Taking Photographs for Social Media

By on December 23, 2015

Pat yourself on the back. This tweet might be one of your best yet. The copy is spot-on — savvy and succinct. Character limit: maximized. You’re almost there, but something’s missing – something that will set this tweet apart from all the rest. What you need is a perfectly constructed in-house image. So what I want to do is walk you through the steps to taking great photos for your social posts.

Below is a list of tips for you to keep in mind before snapping your next photo for social media.


Keep it Simple

It may be tempting to fit as much as possible into one picture, but less is often quite more. Focus on the primary subject matter to keep your message clear. Ask yourself: Does it catch my eye? Where is my attention drawn first? Since your tweets will be sandwiched on top of, in between and under many other posts, keeping the image simple is an effective way to get your point across quickly.

For example, this person is holding a coffee mug. If the first thing I want my target audience to think about is coffee, it makes sense that it be the focal point of my image. Kudos to Padurariu Alexandru for snapping this one.

Coffee Mug


Oftentimes, the framing of a photo is what sets a great picture apart from a good one. Framing refers to how the subject in a photograph is positioned. As natural as it may feel to snap your subject dead- center, try moving the subject to the left or right side of the frame. You may notice a dramatic improvement. A deep understanding of the Rule of Thirds is invaluable for any photography enthusiast.

In the picture below, the orange arches serve as a natural frame for the walkway. Beautiful image courtesy of Freddie Marriage.



It’s also important to consider text when producing your image. If you plan to add text to the photo, make sure to frame the subject in a way where text can easily be added and read. Remember, don’t overdo it. Keep the messaging clear and concise.

Background/Camera Angle

Incorporating background elements when framing your next photo-op can drastically improve the end result. Before snapping away, take a step back and consider your surroundings. Place your subject in a position that maximizes your visual resources. To add further intrigue to your picture, try taking photos from a lower or higher angle and compare them to more straight-forward approaches. Image is courtesy of Danist Soh.



When exporting images in your photo editing software, keep in mind the optimal image size for the social media outlet you are using. When posting pics on Twitter, for example, the file size limit is 5MB.

Before you get started, there are a couple of things you’ll need, one being a camera. Smartphone cameras work great so don’t be afraid to leverage it at a moment’s notice. Photo editing software (e.g. Photoshop or similar software) is really handy if you want to add text or touch up your pictures. Best of luck!

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