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How To Capture Engaging Photos and Video for Social Media

Updated: May 28, 2019

It's no secret that to capture attention that leads to likes, comments and follows you need to be posting compelling images and video on your social media accounts. I recently hosted a panel on exactly that topic and the tips and knowledge from the professionals who spoke with me were priceless so I'm going to share some of it here with you. (click to read the bios on the panel speakers)

Here are the top 5 tips that came from my panel on capturing photos and video for social:

1. Know Your Ethos:

Before you snap the camera, do you know what your company message is? Do you know what you and your community stand for? By spending time working through your brand or personal message you can focus on content that will speak to your audience.

This can also be about creating and adhering to an aesthetic code. For instance you can always post images within a certain color palette, use the same filter or leave a white border around all your images.

2. Lighting:

Scan your surroundings for the best lighting. This is often near a window or door or just moving out of the shadows. Natural lighting is your best friend in making your images crisp and vivid. Right after sunrise and right before sunset are also your best times of day for outside shoots.

If you're indoors, add artificial lighting and even mix natural with one lamp for a nice balance.

3. Feel the energy and mimic it in your photo or video:

Use the tables and staff who are actually at a restaurant. Capture hands eating the food you're photographing and use what is authentically there. Feel the energy of the performer and move the video camera at the same speed and path. These details evoke emotion and when someone goes to that location or attends the next performance they see and feel what you put out there.

4. Equipment to capture:

Your phone is always an option. Remember the first 3 steps; your ethos, lighting and the feeling of what you'll be capturing. If you're ready to step into something more than the phone camera here's the feedback:

Katie: I shoot professionally with a canon 5d mark III, for travel and fun with my fujifilm xt-2 and of course, my iPhone.

Andy: Sony a6000 with a really nice prime lens

Ross: 1 RED Gemini, 2 GH5, 2 Sony A7sii, Arri Lighting, and the list goes on

5. Apps to use:

Katie: I mostly edit with my phone camera directly, pumping up the brightness and contrast a bit. Sometimes I drop into VSCO and play with adjusting some colors. You can also do all your editing easily in Instagram.

Andy: Lightroom, Snapseed and sometimes VSCO

Ross / Media Monsters: Unfold, VSCO, Polarr and really creating an image with a blurry background automatically gives it a more professional look and you can achieve this with just the portrait mode on your phone.

Thanks again to Katie June Burton (@katiefresca), Andy Giambar (@andymiami) and Ross and Tom from @mediamonsters

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