Long overdue post but since I started penning this down, the world has changed a lot – with a pandemic and lockdowns all over! I hope you and your family are safe. And I hope we get through this creatively.
Coming back to our topic – creating drool-worthy pics – it is something I consider very important if you are looking at reaching more people on social media. Let’s face it – creating good art is of utmost importance but if you want more people to appreciate it, clicking good looking pics is an equally important skill.
If you are an art/business page looking to cash in on social media success, you will realize that good looking pics with decent flatlays attract far more traction than a good artwork or product clicked badly. Your regular followers will be able to see your pics on their feed but for you to get new followers, your pic needs to be worth a follow when it pops up in the search tab. And that’s what prompted me to write this down as I keep getting a lot of queries for the same.
Personally, my flatlays or style keeps changing with time and my degree of laziness but I make sure that the pic is of good quality (which you can do using some basic features of photo editing apps – more on that later). But before we come to editing, lets take note of few things you can do to click a good picture-
- As far as possible , click your pics in natural light. You can place your workstation next to a window or simply place your product/artwork on the floor next to a door or in the balcony. Natural light makes a huge difference to the overall quality of the pic and you can test this out by clicking a pic in daylight vs the same in artificial light.
- If you live in an area with limited sunlight or no convenient spot to capture a pic in daylight, try using a lightbox – you can buy one or go for a DIY version. There are many Youtube tutorials available if you want to try it out – simply search for Lighbox for Photography. Alternately, you can use two lamps facing each other and click the pic where the light converges.
- Use a clean,even surface to place your artwork – you can use the wooden texture of the table to your advantage or use a white cloth /canvas. You can also create a textured background using mdf / basic primer.
- You can keep it simple by just placing your artwork on the surface and just the materials you used to create it. Make sure you tag the products or brands for maximum reach.
- If you are having trouble placing objects like brushes that roll over, simply use a masking tape strip to stick them to the base while you click the pic
- If you want to create a flatlay, you can use anything you have at home – real flowers, trinkets, potpourri , clips or for extra fun(and fur) your pets! (At your own risk though – my dog would chew up the flatlay instead of posing)
- Experiment with the placement of the artwork and the flatlay objects, making sure that the focus is still on the artwork and not just on all the extravagant things surrounding it.
- If you don’t have access to real flowers everyday, you can simply hang some real flowers upside down to dry and use the dried flowers instead – a wonderful trick shared by my Insta friend Sushma.
- Add season themed props – like during autumn, you could add pinecones or simple decorations during Christmas or Diwali. These add fun and freshness to the pic and it will come up in the seasonal/holiday searches
Now lets talk a bit about editing the pic you clicked
- Even if you follow everything I wrote above, you still may not have the best pic – reason being what your camera captures and how.
- You don’t need any high-end DSLR to click good pics – I do most of my pics/video shoots using my One Plus. What can help is editing the pics to do some minor corrections
- That said, please make sure that the edited pic still looks like the original artwork/product in real life. Too many times I have seen artists edit the pic to such an extent that its barely similar to the original and if you happen to sell such a product, the buyer will be expecting what they saw in the edited pic and not the original artwork. So keep the editing minimal – just to fix things that the camera couldn’t capture correctly.
- There are many apps available in the market that can help you with editing but I have found Snapseed, Pixlr and Inshot to be the best. They provide all basic functionalities for free like changing ratio, enhancing filters and edits to exposure,saturation etc
- In most cases, all you need to do is edit the exposure — in simple terms it will determine how bright or dark your pic looks. You can toggle with this feature – only a little bit – and you will be able to see a lot of difference. Adjust the whites and you are surely looking at a better picture.
- You can also use loads of the inbuilt app filters if you like but I feel they take away from the original so I don’t go for them
- Instagram also has its own set of filters that you can try out – you can adjust the % according to what suits you the best and try out the filters.