I receive a lot questions about my photo editing style so I wanted to create this post to help you with your content.
I’m always seeking to improve my photography and photo editing skills, but as I continue to learn to perfect my craft and love for photography, I wanted to share with you what I know.
Let’s start with the Content Concept….
I. CONCEPT/BRAND THEME
Do you have a concept for the story you want to create through your content?
Having a story or brand theme to your content creation process makes for such a great Instagram page.
People want to be “wowed” and inspired now-a-days on Instagram, so dingy photos with little effort aren’t going to cut it (unless you have a loyal following of fans that don’t care what you post on Instagram).
If you are someone trying to grow a brand on the internet, you need to be telling a captivating and thoughtful story through your photo and video content on Instagram.
Here are some thought starters….
- Who are you and how will your personality being shared through your content help or inspire someone?
- What is something you love to do, and how can you share that to your audience?
- Make your Instagram feed your “vision board” and upload content that inspires you for the future you want to see for yourself (often times, what inspires us inspires other people too)
For example, when I first started my new Instagram page for my personal brand in 2016, I started from 0 followers, and I honestly just use to post things that inspired me. I love photography, so I would self-shoot all my photos using my IPhone and DSLR.
My captions were also inspiring because I am a Christian, and I believe heavily in my faith.
Use these helpful thought starters and my example to spark something interesting in your mind. Be creative, and do something different!
FYI, being the real you is something different…so start there
The next thing you want to think about when coming up with high quality content for Instagram is location…location…location!
I personally love finding new places to shoot.
If you live in an area with little options for interesting locations that will make your photo and video content pop, be creative!
Try spending 1 day out the week driving around town to find new, cool locations.
If you’re brand new to building your brand online, try googling popular places that you can geo-tag on Instagram to expand your reach to a larger audience (great social media hack by the way).
Town centers, outdoor malls, and parks are great location starters to get your creative juices flowing.
You can also try a museum district if you’re feeling artsy.
Go outside and be daring!
Indoor locations are also a great option, you just want to make sure you have the appropriate light sources to help with your picture quality (natural lighting is the best).
When it comes to the best equipment to help take your photo and video content from looking dingy and boring to looking crisp and clean, I recommend the tools and resources I provide in my membership group for black female brand and business owners, Brand Your Biz Academy, and my eBook, “The Millennial’s Guide to Making More Money Online“.
When it comes to finding the best lighting sources for your content, natural lighting is the best decision.
You want to aim for times in the day when it’s a little cloudy, with just enough sunlight peeking through.
Why a little bit of clouds is a good thing, is because sometimes when it’s very sunny outside, the lighting can be really harsh and cause you to have a very yellow overcast (unless that’s the look you’re going for), or a harsh shadow.
Photographers like to shoot in shaded areas in the daytime because it gives flexibility to play around in the editing room/with editing software.
I personally like to shoot between 2-3pm in shaded areas when the sun is at it’s peek, or between 5-6pm when the sun is just about to set (if you’re an early bird, try shooting early in the morning when the sun is rising).
For indoor areas like a studio or event ballroom, try looking for areas with a window to catch natural lighting, or try a lighting source that uses white bulbs for white lighting (using yellow bulbs will make the picture quality very yellow).
Editing is 1 of my all time favorite things to (besides taking photos), because it allows me to create the image I want, while being able to tweek the lighting, color contrast, and picture quality to my liking.
You can enhance the quality of your pictures by shooting with a DSLR in “RAW” format to save the integrity of the photo, so that when you edit, the photo remains to look crisp and sharp (based on the lens of your camera).
After you have created awesome content for your Instagram feed, you then want to spend some time on the text you’re going to add to communicate the intent for your visual content – the caption.
This is a really important step in content creation, because without text to further communicate to your audience your messaging, you leave it to your followers to make up their own assumptions.
Not every piece of content requires long captions, but I do recommend mixing it up.
I like to incorporate long and short captions for my content because uploading content to Instagram is my way of connecting with my audience, and sometimes 2-3 line sentences just don’t do it justice…
So get creative, do something daring, or just be you…whatever type of content you choose to create for your Instagram feed, remember that no matter what you upload, your content is telling a story.
I want to encourage you to take control of the story you want to create in the mind’s of your followers. Happy creating!