more content to use at a later date.”

2. Always have your smartphone with you

Oftentimes, the best content comes when you aren’t expecting it, so you should always try to have a smartphone on you. If you’re just going for a walk or a drive, be sure to bring your smartphone and camera with you so you can capture anything that catches your eye. Sometimes, the more spontaneous content does the best on social media.

3. Upgrade your smartphone for a better camera

If you find your smartphone’s camera isn’t as good as other people’s, then it might be worth upgrading it. Cameras are extremely high-quality these days, so don’t miss out on a perfect opportunity just because you haven’t taken the time to upgrade your phone.

4. Invest in Photoshop (or equivalent)

If you’d like to really make your content pop, it might be smart to invest in tools like Photoshop or a video editing software. There’s a good chance that your competitors aren’t doing this, so it could really help your content pop.

5. Use tools to clip videos together (ie: Instagram Reels)

You don’t even need to purchase tools like Photoshop to make your content stand out. Some platforms have built-in tools that will help you make your content pop, like Instagram Reels, TikTok filters, and more. Use these features to do things a little differently than your competitors. They’re right there!

6. Use filters – but don’t overuse filters

While I mention the ability to use features provided by apps like Instagram, you also have to be sure not to overuse them. Should you use them? Yes. But just make sure you don’t overuse them and hurt the content you’ve worked so hard to capture.

7. Natural light works best

Natural light always seems to help you capture the very best imagery, especially using these new camera phones of ours. In the real estate industry, natural light is a gift to people like Jonathan Phillips and is always sought after when taking content to go along with a new listing.

He discussed how much better content looks when you are able to take advantage of that natural light: “I always plan my work around the idea of natural light and the results are extremely noticeable. When you are looking at photos and videos of a new listing where natural light is used to brighten up the space, it makes a big difference. It will instantly make an image look better and can help content really pop.”

8. Artificial light is better than no light

Phillips continued about what to do if there’s no natural light available: “You should definitely bring in artificial lighting if you find that your content is looking dark or dreary. Artificial lighting can help brighten things up and you can even stage it how you like to get things as close to perfect as you’d like.”

9. Go the extra mile to find something (or someplace) unique

Sometimes, the best social media content is simply something different and not commonly seen on social media. So digging deep and doing what it takes to find these things is often the biggest challenge you’ll have to overcome. Do what you can to find new things to capture and reap the benefits of being unique. New places, things, and perspectives can help you take your channels to the next level.

10. Improve on past experiences

The biggest thing when working to improve social media channels is the desire to improve things on an ongoing basis. Social media is a great marketing channel because you can track results and analyze reports. By keeping an eye on how your audience reacts to different content, you can work to capture better photos and videos to use on your channels.