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Top Social Media Photography Tips

Instagram Photography

Top Social Media Photography Tips

Have you ever wondered what makes a photo “Insta-worthy?” These days, our branded and styled client photoshoots are primarily delivered and consumed through a customer’s screen, so we’re keen to optimize those professional architectural images for digital displays (hero horizontal, anyone?). But when it comes to implementing images on social media for senior living, a few tricks to getting the perfect photo can help just about anyone to up their Insta game.

Here are our top tips for creating photography that respectfully spotlights mature individuals and groups for social media:

Tip #1: Choose an aesthetic and stick to it.
The aesthetic—a consistent palette, style and voice—is a foundational consideration when creating photography optimized for social media. A brand’s social media presence depends on its aesthetic. It’s what makes a senior community stand out in the crowd of social media feeds. The set of colors or the signature element that’s present across all your photos is what will draw prospects to your channel.

The first step in choosing the aesthetic is deciding what mood best fits your brand. Is it light and airy, or dark and moody? Or is it a little of both? Once the mood is decided, choose colors that encompass your brand’s image. One or more of these colors will be present in every photo your brand will post. These do not have to be directly pulled from your brand kit or logo, but there should be an identifiable and justified relationship between the two palettes. Now that you’ve decided on the aesthetic, the challenge is to stick to it.

When shooting photography for social media purposes, always keep your brand’s aesthetic in mind. This will drive and maintain the cohesive brand of your social media presence and ultimately make it grow.

Tip #2: Shoot in natural light.
Think about the last photo you saw. Was the subject washed out or were the colors in the photo bright and vibrant? Hopefully, you said bright and vibrant! Natural light is the best way to bring out the colors in your photo without washing out your subject, plus you’ll avoid unpleasant fluorescent lines and shadows on aging faces. Use light to your advantage and plan your shoots at optimal times.

Two of the best times to take photos are during golden hour and blue hour. Golden hour is both the moment just after sunrise and the moment just before sunset. Who doesn’t like a good photo lit up by the oranges and pinks of a sunset? Blue hour is the moment right before sunrise and just after sunset. This is the perfect time to capture your subject with the blues of the sky.

Tip #3: Rule of 3rds. 😉
Another good rule of thumb is the rule of thirds. Your subject should never fill the entire frame or be right in the center of it. Two-thirds of the frame should be negative space—the fairly empty space around the main object. Use negative space to make your subject stand out, and be sure your photo has clean lines and a clear focus.

The negative space will draw the viewer’s eye straight to your subject. Leaving breathing room in your images allows for a clean, relaxing user experience when a prospect is browsing your community’s social media feeds and viewing all of the images side by side.

Tip #4: Get level.
It’s key to meet people where they’re at, and this is especially true when creating content with the 62+ crowd. In terms of interest, agility, ability and comfort, it’s important to check in with your participants on a couple of levels.

Aside from ensuring all the proper release forms are signed, one of the biggest misses we see over and over again in industry social is a photographer’s failure to move their lens (and body) around to meet subjects eye to eye. When shooting physically short or seated subjects, getting on their level is crucial for a respectful, beautiful image, and it’s going to make your participants a whole lot more comfortable than if your camera is looking down on them.

Tip #5: Think mobile.
It’s not just that 85% of our clients’ social media views are viewed on mobile devices: approaching photography with the mobile phone–savvy senior living consumer in mind changes how we frame the experiences we’re documenting.

A portrait orientation (rather than landscape) means your image will take up more of a user’s mobile display. It make a longer-lasting impression, just by the time it takes to scroll past the image. But we know this: we see influencers utilizing this style across the board.

What’s exciting is that in senior living, we’re able to use that vertical viewpoint to focus on lengthening the landscapes we’re so used to seeing every day: a mature figure; a low ceiling; a group in wheelchairs… Turning the standard lines of senior living into mobile-friendly social media portraits brings new opportunities for play and discovery (and successful content generation!), highlighting visually appealing vignettes that we may miss with the naked eye.

Visit 3rdThirdMarketing.com/services to see how we can help you optimize your brand on social media.