Statistics say that posts that include images produce 650 percent higher engagement rates than posts that consist of text only.
This statistic is reinforced by looking at the three fastest growing social networks: Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram – which all social networks that are solely focussed on sharing visual content. Therefore, it is important that you manage to incorporate plenty of images into your social media strategy. Taking a great picture used to be a long process, in which you would require an expensive camera, fancy editing software, and plenty of time to invest into learning how to use them. However, now, thanks to smartphones, there is now a much simpler process to taking and editing high quality pictures.
Here are a few tips to taking a great picture on a smartphone:
1. Make use of gridlines
One of the easiest ways to help improve your photography on a smartphone is to switch on the gridlines, which can be found in the phone’s settings. This will superimpose a series of lines into the screen of your smartphones camera, following the rule of thirds – a photographic composition principle that says an image should be broken down into thirds both horizontally and vertically.
These gridlines should prove particularly useful when constructing the composition of your photo. For example, according to the rule of thirds, it looks best if you place your subject at the intersection of two gridlines. As well as this, the gridlines should help you ensure that the horizon is straight in any landscape photography.
2. Don’t zoom in
It is best to avoid zooming in on the subject when taking photographs on a smartphone as it often leads to the picture appearing blurry, pixelated and/or grainy. Instead, it is best to move closer to the subject. Or, if it isn’t possible to move closer to the subject, you should zoom in and crop the photo after you have taken it at the default distance. By doing this you can ensure you avoid compromising the quality of the picture.
3. Manually focus your photos
If you don’t focus on anything in particular, the phone will automatically focus and set the exposure for you. However, it is much more efficient to set it yourself by simply tapping the screen in the subject you want to focus. As well as focusing, this will also set the exposure and ensure that the lighting is optimised. Although, it is also possible to manually adjust the exposure too, with the exposure slider.
Additionally, you can use AE/AF lock to lock focus and exposure in a picture. This is a particularly useful feature for scenes in which the subject or lighting may change but you want your focus and exposure to remain the same.
4. Look for symmetry
Photography incorporating symmetry is pleasing to the eye and is one of the simplest and most compelling ways to compose a photo. As well as this, repetitive patterns are also very aesthetically pleasing and can appear whenever strong graphic elements are repeated over and over again. These patterns can make a strong visual impact. Gridlines are particularly useful when taking either of these style pictures as they will allow you to line everything up in order to make it perfectly symmetrical.
5. Embrace negative space
‘Negative space’ refers to the areas around and between the subjects of an image and it is important that you embrace it in your photography. By including a lot of empty space in a photograph, you will consequently draw attention to the subject, evoking a stronger reaction from your audience.
6. Don’t forget to edit
Composing and taking your photo is just the first step to creating a great, visually engaging image. Editing photos is the next step, and you no longer need professional software on your desktop as there is a huge variety of apps to choose from on your smartphone. For example, some of the most popular ones are Snapseed, VSCO Cam, Afterlight, and Enlight. As well as this, many social networking platforms, e.g. Instagram and Twitter, offer built in editing tools, making it even easier to edit your photos before you share them to social media.