Every day browsing Instagram and Facebook you see thousands of images. They look bright and airy, dynamic and offer a great point to start a conversation. It is under these images you see a lot of likes and reactions. Whether you own a business or it is your private feed it reflects your values and tells about you as much as face to face interaction.
If you are looking at creating a series of images for your Instagram social media feed – you came to the right place.
What type of images work for Instagram & Facebook?
When my clients call me and ask let’s rent a studio and shoot something for my Instagram – I am always very careful with this. and that is why. Studio photography on solid background simply does not work for social media feed. It feels staged, artificial, no matter how casual you make it look. the better versions will look like advertising. Again, unnatural.
The secret of great photography for Instagram feed is creating a casual look, using a natural environment and as much natural light as possible. it has to remind of the places you live, visit often, work or frequent.
What are the best options for social media photography?
Although it is a bit tough, it is still possible.
- There are some studios in Toronto that offer room setup. I am not speaking here of a famous red couch with wooden frame and stucco on the wall. The studios actually imitate real environments with a lot of accessories to play with. (Studio Bon Soleil is a good example)
- Look more carefully at the resources at your disposal – your relatives or friends condominiums, cafes, co-working spaces.
- Airbnb rentals.
- Website www.thisopenspace.com
Looking at the spaces it is important to look for the ones with lots of natural light. The dark and moody images do not attract that much attention.
Luckily, Toronto is a vibrant city with lots of exciting locations!
Creating storyboard for an Instagram photoshoot
Since you do have to commit to a location, and maybe have makeup done – the gameplan of a successful photo shoot is to create a variety of looks and images with different styling. It is also important to remember that the images have to tell a story. You almost have to create Instagram captions, little stories, mini-blogs and tie in hashtags.
It also helps to quickly create different looks quickly. This is no place for complex clothing styling, unless, of course, your feed is about styling. A few t-shirts, a sweater, a blazer, jeans. Do not forget about the props that will help to tell you about the day-to day activities.
What image styling works best for social media feed?
You have noticed here that I have shot quite a bit of image in this series horizontally (landscape orientation). This is not a coincidence. The file has to be easily cropped to a square format. It is also an advantage if you can use it for your website. I have used to shoot a lot of fashion and portraits, and as much as I am used to vertical (portrait) image orientation – I had to change this habit to shoot for social media feeds.
This is how images will look in Instagram feed:
One of important rules of instagram – the feed has to look natural – it is almost like candid caprures of you going about your daily activities and sharing your thoughts. As you looking at these images it is easy to come up with the captions.
The variety of angles, closeups, different view angles, and different lighting will keep the feed dynamic.
It is important to keep in mind the overall instagram feed look and feel, so that the images would not clash with each other. All these images were shot within 1 session, it took only 3 hours – but the result was a great collection that my client could use for a long time.
And last, but not the least rules of photography for social media – having fun doing it! Easy breezy attitude – translates into a great collection of casual images that will help to develop your online alter ego.
Why do I like helping my clients to create social media images?
I admit it is challenging – creating a big variety of images in very limited time, working in unpredictable places, and always changing light conditions is challenging, and might seem not worth the money… But I love this challenge and love waking up to cheerful chime of Instagram, as my clients tag me! It is a great way to keep in touch with reality.