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Hi there! I'm Molly: small town enthusiast, digital marketer, and mom of 4, passionate about helping local, small businesses thrive. Stick around to learn how YOU can flourish while living and doing business in a small town.

molly knuth

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Social Photography Do’s and Dont’s

Social media has become the most powerful marketing tool for all business owners today. This tool is primarily a visual experience for users which is why the images and content you produce is so essential to your success.

With a simple upload, you can connect with hundreds to thousands of potential clients.

If you’re new to this social media adventure, you probably don’t have that many original photos that relate to the content you want to produce yet. In order to curate images relating to your brand or topic, all you need is basic photography skills, inspiration for your subject, and a professional quality camera that many of us already own…

(Hint: it’s your phone!)

Your phone is your best marketing tool in 2020

Whether you choose to take your own original pictures, or enlist the help of another business with headshots for commercial photography, like I did with my friend Allison Corbin (@CapturedbyCorbin), these images will enhance your page and increase engagement among your followers.

Creating these pictures may seem like a monumental task, but I’m here to offer some do’s and don’t’s to make it easier for you!


#1 Use the Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds.

The rule of thirds encourages you to divide the photograph in your mind into thirds, and position the subject either in the left or right third of the image. This technique is one of the most basic photography skills to know and will improve the composition of the photos and create both balanced and visually appealing images. Your smartphone allows you to enable grid lines when taking a photo (which makes the rule of thirds much easier to follow!). The grid is simple: two vertical and two horizontal lines spaced apart equally. You should position your subject and anything important in your photo where those lines intersect. Use this rule for creating more interesting and dynamic photos; however, if you are producing content that will be square (think Facebook profile picture) this rule may not work because you will need an image that is framed straight in the center so your followers can see more of the subject. 

Stay on-brand with your colors used or the filter you apply.

Stay on brand.

Your choice of where photos are taken are as important as the composition and the lighting. If you work for a large brand organization there’s a good chance that you have some sort of brand toolkit or style guide available. Pull that out and study it to get a sense of what your organization’s sense of style is and put that insight to use when you’re shooting candids and shots for your social channels. If it’s your own business, the same technique applies and it’s important to utilize the same color palette and style that you have created in other posts. That sense of purpose and consistency will help your social content feel consistent and integrated with your brand.

Rather than an eye-level, straight-on shot, change up the visual to capture attention


Changing the orientation of the camera to the subject can alter the style of the shot as well as bring some creative elements to your photos. Try shooting from below or above your subject. Or try moving to the side and shooting them at an angle versus straight on. Not only will the subject appear more interesting, the background will too. By utilizing a different perspective, the image will pop in a way that it didn’t before and it will be more attractive to your followers!


molly at desk
Sometimes a professional photographer is your best bet!

Underestimate commercial photography.

Different from your own candid images captured from your smartphone, commercial photography is when you hire a professional to come in and take photos of you, your team, and some of the common scenarios, products, or tools of your business. If you are wanting headshots for your brand or a collection of images that you can post throughout the season or year, consider hiring someone for your commercial photography needs. A professional photographer can help you achieve the look and vibe you want your brand to convey to your followers. Headshots are essential to your digital presence and connecting a face to your business. 


When taking your own pictures manually zooming in on a subject is a big no. Instead of zooming, get closer to your subject. If that’s not possible, don’t worry about it. Take the picture from where you are, and use the rule of thirds to improve the composition. After the photo is taken, you can crop the image to your liking.

Use lighting to your advantage

Forget about proper lighting.

Next to composition, lighting is the single most important factor in a great shot that will help your brand resonate on your social channels.  The trick is in how much light you capture in the image and that, in part, can be achieved through white balance and ISO settings. Be sure to focus your subject in good lighting, or edit your image with different settings your phone provides to enhance the lighting before uploading. 

To be successful with social photography, all you need are some basic photography skills to get you started in the right direction. After that, decide what types of photos will speak to your target audience on these platforms. 

Want more help on creating a content library full of photos you can use across your social platforms?

Click this link for a FREE TUTORIAL from Molly Knuth Media on Facebook!

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Hi there! I'm Molly: small town enthusiast, digital marketer, and mom of 4, passionate about helping local, small businesses thrive. Stick around to learn how YOU can flourish while living and doing business in a small town.

molly knuth

Meet the blogger