SBSS – Stop Using Stock Photography and Start Creating your own Images for Social Media


AESTHETICSIf you are like me, you want to have something different for your posts than boring stock images. How many pictures of people sitting around a conference table can we see? Or ballon/stick figures? It all runs together and looks pretty generic. You need something that is going to stand out and get you noticed.

I have created some presentations on YouTube (the slides are here as well). Every one of the pics (unless noted) are pictures I took and edited. I love taking pictures with my phone and camera. I don’t just take pictures of every day stuff. I find things interesting and take their pics. You never know when the picture of that old fashioned detergent container at Home Goods will come in handy.

If you have your phone with you snap pictures of things you find interesting. It could be architecture, vegetables, nature or more. The important thing is you take the picture! Not all of them will turn out. I have tons of pictures that looked good in my head but after I took the picture it falls flat. But you never know till you take it.

Here are some tips to taking better pictures:

photos 1Don’t be afraid to get close to the subject – Most zoom features on phones are digital and not optical. Meaning the more you zoom in the chance of distortion is greatly increased. Put your phone close to what you are shooting. The Picture above is one I took close to the fruit.

IMG_6393Hold the phone at different angles –  You don’t have to hold the phone vertical or horizontal. Tilting the camera at different angle can give you a new perspective on what you shoot.

photos-hoover-damTake A lot of pictures – This may seem crazy but take a lot of pictures of the same subject (if you can) and of different things you see. You never know you take a picture of a sign that it will come in handy. Or you go “If only I had taken that picture it would be perfect for this post.”

photos 2Use apps to edit your picture – The reason above you may have a picture that’s too light/dark, off focus or just doesn’t work. Apps such as VSCO Cam, Snapseed and others can take an ok or bad picture and put a new spin on it. With a filter or a crop it can totally change a picture and be just what you want!

These are just a few tips. I plan on doing more app reviews and tutorials soon. Make sure you read every day so you don’t miss a post!

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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