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How To: Take Photos for Socials

So you work in construction? Groundworks? Maybe even in the roofing game? Plant Hire? Traffic Management? You understand that now is a great time start using social media.

Photos are important, but how do you take a good one? We’re here to help and we promise it isn’t going to be as hard as you think! All you need is a smartphone, no fancy lenses or editing software required.

We see plenty of photos shared on social media but many of them just aren’t hitting the mark. Here's our five handy tips to help get you started!

1. Point of Interest

If you’re taking a photo on site, maybe think about adding a point of interest in the forefront, or focus on one particular element. I.e. focus on a particular detail, perhaps the bucket of an excavator, traffic lights or even a light switch. Most smartphones allow you to tap on the element in the foreground and it’ll automatically add a nice blur to your background.

Gridlines - Point of Interest

If you want to get really fancy you can add gridlines on your camera to balance your shot.

To switch the grid on:

iPhone: Go to "Settings," choose "Photos & Camera," and switch "Grid" on.

Samsung Galaxy: Launch the camera app, go to "Settings," scroll down and switch the "gridlines" option to "on."

Remove any distractions like rubbish or other contractors vans etc. If you can’t remove the distracting object, move your feet, a few steps to left or right might completely change the shot for the better.

2. Keep it Steady

Please, please quit sharing blurred images! There’s no excuse for it, having blurry low res images can detract from the message you are sharing. Clarity is essential. If you have got a blurry photo, we suggest retaking the photo or simply sharing another image. No blurry images allowed!

If you want to take a photo of something in motion, or you’re struggling to keep it steady, most smartphones allow you to take live photos, where it’ll record around 1.5 seconds before and after you’ve taken the photo. This allows you to pick the key photo. You can get pretty creative with live photos too, creating moving images or even long exposure images you can share on your socials for something a bit different.

3. Lights, Camera, Action

A lot of you will be working out in the elements, meaning you can take advantage of natural light. In general, overcast skies soften the lighting and make it easier to capture detail without the shadows being too dark, or the concrete being too bright. Sunset and sunrise give you the opportunity to capture some really interesting shots. Play with shadows, you can even create a silhouette which is a nice effect. Utilise car lights and ambient sources of light.

4. People

People in photos can turn a boring shot into a dynamic story that others can relate to. Make sure your team or any workers on site look engaged, with positive body language. It’s not a great look seeing people stood around not doing much.

Let’s not forget when you share images on social media they’re out there forever. So just double, triple check there are no glaringly obvious breaches of health and safety in any of your snaps. PPE, safe working practices, no airborne dust, the list goes on.

Also it’s worth noting that you should check in with your client before you take or share photos, some sites have strict no photography rules.

5. Get Creative

Finally try something different, here’s a few fun ideas for you.

- Negative space is good! Negative space is the area around and between the focus of your image. When you include lots of empty space in your photos they’re stand out more. I.e. lots of sky, a large wall, muddy floor.

- Take photos from a different angle. Can you create an illusion? Create more depth or height? Think about getting lower or higher?

- Reflections can be fun. Use puddles, large bodies of water, mirrors or metallic surfaces to your advantage.

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