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Tips from a Visionary

3 simple tips for creating eye-catching visuals on your platform


PHOTO


Since the world went virtual in 2020, creators have had to shift their focus from performative arts to visual arts in a big way. It's been exciting, as a visionary to see performers and creators from a new creative perspective and to channel their energy into new forms of expression. The visual arts and multi-media industry is booming and now is the time to get serious about your platforms visual content.


1) Be aware of image size ratios across your platforms


One thing that always kills me is an image perspective is distorted due to image size differences across platforms. What happens is when we have to crop an image to fit, say a square tile, but you snap the photo usual the standards camera settings--the viewer misses out on some of the peripheral details that help tell a full story. One of the biggest conversion bloopers making an impact on video platforms right now is the TikTok video conversion--with important video edits getting totally cropped out/missed due to conversion to IG reels and other platforms with differing image ratios.


Here's what I mean:


On the left is my image cropped down to a 1:1 ratio, on the right is my original photo in 3:4 size ratio


I made this mistake while snapping photos for my first Poshmark closet this past weekend. I took very intentional images, showing off important details and visualizing my threads--using the standard camera settings (which results in an image that is a 3:4 size ratio). Upon uploading my first outfit, I noticed that Poshmark's image conversion ratio is 1:1...When I tell I was SOOOOO mad y'all I almost reshot all 20 clothing items (many with multiple images, showing different perspectives). My ass was so lazy that I DIDN'T--and I posted the photos that unfortunately cropped out some important details on the items. On some images I mentioned that I would send the originals, that displayed the full item--but other than that, I'm taking it as a lesson learned.


I recommend saving an image in multiple sizes, shooting the image or cropping in creative way. I also recommend that you learn your platforms image ratios to avoid any errors during the development process. This can impact blog or website headers, IG or FB stories, profile images and other important areas where visuals can really make an impact.


2) Take/Shoot/Use images that require little to no digital editing


Retouching and highly filtered images are very 2019. Followers want raw and editors want easy--a match made in marketing heaven. The easiest way to connect with your human customers, is to remind that you, too, are human and cannot be edited to perfection. This also will save lots of time and effort when it comes to selecting images to use and getting them in platform condition. This is the 2nd mistake I realized I made when shooting images for my Poshmark closet. Rather than applying a "Vivid" color enhancement prior to shooting, I had to manually adjust EVERY image to have the same visual enhancement...


Here's what I mean:


On the left is what my shit show really looked like, on the right is the shot I took that required one simple edit (which was applying my preset filter via Adobe Lightroom)


Rather than snapping the easiest one-off shot, be intentional about getting your perspective, cropping, lighting and background set. All of these elements can be controlled and adjusted PRIOR to shooting not just during the editing process. In fact, enhancing these elements pre-shot preserves the quality and resolution of the original image. It may take a little more time to finesse your shot--but it will save some headache for the editing process and appeal to the collective need for authentic connections on social media platforms.


I recommend getting familiar with the settings on your camera that you can manipulate. I also recommend learning the lighting throughout the day in the space you shoot within, so you can adjust for cool or warm lighting tones. Try to stick with a similar editing preset (or filter) or camera settings for brand continuity and recognition. It can be fun to shoot against fun or non traditional background elements, for contrast and story telling. One of my other biggest recommendations is to be mindful when shooting an image of your full body not to crop out of distort your feet within the image (see example below)


Here's what I mean:


On the left, you can see our feeties all cropped out, and on the right, you get the full vibe!


3) Avoid (when possible) Stock Images


I work for an agency that prioritizes the anonymity of it's clients, as well as educates about social issue that has affected a wide market. This agency values the use of "stock images"; or images produced for mass use, without a specific project in mind--often licensed and paid for through a stock agency. However, when it comes to small business or personal platform, stock images can feel recycled and lacking depth or authenticity.


Generally, potential clients want to know what makes your brand unique or different--they want to understand why it's of better value to invest in your product or services than one similar--or one that they already invest in! Using stock images limits your ability to relate on a personal level with your market--and honestly, our customers & clients want to feel that 1-on-1 connection with our brands.


Here's what I mean:

On the left you see a simple stock image that is free for public use, in the right is a simple photo taken by a local photographer of one of my muses and I


I recommend getting familiar with the kinds of visuals that your clients really connect with and give them more of what they respond to. I also recommend connecting with content creators, graphic design teams, and photographers than can help you create "batch content" for your platforms. I am a huge fan of recycling images throughout the quarter or year as well. I had a photographer I connect with to take a series of images with different looks and locations. It was so much fun, very cost friendly and I am still sharing content we created that day together. I recommend investing in photo editing software as well--there are some really easy to use programs that can change the way you present on social media. My favorite has been LightRoom by Adobe--I use this app on a daily basis and is perfect for beginners. I also enjoy using the PicsArt for more bold edits that include overlapping images, custom retouching and other creative graphic elements--not seen on LightRoom.


This month Indigo is focusing on creating impactful visual content and I'd love to provide feedback on your current visuals or ways your brand can create a more compelling visual story for your intended market. I'm booking simple Coffee & a Consult sessions this month and next--so connect with me to book yours at WorkWithIndigo@gmail.com.





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