It Looks Easy, But Photography Can Be Challenging. So many photographers make the process look effortless. Especially as technology has become more streamlined, it’s easier than ever to take astonishing pictures. However, there is an element of mastery to consider. You’re not going to have top-tier photos if you don’t put a little time into the work.
You might incidentally capture a few good ones with no skill whatever, but recreating the magic without knowing how you did what you did in the first place is going to be difficult or impossible. With social media, accidental excellence is something that tends to be surprisingly prevalent. However, social media “stars” learn to be skilled in photography.
Sometimes there’s only so much you can do with the pictures you take, and you need to carefully edit them using software to achieve the results you’re after. Other times, how you take the photos is a big part of the final result.
Either way, there are best practices to consider. Here, we’ll briefly explore several tips for both capturing and editing quality photos for social media.
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
You’re not going to acquire any skill in photography without some effort. The same is true with editing. You need to capture many photos, and play around with programs that are free online or of high quality, such as photoshop. There are “free” programs for photo editing that can approach what is possible through Photoshop, but they’re generally buggy.
As you take pictures and edit them using what programs you’re able to find, you’ll become more skilled. You’ll realize what sort of photos will look ugly regardless of your editing, and what sort of editing programs are essentially just glorified filter caches.
Many social media outlets already include free filters for photos, so be sure when it comes to editing, if you’re not using what’s readily available through social media, then that alternative is a better option overall.
2. Play With Lighting For Best Results
Different lighting is going to have a different effect on what pictures ultimately look like. For example, the most beautiful lady in the world will look creepy and strange if the lighting comes from beneath her. This is a common tactic those who make horror films use to impart subconscious terror to the viewer. Ugly creatures are lit from beneath.
Lighting from above is best for most situations, but the thing is, sometimes you want to look a little creepy; especially during the month of October, wherein is Halloween. Also, you might want to play around with silhouettes. If you’ve got the camera behind you, and the lighting in front of you, you can get a very compelling silhouette shot.
So be sure you think carefully about the sort of lighting you’re going to use in the photos you take. You need to have an intrinsic understanding if possible.
3. Use Filters Provided By Some Social Media Outlets
This was referenced earlier. Filters can help you alter pictures with ease. One of the prime advantages of filters is getting the impact of in-depth editing with minimal effort. Instead of going through each step in the process of applying “digital makeup”, there are templates which can be used to apply all those steps simultaneously.
However, photo editing that is unique to a particular photo, though more arduous, can produce notable results. So you need to strike a balance between using templates which are already designed for use, and editing from scratch.
4. When It Comes To Selfies, Take A Bunch
There are a lot of different best practices when it comes to selfies. Think about the first advice on this writing: practice, practice, practice. You’ve likely got a device like a smartphone that you’re using to capture images. You’re not using a camera, disposable or otherwise, which requires physical film.
Digital photography offers nigh-endless possibilities for capturing photos. Accordingly, when you’re taking selfies, take a hundred and pick the five you like best. Take them under good lighting, in a back-lit motif for silhouette purposes, or however suits you. When you do this you’ll intrinsically discover which angles are best for your particular visage.
5. Explore Pictures From Non-Digital Devices
Something else that is helpful, but will likely be expensive, is exploring how traditional photography works. When you’re working with actual film that requires development in a “lab”, you’ll see the physical way light interacts with objects.
Most people aren’t going to have access to a “darkroom” or the chemicals that go with it, but your town should still have a “photo lab” somewhere. If it doesn’t, you can use search engines to determine what sort of chemicals are necessary for development. You can build your own “lab” in a closet.
Also, there are cameras which are digital, but use lenses, exposure capture, aperture, and depth-of-field settings which aren’t as available on smartphones. The point is, for best results in photography, it pays to use diverse media as a means of capturing images.
6. Use A Variety Of Editing Software For Perfect Results
This was also referenced briefly earlier: you don’t merely want to use the editing software which comes from social media, or traditional options like Photoshop. Certainly, you do want to use either option. However, it’s worthwhile to explore a variety of different programs designed for photo editing. As technology develops, new options become available.
Sometimes you might want to use one program to apply a filter, another to layer that photo amidst other images, and a third to animate the result. Also, if you don’t have a budget to specifically secure software for the purpose, it can be worthwhile to download multiple photo editing programs and use them in concert.
7. Try New Things Constantly And Court Happy Accidents
Some of the most important discoveries when it comes to photography will have to do with things you’ve never tried before. Accidental breakthroughs in technology, science, and even art are common. Did you know some films have iconic moments that were improvised? One of the most legendary comes from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Basically, Harrison Ford, the lead actor in that film, had a wicked case of dysentery, as did most of the film crew at the time, and this made it next to impossible for him to shoot a scene with complex “fight” choreography.
So when the Egyptian bad guy started swinging his sword madly for an extensively-choreographed scene, Ford’s suggestion that they just “shoot the sucker” was favored by Director Steven Spielberg, and this made it into the final film instead of the extensive fight scene.
That was a bit of improvisation in the moment. Well, as you’re out there taking pictures, it’s worthwhile to do the same. Try different lighting, try different sorts of exposure, try different things in editing. Experiment. Explore new techniques constantly; and don’t be afraid of happy accidents—these are sometimes better than what you intended.
Taking The Best Pictures You Can
Trying new things, exploring happy accidents, using diverse editing software, exploring non-digital photography, taking lots of selfies, using filters, playing with filters, and practicing constantly represent notable best practices in taking and editing the best photos for social media.
When you’ve got more solid photos to choose from, and editing software that can cover any need you might have, you’ll be able to select the perfect shots to complement your vision and expand the visibility of your social media profile.