We totally get that it’s not always possible to use a professional photographer. We also understand that as your marketing agency, we can’t be there for every award ceremony, company outing, or new product debut. 

You might not be an Instagram guru or the next Annie Leibovitz, but it’s still possible to capture great images to use professionally for social media and marketing purposes with a cell phone camera and a few clicks. 

If you are looking to make your social media manager shed a tear of joy when you send photos, follow these tips. 

Tilt Your Phone Camera 90°, Please

We understand that cute selfies and Instagram shots are ideally suited for vertical photos, but in order to give us a little something to work with during the editing process, please tilt your phone to take the photo horizontally.

Improve the quality of your photos instantly by taking photos horizontally. Why?

  • Easier to capture what the eyes can normally see
  • Wider canvas doesn’t force you to squeeze as much into your phone screen
  • Faster to edit into a number of other sizes for different social media accounts

Horizontal images tend to encapsulate more of the location and its surroundings. This also makes it easier to translate your photos for various uses including images for a blog and social media.

Zoom with Your Feet, Not with Your Phone

Optical Zoom was a hot selling point in recent iPhone ads. Not every phone can do this. 

Older phones and many other smartphones only have the ability to do a digital zoom, which means when you zoom in you are really just taking a cropped version of the further away photo.

However, iPhone or not, the best photo is going to happen without the camera zoom. If you need to get closer, walk it closer. 

Leave Some Extra Space

Usually, we’re taking your photos and editing them. By leaving extra space, we can change the dimensions for different social media accounts without chopping off the top of your head or a part of your product. 

PRO TIP #1: Leaving extra space also gives us room to decide where your logo should go on the photo. You can’t go wrong with extra space and high resolution.

If you’re looking to make your social media manager begin all-out crying tears of joy when you send photos, take your photo quality to the next level, and keep reading! 

Take Photos of People

When scrolling through social media or your website, viewers are more likely to stop and take in the message of the photo when a subject’s eyes can be seen. If you’re photographing an award ceremony or a team-building event, smiling faces with camera eye-contact are ideal.

PRO TIP #2: Leave extra space in the direction the subject’s eyes are facing. Your photos will look more professional this way.

In addition, try taking photos from a number of different angles. Taking photos of people head-on can look awkward or posed. 

Stay Mindful of Your Brand

If your corporate image doesn’t take photos around the office, then your local office should also follow suit. If your products are all photographed on a white background, keep it up with the new inventory!

When you’re taking photos for your company:

  1. Consider the color scheme
  2. Think about your target audience
  3. Try out different versions of the shot

Play with the Camera Settings

Even cell phones have a wide variety of settings. If photography is something that interests you, try out the different settings for outdoor vs indoor shots or day vs night lighting. 

PRO TIP #3: Don’t use flash. Find a way to adjust the light levels where you’re taking the photo. 

Many camera phones will help you fix the lighting simply by tapping the focal point on the screen before taking the photo. 

Remember, we can edit the final photo, so it’s best to avoid putting any camera filters or Instagram filters on your photos and avoid cropping.

author avatar
Alaina Halsey
Our Projects and Creative Manager, Alaina Halsey, graduated from Ball State University where she studied journalism and telecommunication focusing heavily on advertising design and social media. After building influencer programs and working with social media and branding in a variety of capacities, she brings with her an extensive knowledge of social media, user experience, and design in addition to her brand design and project management expertise. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending hours on Instagram and TikTok, going to baseball games, exploring Chicago, and learning how to cook.