What it takes to create the perfect picture for social media

We’ve been catching up with experts in the industry to bring you a series of blogs that will help improve your social media game! First up is Carl Pendle, a local award-winning lifestyle photographer and videographer. Specialising in portraits, food and travel for editorial and commercial clients he’s here to bring you his top tips for creating the perfect picture for social media.

There are many factors to the perfect picture post on social media and everybody’s idea of a great photo is a bit different but there are certainly a few rules we can all follow that will give your post a bit of pizzazz to make it stand out from the rest. Being a professional photographer doesn’t mean I have all the answers but these are a few ideas below that seem to work.

Check the background

This may sound obvious but always do a double check to make sure nothing distracting in the background. You’ve gone to the trouble to compose the photo and then to have something pulling the viewer’s eye away from what you want them to focus on will make the photo so much weaker.

The incense sticks shot is more powerful because there is nothing behind it to distract you.

Add depth to give an image a 3D look

We talked above by trying to make the background as clean as possible to avoid distractions, but now we want to give the image a 3D look. We do this by creating the feeling of depth by including elements that lead the eye into the picture either by some foreground interest or something in the background that leads the eye around the scene.

The sample photo I’ve included here is of jars of berries and I’ve purposely shot it so your eye leads into the image and then behind it.

Single dominant colour

Using colour is often overlooked. Colours play an important role in how we view things and they can convey different things. To really make an image stand out try using one colour that takes up the majority of the scene. Make it even stronger by adding a splash of a contrasting colour to give it more of a pop. Red and green is the obvious choice.

The image with the pheasant sticking out of the green grass highlights this one perfectly.

Tell a story

Nothing gets peoples attention like telling a story they can relate to. It could be adding 2, 3 or 4 images in your feed to create that or it could be one single image.

The one I’ve included here is the people in the boat fishing. Everyone can relate to the peace and quiet of sitting in the middle of the lake at sunset.

Surprise people

Sometimes there is no reason why a photo really stands out and makes it more memorable than most. But one of the easier ways to do this is to make people stop and go, ‘Whoa!’ How did they do that?

Image source: @CarlPendle

One way of doing this is with movement and I’ve used a simple technique called Cinemagraph to make one portion of the image move and the other part of it remain stationary.

Let us know how you get on with Carl’s top tips!

Get in touch with Carl here or visit his website.

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