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70% of Instagram users are committing these sins while photographing food.

I’m quite an active Instagram user myself with a few thousands of followers, I observe a lot of photographs every day. What can I say? Some of the pictures are amazing and those accounts have huge followership. But the majority of people just click what they appreciate and put the pics on Instagram without a thought. And it’s perfectly fine when you have a personal account which is probably visited by a bunch of the close friends and relatives. But, what if you are running your blog and want to attract more people there via Instagram? What if you try to develop the business account, and not just a personal room for a family? Well, in this case, the quality of your photographs and the strategy are critical. Because you are providing your content for the readers, it’s not about you anymore; it’s about them. And when we talk about food-related businesses such as restaurants, cafes, bakeries, shops, food blogs, nutrition coaches, online shops – the quality of visual content is, even more, significant, as “client eat with their eyes first”.

The first sin is

WRONG WHITE BALANCE

What is white balance in camera for food photography

 

WHITE BALANCE

You presumably noticed these symbols on the camera being displayed or on the advanced smartphone apps. These are white balance options. You need to know more about white balance to achieve photographs which don’t look like some yellow disaster. The strange yellowish images are mostly the victims of the tungsten light. As AWB (Auto White Balance) can’t work within this “light temperature range”, it allows a camera to produce whatever it sees (and at that moment, the camera is practically blind). To fix this issue just chose the symbol with the little light bulb. It will dramatically improve your picture, and even if the photo is not perfect, it will be easier to correct it during postproduction.

If you need more information, read this post about white balance and the one on light temperature.

The second sin is

SHAKING HANDS & BLURRED PICS

 

USE TRIPOD FOR YOUR SMARTPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY

Well, it’s not easy to make a sharp picture in a poor light condition. More than that, it’s almost impossible. That’s why photographers work with a tripod. The good news is that you can use a sort of holder with your smartphone too. I simply use my selfie stick mounted on a basic tripod. If you don’t have a tripod, put your camera on a table or other stable surfaces such as book or bag and put the camera on timer.
The best idea is to stop shooting in the darkness. If there’s no enough of natural light, simply learn how to use artificial light efficiently. It’s obviously better to photograph in a good light condition to achieve some great clicks.

The third sin is

BORING OR BAD LOOKING SUBJECT

BORING OR BAD LOOKING SUBJECT

Yes, I quietly passed some composition mistakes or crazy looking filters. Yes, one of the most common mistakes is the poor looking subject. It’s one of the primary and undeniable rules of photography — 90% of the time you will get what you look at. So if your dish isn’t styled enough, the elements of the composition were not put in a right place, the final photo will not look exciting.

So here is the tip. (It’s easier to perform when your camera is fixed on a tripod)

  • Put your basic composition and fix the camera.
  • Then modify light, dishes, props, till you love it on a camera display. Make a few clicks, adjust the settings.
  • Now you can put the food.
  • Make some styling tweaks on the dish, take a few more snaps.
  • Now add some garnishes to the dish and make your final shot.

One of the most critical conditions for the food to look good is that it has to be super fresh. All garnishes have to be very fresh and strong (read here how to achieve it) and props clean (read here on how to maintain the props)

In conclusion

It doesn’t sound that pressing. Just three common issues to fix and your photographs will look so much better. Obviously, when you run a business account, it’s never only about pictures. It’s also some branding, some strategy, and some story behind. But if you start with good images, it’s already a big deal. You do not need to become a National Geographic photographer in a day. But nowadays, all customers are very particular about visuals; they are searching for authenticity and photography. It’s just a right medium to reach the heart of your potential reader or buyer.

Well, as I informed you so much about branding and strategy which work together with photography, here is the deal — Download this Book and try to apply the ideas from it. I know it will help your food enterprise improve the visual communication and thrive. Cheers 🙂

Three myths about Facebook or how to save thousands on advertisement

Let’s talk about Facebook. It’s definitely the largest Social Media Platform, and probably the most popular. Many will say: “it’s free and so entertaining” or “but it’s good only for young people”, or “it only for fun”, or “only to chat with friends and kitten pics”… Well, is that so? Let’s check it out.

The Myth 1. Facebook is free.

How many times you heard that Facebook is free platform and we must accept anything they do, even if we don’t like it, because it’s FREE. Well, let me tell you. Ever since you started the account, Facebook has been collecting information about you. They probably never sell this information. But the accurate targeting of facebook ads is only possible because of the user’s data. So advertisers pay this media, to be on your timeline. That means, at least, to me, I get all the Facebook fun and pay via my personal information in exchange. So, is Facebook free? Think of it.

The Myth 2. Advertise your page, boost your posts and it will help you sell.

Let me tell you, I was reading about wonders with Facebook advertising. But since they change the rules and every page owner have to advertise the content (even if it’s not a commercial page), it lost all sense. I had a page, it got 300 followers naturally. All of them were active and the page was alive. The 25% content was of my blog and 75% was entertainment (I posted content from other pages and sites while some content was my own). Now my loyal users do not see posts from my page (because of the new rules). Please answer a simple question, if I decide to boost my posts, would I advertise somebody else’s content? No! It means my followers will only see that 15-25% of commercial or my blog content. Will they like my page, or will they buy my product? No! Because they are simply not aware of 75% of the other content that I shared. As a result, I recommend my customers to not using facebook advertising for Page Likes (Likes may be fake, and users may not be active).

The Myth 3. It’s only for young people.

Since its inception, Facebook has changed a lot. If 5 years ago, it was fun-oriented media, nowadays it’s a good source of news and communication. Thanks to Messenger. It also become a connection tool and partially replaced the SMS. Mothers are following children and know more without questions (such a relief). Employers check new workers (be aware of what you post). Also, you can subscribe almost anywhere using just Facebook. It’s clearly not only for youngsters anymore, it has become practical.

So if you want to save thousands on the Facebook advertisement, you have several choices.

  • First accept that with many “fake likes”, you may not reach the real customers, and don’t spend on Facebook advertisement. Use some other platform for it
  • Secondly, post 4-6 times per day – be useful all the time and try hard, you will gain the attention of both – the real and fake accounts, although, very slowly
  • Third — just use Facebook as a posting schedule tool for your Twitter account and advertise there your Facebook page
  • Fourthly, talk about your page in groups, but do it after you confirm it with the group owner, they may charge you for ads, but in many medium groups, users are real, so you will avoid fake likes.

Meanwhile, if you like to improve the visual communication of your Social Media profiles, you can subscribe and get FREE BOOK “Good Photo=Good brand”! Cheers.

How to find the inspiration for the photo shoot with Pinterest

We all need some inspiration from time to time. When you are in a creative profession, you have to generate ideas on an hourly basis. What to do when you are a newbie and all good ideas get suddenly vanished? Well, it happened even to the best of us. Here is a simple method which can push your creativity and help in a time of burnout.

Let’s say you want to tell a story about a restaurant. To find inspiration, we will use Pinterest — the social media based on the photographs that people pick from the internet.

So, how to find the inspiration for the photo shoot with Pinterest? Open Pinterest  and type in the search field “restaurant”



You will see a lot of pictures which can already inspire you for some ideas. But let’s move forward. In the line below the “search”, you can find additional keywords to make the results more specific to your needs.

For example, we search for the “restaurant branding”.

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We can also add some styles required for the project, such as rustic, vintage, modern, and you name it. See what the search on “restaurant, rustic inspiration” reveals.

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We can even add the materials if we know how our location/restaurant looks like.

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I can already sense that somebody will mention “plagiarism”. No. I do not ask you to copy the pictures. And it’s probably impossible to make exactly the same picture in the other location. But seeing how other talented people deal with the task similar to yours, can rise many fruitful thoughts and ideas in your mind.

How easy is it to work with? Well, very easy! You can’t remember each and every picture, I’m sure. So, create a “secret” inspiration board for the particular project (you may like to delete it eventually, or make it “open” when you are done with it.)

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This collection may inspire you as long as it exists. My advice once you make the collection- go through the pictures and delete the irrelevant ones as compared to other images in the collection. Carefully crafted “inspiration board” will work better than an unfocused mess of the photos from here and there.

You can also create boards for some specific moods or colors, which may work without a link to some specific assignment. Create as many creative boards, as you need, and make them work for your creativity. By the way, just because Pinterest users pin new pictures every minute, you may also follow the trends within the industry you are going to shoot for.