One of the first places to review to improve your social media results is your images. Competition for your followers’ attention is fierce on busy social media feeds.
The more captivating and professional-looking your pictures are, the more chance you will have to create engagement on your posts.
If you are a fan of the M43 format for your social media photography, then here are six tips to help you achieve the best results in your photography sessions.
1. Work on Your Framing and Composition
Any tutorial on how to create the most compelling images will always go into some detail about using the rule of thirds to frame your pictures – but only because it’s important. Our brains are accustomed to analyzing images in a 3×2 aspect ratio because that’s the ratio most cameras on the market use today.
It’s a trend that started with 35mm cameras and became the standard for everything that followed. We are so used to viewing images in 3×2; our mind instinctively divides the image up into thirds.
You can take advantage of the rule of thirds by placing the subject somewhere other than in the center. The viewer’s eyes will be stimulated into scanning more of the photo.
Many M43 cameras can provide a convenient grid overlay over the image you see in your viewfinder. This function means you don’t have to guess where to put your subject. The best places to situate the focal point of your images are where the lines overlap.
The rise of square images on social media means that the rule of thirds is not hard and fast. Some experimentation will be required to produce the most pleasing photos. However, even square images can take advantage of the rule of thirds when you apply it to vertical and horizontal lines.
Experiment with depth of field along these lines. Because you aren’t working in a 3×2 ratio, you can try putting your subject square in the center to create dynamic images. This placement compels the eye to scan and
2. Creating Inspiration
So many social media posts use boring images with little thought put into them. Your M43 camera is capable of incredible feats, so put all its capabilities to good use. There are plenty of places you can get inspiration online.
You undoubtedly already have an account on Flickr, but Pinterest is also a favorite location for micro four-thirds enthusiasts to show off their skills.
Create a collection of inspiring images so you can later emulate the styles you haven’t tried before. Learn how the images were created and experiment with those settings during your photography sessions.
3. Photograph at Different Times of the Day
Some of social media’s most beautiful images are created during golden hour, the time when the sun is closest to the horizon during sunset or sunrise.
The soft, warm glow you can achieve during this magical time of day for photographers is responsible for some of the best examples of M43 social media photography.
Early mornings are great for mist-shrouded landscapes, but if you’re not an early bird, there is always the afternoon golden hour – everyone loves a beautiful sunset.
4. Mind Your Resolution
A large portion of your audience will be viewing your images on a mobile device, but this doesn’t mean you should upload low-resolution photos.
Most smartphones have reached respectable levels of pixel density – especially in the high-end smartphone models where high-resolution photos are displayed with remarkable clarity.
Images viewed on Android tablets and iPads will also appear grainy if too low a resolution is used. Then there is also the fact that more than 40% of people still prefer desktop viewing of online photos over their mobile devices.
Keep them at or above 1,000 pixels on the long edge when uploading your images. If you expect most of your audience to prefer even more pixels for desktop viewing, stick with 2,000 pixels and above to ensure that your photos always look great on the latest HD and UHD monitors.
5. Don’t Go Overboard with Filters
There’s no denying that filters provide photographers with more creative latitude, but it’s important not to go overboard with the feature.
Just about every image editing app comes with a set of filters you can use to improve your images. However, overzealous filters are also responsible for more than a few horrible messes on social media.
Plus, many of your followers may not respect your use of filters as they believe it ruins the authenticity of the image.
If your image doesn’t pop with color as expected, feel free to tweak the vibrancy but avoid over saturation. You want your image to look its best without it being evident that you have engaged in over-enthusiastic post-editing.
Other settings you can tweak to bring your image more in line with what you see in real life are shadows and highlights. Because your camera sees the world in stops of light, your images can often come out too dark or overexposed in high contrast areas.
6. Tell A Story
The number of selfies and images of lunch uploaded to social media every minute is staggering, and it’s overdone. Most social posts are intended to feed the poster’s ego and have little regard for the audience. You can create a more significant following by posting images you know your audience craves.
Beautiful scenery is one thing, but if you post a little story about the inspiration behind the image or provide details about the settings and equipment you used, you will inspire your audience and grow your following.
Where to share Your Images
All photographers know about Flickr, Pinterest, and Facebook, but there are more places to upload your images and show off your skillset than the three major players. Here are a few more sites created for photographers where you can share your love of social media photography with other M43 enthusiasts:
- Youpic.com – Showcase your best work, find inspiration, and gain insightful tips by engaging with fellow photographers on the site. You can even set up a shop to sell your work directly.
- Exposure.co – Tell a story with every image you post on this site, which closely resembles an online magazine.
- Steller.co – Steller Stories is a site that is a lot like Exposure but designed exclusively for mobile. Create an album of images following a theme and then tell your viewers the story behind the images. If you are as good with your words as you are with your camera, you may even score a feature post.