• Amanda Gerow

13 Ways to Elevate Your Photos & Increase Your Views

Happy New Year, creators!


How do you picture your success as a creator on Hometalk, Foodtalk, or Upstyle?


We’re ready to help you exceed expectations and create viral posts on Hometalk, Foodtalk, and Upstyle with these tips and tricks to make your photos stand out every time.


Check out these general tips and specific tactics for taking great photos for the Hometalk family of sites.


Make Your Photos Meet Quality Standards Every Time


1. Find the Right Light


You don’t have to have a professional setup or fancy equipment to take well-lit photos. Focus on natural lighting and limiting shadows. If needed and if it is a viable option, move your project outside and away from artificial lighting. As a tip, if you’re using your phone for photos, don’t forget that you can often adjust your exposure before you take your shots.


2. Include Before, During, and After Photos


Make sure your photos guide your audience to the final project. Include clear photos of your beginning project or materials, take photos as you complete each step, and wrap it up by including multiple high quality images of your final product.


3. Learn the Best Times To Use Landscape Or Portrait Photos


There’s an unspoken struggle of knowing whether or not to use a landscape or portrait angle.


Landscape angles photos offer a deeper depth and create a better, more spacious feel. Vertical photos can often come off as cramped and cut off important elements of your tutorial shots for bigger projects. Portrait mode works well for posts where the subject is taller than it is wide. This angle works well for fashion related posts or photos where you only want the viewer to focus on one item.


The important factor here is making sure to share photos that create a sense of uniformity and cohesiveness in your posts.


4. Avoid Using Collages or Grids


We know that photo grids and collages are popular for containing a lot of photos, but doing so often makes important images smaller, and harder to understand. Stick to single, well-lit process shots to detail your tutorial steps.





5. Limit Text and Overlays on Your After Shots


When adding in your tutorial photos, be sure to include at least one clear and high quality image of your final result. Don’t use a photo with a watermark over the main project or text overlays as the only after shot.



6. Use Your Angles


Perspective is everything. Shoot your photos from different angles as you go to give yourself options and share the best photos in your final post later.


7. Crop Out Borders


When taking still shots from your tutorial videos, be sure to crop out the black borders from the photo. Make sure that your photo takes up the full frame and the selected image is taken from a high resolution video.




How to Take Successful Photos for Hometalk Posts


1. Include Step By Step Photos


Readers don’t just want to see your pile of materials and final product. They want to see the details. In-process photos are what your audience needs to recreate your project. Be sure to include photos of you as you complete each step of the process. Your tutorial will stand out more with clear instructions and visuals that show you completing each step.

Not sure which parts to photograph? As a rule of thumb, each time you mention a new step, new tool, or new material try to get a clear shot of what you’re using and what action you're taking. For example, for a project where you are restoring a dresser, take a photo while you sand it down. Then take a photo as you begin to paint or seal.


2. Make Your Project the Star


Your posts should include a final photo that showcases the project and the way it is used. Too many objects in the frame can take away from the project you worked so hard on, so make sure it’s the main focus. Readers should be able to understand what your project is right away.


How to Take Successful Photos for Upstyle


1. Clear Your Background


Maybe your cute styled outfit meant trying on a few dozen tops first - it’s fine! We know the perfect outfit takes time. Just don’t forget to clear your background when taking that final style shot. A busy background detracts from your final look.


2. Don’t Crop Out the Details

You worked too hard on your tutorial to only show us half an outfit or just the top of a homemade beauty product. While taking your final photos, be sure to include a shot of your final product in its entirety. Avoid shots that are too zoomed in and can make it hard for the audience to see what you’re showing.



How to Take a Successful Photo for Foodtalk Posts


1. Work With a Clean Lens


We know it gets hot in the kitchen. Double check that when taking any in-process cooking shots that steam from your recipe isn’t fogging up the lens and splatter marks aren’t present. The blurry images detract from your recipe and make it hard to see your dish.


2. Make A Pretty Plate

Let your audience eat with their eyes first. Plate your dish in a way that best lets readers see all that the dish has to offer and be sure to include a photo of the full dish. Find contrasting plates, platters, or dishes that best make your recipe pop. Don’t forget to take your shots with a clear background and bright lighting to best make the photos stand out.





Do you have a photo hack or tip you love when creating your tutorials? Let us know in the comments below!


For any questions or suggestions for future blog posts, please email us at amanda@hometalk.com.

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