This blog is three of three in a follow up series to a marketing workshop we taught on September 14th. In this series we are answering three of the audience questions that were posed that day. Enjoy!

Person taking a picture with their phone during a concert.

Can you remember life before selfies? For some, it may be difficult. There was a time where it required film and sending pictures out for print in order to relive special moments. Now, in an instant you can snap a photo of nearly anything, simply using your phone. What’s more, you can edit and alter the photo from the comfort of your couch. Just because it is that easy to take and edit pictures, doesn’t mean the pictures are good—or high quality. In a recent workshop, we were asked the question:

Describe the value of pictures, what makes a good photo?

Our answer: Pictures are of paramount importance and composing a good photo must take lighting, composition and subject matter into consideration.

Studies have shown that when sharing content including an image or graphic, the content is much more effective. Hubspot recently shared a long list of statistics related to the importance of visuals in digital marketing. Here are a few standouts:

Pictures make the content more engaging, help explain the intent of the piece and also help evoke an emotional response. Images and graphics can also be used for instructional or demonstrative purposes—they have a tremendous amount of value when incorporated into a digital strategy.

Remember to always consider your visual branding guidelines when selecting imagery or creative graphics. Not only does it need to support the content you are sharing, but it must also reflect your organization well.

One of our all-time favorite ways to really ensure photos reflect a brand positively is to plan a brand photo shoot. During the photo shoot, you must strive to show not only what you do, but why you do it. Use pictures as one more way of telling a story.

The second part of the question was what makes a good photo. Composition, color scheme, lighting and subject matter—it is the totality of these factors and more that contribute to a great photo.

We do suggest taking a minimalist approach when capturing your own photos. Try to isolate the subject matter, knowing that when scrolling through social media, your audience will quickly glance at your image and then decide if they would like to further engage—by lingering and looking longer or by reading accompanying text. If the picture has a cluttered composition, it may be hard for the viewer to readily identify what they should be focusing on—therefore, they will continue to scroll and focus on nothing.

A major no-no is using filters on a photo that taint the true colors of a product. You want the product to look as “true” in the photo as if the person were holding it in their hand. Keep the filters simple or use them to brighten up a picture that has dark lighting.

With these ideas in mind, tackle your next blog, tweet or newsletter with confidence in your digital and visual marketing skills.

What Makes a Good Photo?
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The Blue Mobius Writing Team is a group of people that share a love for cleverly crafted words and all things marketing. We also really like alliteration, coffee mugs with witty sayings, and colorful pens.

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