We are in a much more visual time now. The best businesses have great visual images of their products and services. Even in our business to business dealings, we often still apply the same preferences that we apply to our personal social media browsing habits. We want to be entertained and stimulated, even as we strive to achieve our best results in business.
Images make a massive difference.
There are lots of great studies and stats on how much more likely your content will be shared on social media if it has striking, visual, interesting, beautiful images. Obviously this is true for the more visual social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and Snapchat. However it’s also true for Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn too.
But I have no good images!
It gets easier and easier to be able to create images that are at least usable. They may not be to a professional photographers standard. However in an age where ‘good enough’ can often get your content to go viral, whereas waiting for the perfect shot may mean zero online impact. We’ve also seen lots of entertaining, moving viral videos and articles. The images may not be of the highest resolution. However they are good enough to capture the idea that the author is trying to express and we, as users, are generally willing to accept this.
The best camera is the one you have with you …
Is probably a comment you may have heard a few times. It’s certainly true that any camera is better than no camera, and yes, in this day and age, we all have one to at least the standard of our phone, and invariably a smart one too. Therefore even if you have nothing else, remember that you always have your phone with you.
Basic Digital SLR’s have fallen massively in price
This is a good starting point, and does allow you the opportunity to grab a snap of something newsworthy. However the price of Digital SLR’s (Single Lens Reflex’s) has fallen massively. For around €400 or probably less in other parts of the world, you can get an entry level camera, often with some introductory lessons thrown in too if you lucky. These cameras can still fit into a (large) pocket and then offer you the chance to get some potentially really good pictures.
Taking good pictures is something you can learn, (quickly too)
The great thing about Digital SLR’s is that you can instantly see if the photo worked or not. Sure this was always true with really basic digital cameras, but with the additional quality that the SLR brings to the table, you have the chance to immediately realise what you’re missing. This means that while you are still at the unique event you have a chance to get the shot that you need.
Compare and contrast, learn and learn from the masters
At big events, such as Web Summit or large conferences there will be a stream of social media postings, generally on twitter, with the particular hashtag for that event. This enables you to see what your contemporaries are taking pictures of. If it’s an awesome image, then better make sure that you take something similar. Contrastingly too you may find that no one else has captured the particular image that you saw. At Dublin Web Summit 2014 for example each evening we would review the content posted by our major rivals and then make sure that we ran images that were ideally better and / or significantly different to them. No one wants to be seen as a me-too, unless perhaps if it is a truly iconic moment, If so, probably best to jump in there and learn from the masters.
Know what sort of photos will help you tell a story visually
There are certain images that will really help you to tell a story visually. At events it’s really helpful to get an image of where and or what the event is. Naturally at these sort of events and conferences there is usually a large, physical banner proclaiming welcome on the day. These make excellent images to be photographed. It shows that you were actually there, which won’t be the case for everyone else posting about the event, so why not show your credibility by subtly demonstrating this. Similarly if anyone is demonstrating something, then this is a great thing to get an image of.
Twitter is your friend
Sometimes it’s just not possible to actually be at the event, or we are and we don’t manage to get any great or even usable images ourselves. In this situation twitter has sometimes helped to save the day. If something is newsworthy it has invariably been tweeted. If so it can be really useful to find the relevant hashtag about the conversation, or the twitter feed of someone who was involved. You will often find great images there.
Attribution is important, and strategic too
When using images from twitter, rather than cropping out the creator of the tweet it makes more sense to highlight who created the image. Firstly it is polite, respectful to acknowledge the ownership of the image – especially because legally it is theirs too.
Secondly it is also really strategic too! In using this person’s image it is a nice thing to let them know that you used it, perhaps by sending a tweet mentioning this to them. If that person just happens to have 80,000 followers on twitter too, then it is also highly likely they may also retweet your link. As you can see this then helps to potentially get your image out to a much wider audience than you may have achieved from just your own social media circles of influence.
Go for it, it’s something you get better at very quickly!
This is an area where the technology has massively improved over a short period of time. You may not put the professional photographers out of business, but you will be surprised how quickly you get better. By being the person taking the images you bring more value to your organisation. Who knows, you may even be able to persuade your boss to buy you a better camera to use too.
Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us?
An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.