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By: Raquel Lobera / March 8, 2024
Tags: Content marketing, Photography, Social Media

Breaking the mold with better photography

Unless you live in the middle of the Australian desert (and you don’t want to pay for Starlink), most of us are constantly being fed hundreds of photos and videos every day. From family photos to businesses showing their latest products and services, social media networks have set content creation standards that seem to have no limit.

According to HubSpot, short-form video content is the #1 format for brands, offering the highest return on investment and with the most potential in terms of growth in 2024. In saying that, capturing and creating visually appealing images is still important to grab people’s attention and increase engagement.

With a plethora of AI tools available in the market, a lot of business owners and marketers have started to rely more on them to facilitate the content creation process. However, it is undeniable that our feeds are starting to look plain and displaying more of the same.

At the same time, smartphones and cameras are still evolving and offering better results while becoming more affordable. But having a camera in our pocket doesn’t make us photographers and it doesn’t necessarily mean that content creation becomes easier.

In saying that, having the right tools is a good starting point and allows businesses to start creating high-quality and authentic content. But as with any trade, some rules and tricks will help you and your team highlight your strengths and tell a story through video and photography and stay away from soulless and dull content that seems to be flooding social media networks.

Let’s start with composition. Composition is how a photographer (or videographer) arranges visual elements within a frame. Dead easy, right? While that sounds simple and straightforward, it is not always obvious.

These are my favourite basic rules around composition that might help you improve how your socials look.

The rule of thirds
Imagine you and your best friend chasing waterfalls on a sunny day. He goes into the water, and it seems like the perfect scene to take a picture. Most people will ask him to pose in front of the camera, smile and take the photo. Suddenly, that photo will just be another of someone smiling. What about trying to balance the elements by placing your friend on one side so people can still see the waterfall and the environment around it and let the photo tell a story?

The rule of thirds is a way of dividing frames for optimal composition. It involves evenly dividing the frame between two equally spaced horizontal and vertical gridlines, creating a three-by-three grid. To create balance and flow within the image, compositional elements should be placed where these lines of the grid intersect or segment your image.

Adobe Rule of Thirds

Most cameras, including smartphones, allow you to add dividing lines to guide you through this process.

Symmetry and asymmetry
There is simplicity, harmony and balance in a symmetrical photo. It’s pleasing to the eye and an effective way to catch the attention. However, symmetry is not necessarily the only way to present a scene beautifully. What you want to focus on is balance. Rather than observing a scene as a whole, you can split the image into quadrants and determine if each quadrant complements each other aesthetically and pleasingly.

Depth of field
Most smartphone users are now familiar with Portrait mode when capturing an object or person. When taking a photo in that mode, the camera creates a depth-of-field effect, allowing you to capture a subject with sharp focus while blurring the background (or other elements in the scene). As its name says these types of photos will add the illusion of a third dimension within a photo or video and provide a look of depth and scale.

Leading lines
The world is made of shapes that we tend to associate with known structures or conventions like directions, spirals, horizon and perspective. Using leading lines allows photographers to pull user’s attention to a specific point. And similarly, to depth of focus, these lines can give surfaces the appearance of depth and scale – while telling a story or giving additional meaning to a shot.

As with anything else, knowing the rules won’t make a difference and reading this blog post won’t make you a photographer. In reality, the only way to get a sense of it is by observing scenes differently. Slow down and instead of taking 10 photos of the same beach, stop and take a look around and see if there are other angles or elements that you haven’t seen. An empty space around it, any symmetries in the horizon or an interesting object in the foreground. Photography is about observation and the more familiar you get with your environment the more you discover those blind spots.

Raquel Lobera

Videographer/Photographer

Adaptability is Raquel’s middle name. She has led many lives and carries that experience into her work. Originally from Spain, Raquel has a Masters in Audiovisual Communication along with a Bachelor Degree in Journalism.

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