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Picture Perfect – using your smartphone for business

This post is by Anne Gould and first appeared on her blog Working Wordz Media

 

The iphone is the snapshot camera of today. It’s a pencil, it’s a pen, it’s a notebook.It’s so accessible, it’s so easy. – Annie Leibovitz, Photographer

Social media has revolutionised the world of marketing for big and small business alike. In the scramble to get online everyone wants to know what to post, when to post and how to post.

But just because you’ve got the technology doesn’t mean that you can ignore the quality of your content. Do you want your brand represented by amateur images? Then maybe it’s time to look at the pictures you are taking too.

The smartphone revolution could transform your brand image.

The smartphone revolution could transform your brand image.

More powerful that the computers that put man on the moon the phone in your pocket has the power to transform your business.

Besides using it as a communication tool, a music device, a game station and a web browser the majority of phones, whether android or Apple have excellent cameras too, ideal not just for photographs but if you’ve got the time for video as well.

These nifty little devices allow you to not only to shoot, edit, share and order prints within a couple of minutes but post to websites and social media too, keeping your customers continually in the loop.

As a professional writer, public relations and digital communications strategist I’d never suggest to client that they relied on their brand images to be shot on anything other than a digital SLR, in the hands of an expert.

Similarly if they were looking for PR shots – an expert in news pictures will get you more coverage than anything you might be able to produce yourself.

However even if you are looking to simply post to social media, the rules of photography still apply. So if you want to maintain your brand image and continue to post useful information to your customers wonky shots, pictures that are out of focus or look as if they’ve been taken while on a night out are never acceptable.

A picture may tell a thousand words – but if it’s a bad picture it won’t help your brand one bit.

On the other hand if you start to play around with your phone it’s amazing the results you can get. Here are some tips for getting better pictures with your smartphone and some home-shot images which show what your phone can do.

 Ten tips for taking better pictures

1.Keep Still

If you want a good image you need to keep your phone steady and if necessary find a wall/shelf or something concrete to prop it up against. If the light is poor – this is even more important because your phone may select a longer shutter speed.

 2.Think About the Light

Better light means clearer images.So go outside or turn on the lights. If your indoor shots look a funny colour you may have to play around with the white balance to fix it.

3.Get Close

You will probably have to get closer to the subject of your shot with your iphone than you might with a conventional camera. So fill up your viewfinder to prevent the subject being too small and unrecognisable.

 4.Keep Your Lens Clean

If you’ve got an SLR your lenses are probably lovingly protected in a camera case but the lens of your camera phone will see the inside of pockets, handbags and heaven knows where else. So give it a polish every now and again with a soft cloth.

5.Shoot in HD

If you want good images you will need a high res shot. Remember though it may mean it will take longer to send your pictures.

6. Avoid Digital Zoom

Digital zoom will decrease the quality of your shot  so avoid at all costs. Instead if you need to zoom use photo editing software on your computer.

 7.Don’t snap too quickly

I-phone cameras are good but they aren’t as responsive as conventional cameras so depending on what app you’re using you may get shutter lag. Another reason for keeping still.

 8. Experiment with White Balance

White balance might sound like a photographic chasm that you’ll never understand. What it does though is allow you to change the colour balance of your pictures and is something that can really help with your iphone pics.

 9.Keep taking pictures

Take as many pictures as you can from different angles – taking pictures on your phone doesn’t cost any money and the more you experiment you’ll find what works and what doesn’t.

10.Composition

Remember the rule of thirds – don’t put your subject in the middle of the picture but a third of the way in.

 

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Anne Gould is a digital communications strategist, writer, professional journalist and editor of Places & Faces, Suffolk, a glossy lifestyle magazine for executives.

 

About the author, Bob Toovey - I have been active on the Internet since 1998, a blogger/writer since 2006 and started dabbling with programming when I got my first Sinclair ZX81. I love to blog about social media, marketing and food. You can find me on Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter