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Disclosure & Image Rights: Image material was created with a smartphone provided free of charge by our sponsor HTC, which we checked as part of the test until it was unusable. The Kranzbach supported our research on site with a free stay and covered our travel expenses. 

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Marketing and social media communication with pictures: 5 tips for good photos

Imagery is becoming more and more important in communication and marketing: For properly used images attract attention, cause emotions and build trust among their target audience. But what should you pay attention to? 5 tips for the right visual language.

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Pictures - more than accessories

The days when pictures are seen only as decorative adornments of texts are long gone: pictorial language, whether as photography or video, today dominates our communication.

This is especially true for social media, as shown by the huge success of image networks such as Instagram or Pinterest. The reason: Images immediately and immediately attract attention and arouse emotions and are therefore much more cohesive than text.

Know the effect of pictures

Therefore, the statement of a picture always stands out that of a text or the caption. For this reason, it is extremely important to deal with the effect of images and current trends in image design.

For this reason, I was recently at a photo workshop in the hotel Das Kranzbach in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which was a pretty successful backdrop for our photographic experiments.

To the workshop

The Kranzbach is one of Germany's best WellnessHotels and also has some smaller meeting rooms for exclusive events - I've written in detail over the hideway for stressed managers already two years ago.

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The two-day workshop itself was held by my very dedicated and knowledgeable colleagues from the Award Winning Isarblog: Monika Schreiner works as a picture editor and works for WundV or Focus Money, among others. Gerhard Bauer works in the sales department of a medium-sized company. And I have to say, I learned a lot about imagery and current trends.

5 tips for good photos

What should be taken care of now to reach better or catchy people with his pictures? My 5 learnings from the workshop are:

1. Golden cut

To make the viewer positive, the picture should look as harmonious as possible. This already starts with the choice of the right image detail and the design of the image composition: It is ideal if you orient yourself when photographing the Golden Ratio:

This is the division of the image in the ratio 61,8% to 38,2%, also simplified is usually a split ratio of two thirds to one third specified. In our example, this means two-thirds of the sky and one-third of the buildings, mountains and meadow. Of course you can also turn this around (one-third of the sky and mountains, two-thirds of the meadow) or split the picture to the right and left, eg building on the right and sky two-thirds on the left.

Of course, you do not have to stick slavishly to this requirement, especially if it does not fit the picture. The golden section but so well received, has a good reason: This image sharing is perceived by people as particularly harmonious, probably because it occurs so often in nature.

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2. Bright photos vs. Dark photos

Especially on Instagram, they are very trendy: Bright, almost unnaturally pale photos with lots of white and pastel shades. However, the reason for this is not only aesthetic but also psychological: bright pictures are friendlier, more harmonious and therefore give more confidence, ie they appeal to the user with positive psychology.

There are several ways to achieve this typical Instagram aesthetic. For example, by manually adjusting the white balance and exposure time. But even with the finished image, you can still change a lot, for example, by using an app like Lightroom or Photoshop to increase the contrast and then reduce the saturation.

It all looks fancy, but also gives Instagram the reputation of being an art world that is simply too unnatural and unrealistic to many. And since there is a countermovement to every movement, it is currently downright to photograph objects and even landscapes particularly darkly in order to consciously stand out from artificial harmony. Even at city shots, the Dark Aesthetics is just a tough one, like this successful example shows.

Of course there is also a psychological background here: Darkness always seems a bit threatening, mystical, dramatic, mysterious, and as a photographer one plays with this fascination. However, the dark effect must be skillfully used - otherwise it can do the opposite!

Which of the trends one ultimately follows, is also a matter of taste, important in the end, above all, a certain consistency in the visual language, practically a separate signature, so that the visitors know who you are.

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3. desaturation

Similar to "in" like bright pictures are photos with saturated aesthetics. This means that the color is practically pulled out, instead of colored pop effects, beige, pastel and gray tones dominate in such pictures.

I am often tired of taking out the blue and red tones from a picture with great, bright colors, but I have to admit that my pictures therefore often come in postcard aesthetics. Desaturation, on the other hand, gives the pictures a reduced, noble aesthetic, just as many Instagramers would have it. In addition, you can then highlight certain notes, such as red lips, especially emphasize. A successful Example of this effect can be found here.

At the same time, color reduction can also become a trademark - for example, if the images of an Instagram account dominate grays and reds. This not only creates a stylish appearance but creates a unified look in your account, so to speak, a very unique signature.

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4. naturalness

Just Instagram, but also a lot of photo apps now offer great filters, with boring, underexposed shots can conjure up great effects that look good, at least on the small phone screen.

Dramafilters, which increase the contrast, but also various color filters, as I used it in this picture, are particularly popular.

However: You can always see such pictures, that they were edited, my picture was taken here around April, but it looks like in autumn. Although it has received quite a few likes on Instagram, I believe that the trend is long-term to natural-looking images that were processed as discreetly as possible.

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5. change of perspective

This brings me to the last and perhaps most important point that I have learned in this workshop: You have to decide whether you want to take pictures that arrive well or at least occasionally or consistently follow your own paths and ideas.

For this, it is advisable to change the perspective on the photographed object and, for example, to step onto a chair, as we actually did in the workshop.

It sounds so simple, but actually offers the view from the top, completely new, more views and prospects and leads to completely different images.

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Of course, there are many other trends and tips that you could handle, writing on picture, for example, which I find increasingly important for Pinterest. Or the game with the background sharpness.

But I thought that we really took a lot of useful tips and suggestions from this workshop and that Kranzbach provided us with a really great backdrop.

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4 responses to “Marketing and social media communication with pictures: 5 tips for good photos”

  1. Erik says:

    Great, I've been looking for a good tutorial for instagram for a long time, thank you very much.

  2. Konstanze says:

    Great contribution, thanks for the many suggestions!

    • Simone Janson says:

      Thank you, we are happy if we can help you.

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