Photos are powerful – they have the ability to draw viewers to your content and create an instant connection that encourages interested minds to read further. By the same token, uninspired or lackluster images can have a negative impact on click-through rates and audience response levels, and in some cases they can even hurt the credibility of your business. Whether you’re publishing a blog post, boosting a post on your Facebook page or polling your audience on Twitter, it is critically important for you to choose images that stand out and get noticed. If you’re ready to create images that are truly worth a thousand words, keep the following tips in mind to help you capture eye-catching photos.
1. Create contrast with light and shadow.
Lighting is a critical component to creating an eye-grabbing composition. If your scene is fairly evenly lit, it won’t provide much visual interest to the viewer, so be sure to include areas of bright light as well as dark shadows to provide some much-needed contrast in your image.
2. Make good use of perspective.
Perspective basically refers to positioning some objects closer to the camera, while other objects are farther away. This can create a sense of depth that will draw the viewer’s eye into the photograph and create an eye-pleasing balance of contrasts.
3. Don’t forget the “Rule of Thirds.”
One of the most basic tenets in photography is the “Rule of Thirds,” which is basically where you break the image down into thirds on both its horizontal and vertical planes. More simply put, imagine placing a 3 x 3 grid over your photograph so that the image is broken down into nine sections. The Rule of Thirds states that the most important elements in the picture should be placed in areas where these sections intersect, instead of being “dead center” in the photograph. Using the Rule of Thirds will help you create more energy, tension and visual interest for your image.
4. Aim for simplicity.
Too much visual information in a photograph can be overwhelming for the viewer, creating a muddled composition that lacks a solid focal point. Sometimes the best images are the ones that keep things simple, such as a close-up of a single object, or displaying the main subject of the photograph with minimal “background noise.”
5. Keep mobile in mind.
Double-check to make sure that the images you choose are smartphone-friendly. This includes making sure that the subject of the photograph is in clear focus, and if there’s any writing in the image (e.g., a street sign), make sure that the text is legible.
6. Use eye-grabbing layouts.
Arrange objects in a visually interesting manner to create an appealing layout. For example, if you’re highlighting a certain collection of accessories, try not to make the arrangement too uniform; instead, organize the items in an interesting pattern that will provide plenty of visual contrast.
7. Create a solid focal point, and enhance it with varied textures.
The subject of your photograph should be in the foreground to create a clear and solid focal point. Once that has been established, you can build around the focal point using varied textures that will create eye-pleasing contrasts.
8. Killer color combinations are king.
If you ever want to see a stellar example of using killer color combinations, just check out any Target commercial–their ads always have an unmistakable visual “pop” due to their expert use of contrasting colors. You can use a color wheel to experiment with various color combinations for your image, including complementary colors (e.g., those that are on opposite sides of the color wheel), or warm and cool versions of one particular color.
Using eye-grabbing images can dramatically increase your chances of garnering your audience’s attention, which is always the first step towards greater levels of engagement. Keep the above tips in mind to compose intriguing and unforgettable images that will spark your audience’s interest and get the click!