Approaching your subjects the way a photojournalist would can help you tell your story with greater success—and fewer headaches.
Posted: March 23, 2015
More than 70 million new photos are uploaded to Instagram daily, though, so how can you make your images stand out?
If you approach a photo shoot like a brand journalist, your Instagram feed can achieve visual victory. Try these techniques:
1. Tell a story. This is the single most important thing an Instagram photo should do. As a brand journalist, you should think less about shooting a photo and more about telling a story visually. Identify the iconic image that will tell your story, and make capturing that image your goal.
2. Create a shot list. Treat an Instagram photo like any other piece of content. Make a pre-production shot list that includes how and where you’ll capture the image, along with any props you might need. This is what professional photographers do before a shoot to ensure that they get the shots they need.
3. Move around to find your best location. Smartphones have great cameras, but their lenses are limited. That’s why shooting a photo from the back of a room yields lackluster results. Don’t be tempted to zoom in with your fingers, because you’ll lose resolution. Instead, move around to find your best shooting location, which is typically closer to the action you’re trying to capture. Once you’re in place, explore different angles to find the most visually compelling shot.
4. Be unpredictable. A shot that is less commonplace often means the difference between your target audience scrolling past your photo or engaging with it. Experiment with interesting angles or extreme close-ups to make your photo stand out. You can also make a traditional photo more interesting by using filters and other editing tools before posting it to Instagram.
5. Keep shooting. Even if you think you’ve captured your ideal image, snap a few more photos. It’s exceedingly frustrating to be editing photos and realize you don’t have the shots you need. Deleting extra images is much easier than going back to shoot additional photos.
Follow these tips to take your Instagram feed from basic to brilliant.
Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, a public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism. MediaSource has been named Best Health Care Agency in both 2013 and 2014 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards. Connect her on Twitter: @LisaArledge.