Styling your photos for social media

Competition in the social media newsfeed has never been so fierce.  With Facebook and Instagram now applying formulas to posts that determine who sees what, your images need to be on point to be seen.  And it’s not just about views – to get social media working for your business, you need your fans to engage with your content. This may be a like, a comment or, even better, a share or repost.  Having great, well styled photos is essential if you want to stand out in today’s digital world.  You have your audience’s attention for a second and you need to capture them before they scroll onto the next thing. Poor photos can really let your brand down and even worse, see your fans lose interest and unfollow you.

Here are our top 8 tips to help you style better photos for your social media feeds:

  1. Shoot on a clean background. Before you take a shot, take time to consider what is in the background and feel free to move things around.  You might like to take a photo from above (a flatlay) or a more stylised shot with your product in context. For example- your beautiful flowers on a table in a lounge room.  Either way, take a look at what is in the background.  Using a simple white piece of board or corflute from Officeworks is a great way to create a blank canvas and get a consistent look.  Consider using wooden or concrete floors, a marble kitchen table, sample tiles, a piece of plywood or a coloured piece of scrapbooking paper.  The key is to think about what you want your brand aesthetic to represent and then choose spaces and backgrounds that tie in with this.

    One Happy Leaf
    One Happy Leaf
  2. Add other elements or textures to the photo. Now, you don’t want to detract from the main product in the shot, but adding other elements such as greenery or flowers can add to your photos.  Your aim is to evoke a reaction and for potential customers to aspire to own your product.  Make sure the props are attractive and link to your brand.  Consider collaborating with other creatives and then your photos will be shared by multiple people.

    Toastie Toots
                                Img: Toastie Toots
  3. Create some blank space.  Your aim is to capture the attention of your fans as they scroll through their feed.  By adding some white space you will draw the eye to the different image elements rather than it just looking like a lot of clutter.

    Img: Meghan Plowman -
    Img: Meghan Plowman 
  4. Choose a vibe and keep it consistent.  Think about your brand’s aesthetic and choose a look that goes through your feed that works for your brand.  It might be clean and organic, dark and moody, bright or a certain colour theme.

Mr Poppins and Co

Img: Mr Poppins and Co

5. Avoid adding text, logos or multiple images… it creates clutter.

6. Add some life to your images.  If you make clothing, jewellery or accessories, photograph your products on a model.  Don’t feel you need to include everything in the photo.  Crops and details create intrigue and get people to stop and look.  Remember that it doesn’t need to be perfect.  It’s better to be authentic and add a bit of you into the photo.

Img: Puretots
Img: Puretots

7. Maintain consistent and good natural lighting across all photos.  Try to avoid using too many filters, but do use the photo edit settings if you need to brighten up pics to look more consistent.  Filtered light works better than direct sunlight.

8. Be consistent with your photo cropping. If you are going to keep them all square, do that, if you are going to have a jigsaw of shapes, that’s fine too.

Check out Pinterest for other ideas and useful resources and if you still need help please ask.




Blog written by Justine Barsley who is is the Founder and Creative Director of Perth Upmarket.  She also helps creative small businesses grow over at Growth Quarters.