How to create good photos and videos for social media

Every year, social media platforms go through changes in algorithms, but one thing is constant across all platforms. Good photos and videos capture more attention than the mediocre ones. The bad news is that small-business owners are still trying to figure out how to create dazzling social media posts without having to spend too much. Our good news is that you can do it without having to fork out a lot of money. Seriously! Here’s how:

Head to the shops for some props

Wondering how social media posts have so many different backdrops and accessories that pop? Easy. They go to their nearest Spotlight, or Kmart or Big W. That marble background in that cooking video is just wallpaper pasted on a cardboard. Or maybe you’re wondering how they have a different coloured background for each flat lay they posted. That’s because they bought a whole booklet of scrapbooking materials. The good news? They’re not expensive! All you need to do is figure out what colours and motif you want for your brand and buy those props! Mixing and matching five props will go a long way to creating multiple posts you can use for your social media platforms. Have a look around social media to get ideas on what kind of look and feel you like. Shoot near natural light to get that perfect shot.

Photo apps are your friend

Mobile phone cameras these days are so good you can easily use them for your photos and videos. There are even professional ads online and on TV that are created using only mobile phones. But with the gazillion of photo apps out there, how do you know which ones to choose? First, look up the best free photography apps online and read the reviews. Look at the sample photos of those apps and think about your own brand’s look and feel. Is it the look you want? Sometimes, you may need to invest in an app that gives you a more dramatic effect. Have a look at apps like Pro HDR, ProCamera, Afterlight, iMotion, Legend and Flixel. Some of these apps are free and some are not. Feel free to use the free trials before committing. This will give you a chance to decide whether the app is easy enough for you to use.

Invest in a portable photo box

What is a portable photo box? It is a pop up white box that you can use as a mini studio for product shots. They are really handy for those evenly-lit photos. It makes your product shot look professional. Have a search online to see what’s out there — beware though, there are heaps of these things popping up these days. Some come with lights while some have different background colours. Be careful not to buy the super cheap ones that will fall apart after a couple of uses. Look at the reviews online and the real final shots from people who have used it. Is it easy to use? Is it really portable? Can it be stashed away quickly? Of course, you can always search for the DIY option but if you can’t be bothered to make your own, it is easier to just buy one. Think about the sizes of the products you’d like to shoot and make sure you buy the right size for your needs.

Lastly, set aside an afternoon to do a batch of photos you can use for social media. It will save you time and energy in the long run instead of doing one each day.

Kristyn Levis, Creative Director 3C Digital

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