[Image via: graphicsheat.com]
Haven’t you always dreamed of having the perfect instagram feed for your brand? Your brand has already decided on a uniform theme based on our previous post #instathemes, now its time to create quality content with a professional touch. Having a theme means you have identified your brand’s personality and target audience on Instagram. Now, all you need to do is make sure your content is as high quality as possible in order to attract your potential customers. After all, Instagram is all about high quality visuals.
A professional looking feed will give your brand more credibility. Unfortunately, not all of us are professional photographers and it can be costly to hire one. A platform like Instagram is free, therefore you shouldn’t have to spend money in order to use it well. Luckily, Instagram has been around long enough that people have discovered tips and tricks to give your photos and videos a professional feel without the dollar sign. Supplementary apps are a great way to enhance your photos and videos even more. This post will take a deeper look into how to perfectly capture and edit your photos and videos like a professional. Us marketing gurus here at #doitforthegram have compiled 5 steps to take your content to the next level.
Step 1: Lighting
If available, natural light should always be utilized even if it means shooting by the window or outside in the cold. The following picture was taken in freezing weather but the lighting was worth it. As you can see the subject is wearing two outfits in this picture. This savvy photo edit couldn’t have been done without natural light. Lighting is very important to keep in mind especially if you plan on altering your photo. In general, when using any light, make sure the source of light hits your subject directly. This step will make the following steps turn out better!
[Image via: akpsiluc.org]
Step 2: Filters
When it comes to filters, remember, more does not necessarily mean better. Sometimes pictures appear more professional when less filters are used. According to a report by TrackMaven, most brands do not use filters at all. According to the chart below, the brands that do use filters tend to stick with Lo-fi and X-Pro II, probably because they give photos a warm look with the use of saturated tones. Although these filters make photos pop, they do not generate the most interactions. Mayfair and Inkwell actually generate the most interactions on Instagram in the form of likes and comments. Next time you choose a filter, make sure it is getting the right attention from your audience. The last thing you want is for your visuals to turn potential customers away.
[Image via: Track Maven]
Step 3: White Background
There is nothing like a blank background to really make your subject stand out. Busy backgrounds distract your audience and clutters your feed. It seems that more and more brands are using white or plain backgrounds to showcase their products. Whether it is a model against a white wall or cosmetic products arranged on a white marble bathroom counter, this trick gives your photos a simple yet professional appearance. J. Crew does a wonderful job of using white space to give their feed a chic feel and a little breathing room.
Step 4: Angles
There are many ways to play around with angles in order to capture the perfect moment in creative ways. Angles can either accentuate or disguise certain aspects of your subject matter depending on what you need. Vogue outlined how angles can enhance your photos. When taking pictures of objects, try taking the picture from the top down perspective. This will allow you to fit many objects into the frame and you can arrange them in ways to show the proportions of your objects. If you are taking pictures of food and drinks, it’s usually best to take the picture from side angles so show dimension and texture. If your subject is a person and you’d like to elongate legs, try an upward angle. On the other hand, if you want slim down certain features, try a downward angle. The picture below, posted by National Geographic, shows how switching up angles can really capture something special.
Photo by @pedromcbride // Hiking through time and traditions: @kevinfedarkoauthor hikes past the remnants of cattle ranching inside 150-mile canyon, Day 44 on the “trail”. Before this national park was enlarged in the 70s, cowboys ran cattle through this rocky, rough terrain. #chasingrivers #Grandcanyon #nationalpark #aerial #love #gratitude
A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on Mar 17, 2016 at 12:43pm PDT
Step 5: Boomerang
Now you know how to make your photos look professional, but what about your video content? That’s where supplementary apps come into play. Boomerang is a video app recently launched by instagram. It essentially takes bursts of photos and combines them into a mini video that plays forward and backward over and over again. Using this app will not only enhance your videos, but it will keep your brand relevant. Benefit was quick to incorporate boomerang into their feed and used the app to perfectly showcase their mascara. Check it out below!
So there you have it! Five easy steps to give your feed a professional feel without the high price tag! If you follow these steps, you will find that it is not anything revolutionary. In fact, it’s all about bringing your feed back to the basics. Simplicity is key when trying to achieve a professional look. As long as you keep keep your theme consistent with your target audience in mind, these tricks are sure to attract the right attention!
What tricks do you use to give your feed a professional look? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on Instagram @hashtag4thegram.