Our top 5 fave paid & free stock photography websites

Creating original photography for your content marketing can be expensive, and we know exactly why! After all, we have our own in-house photographer, so we appreciate all the time, effort and skill that goes into creating this content. 

Visuals are an essential part of content marketing, it’s what initially draws people to your social media and website. Did you know that consumers are more likely to engage with visual content marketing over text-only content?

We recommend creating original content for all our clients, as it seriously elevates a brand and allows us to showcase your products in a unique and creative way that will resonate with your audiences. 

However, creating original photography isn’t always cost-effective or even possible for certain projects and therefore, we sometimes rely on stock photography!

Stock photos can be great for:

  • Adding a visual element to blog posts 
  • Creating lifestyle content for social media 
  • Advertising 

These are our top 5 favourite paid & free stock photography sites:

1. Shutterstock (paid)

We have a subscription for Shutterstock for when we have very specific image requirements that free stock photography websites just can’t fulfill. 

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With a Shutterstock subscription, you have access to a library of over 320 million images, with fresh content added daily. 

2. Unsplash (free)

Wow! Unsplash is an amazing resource for photography! They have over 2 million free high-resolution images available, created by a generous community of photographers. 

3. Rawpixel (free & paid)

Rawpixel is an awesome resource for stock photography and vectors. Rawpixel focuses and prides itself on bringing diverse stock photography to its users. They created and started the (One) World Face Project, with the ultimate goal of representing faces from around the world. A really beautiful project that we recommend checking out. 

They have some great options for paid and unpaid stock photography subscriptions:

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4. Pixabay(free)

Pixabay has a community of creatives, sharing copyright-free images, video and music. Under the free Pixabay License, you’re safe to use all content found on their website for commercial purposes.

5. Pexels (free)

Pexels is a great resource for free stock photography and videos, allowing you to access and use their images for commercial purposes including:

  • Commercial website 
  • Blog 
  • Products

When using stock photography or graphics, ensure you read through the licensing information and be careful to not infringe on the artist’s copyrights!.

Happy downloading.

4 stats to enhance your 2021 social media marketing strategy

It’s important to identify social media marketing trends and review statistics from 2020 in order to determine what types of content will resonate with our target audiences in 2021. 

For brands, having and maintaining your social media should be a fundamental aspect of your business by now. Brands investing in their social media marketing will benefit from increased sales and consumer recognition over their competitors! 

Obviously, 2020 was a unique year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Forbes reported that internet usage increased by 50-70%as people turned to the internet for news and entertainment.

 So let’s take a look at some more interesting stats that should influence your social media marketing for 2021. 

1. Poor customer service will impact your following 

According to Sprout Social, 49% of consumers said they’d unfollow brands due to poor customer service. Therefore, customer service should remain at the forefront of your social media marketing strategy. 

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Image Source: Sprout Social Index 

So, one simple way to improve marketing in 2021 is to ensure customer inquiries are handled quickly and efficiently on your social media channels. If you don’t have anyone managing your social media channels, and you’re too busy running the day-to-day operations of your business, it might be time to hire someone to manage your social media. 

2. TikTok is growing rapidly

We’ve certainly seen an increase in demand for video content over the past few years, but TikTok saw its growth increase exponentially in 2020.

Statistics for TikTok according to Oberlo:

  • TikTok has roughly 800 million active users worldwide
  • TikTok has been downloaded over 2 billion times on the App Store and Google Play
  • 41% of TikTok users are aged between 16-24
  • TikTok has been downloaded 611 million times in India, this is around 30% of the app’s total downloads globally
  • The average time spend on TikTok is 52 minutes per day

If your target audience is between the ages of 16 and 24 then consider integrating TikTok into your social media strategy for 2021. 

3. Visual content for the win

Sprout Social’s research concludes that 68% of consumers would prefer to engage with images and 50% would prefer to interact with video content. 

HubSpot states that video has become the most commonly used format in content marketing, overtaking blogs and infographics, with promotional and brand storytelling videos being the most popular types of content created by marketers! 

Social media is quickly becoming saturated with your competitors, so how do you stand out? Beautiful photography! 

65% of people are visual learners, so inform your audience about your brand with this type of content! 

Visual content is a quick and effective way to communicate with your audience:

  • Showcase your products and promotions 
  • Share your brand’s story 
  • Convey an emotion
  • Increase traffic to your website 

We strongly believe in creating scroll-stopping content with social media photography

4. Facebook should not be neglected

Facebook has over 2.7 billion monthly active users making it STILL the most used social media platform worldwide. Therefore, a large portion of your target audience remains on this platform and Facebook should certainly be part of your content marketing strategy for 2021!

If you have a product to sell, then you’ll want to be utilizing Facebook Shops

Final thoughts

We hope you found these stats and trends of consumer behaviours and preferences as interesting as we did and apply them to your social media marketing strategy this year! 

If you’re looking for help with your social media marketing, get in touch!

 

Our top 5 favourite social media publishing apps

We have previously posted about our top 9 favourite social media apps that we believe will step up anyone’s social media game, but what about publishing apps? If you want to be efficient in your social media strategy then using a publishing app is the only way to go. Here are our top 5 picks:hootsuite- legendary social media vancouver

Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media publishing tools (with over 15 million users) and for good reason. They offer a complete solution for all of your social media management needs. Hootsuite is compatible with over 35 social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.

Our favourite aspect of Hootsuite is their bulk uploader and unlimited scheduled messages – by uploading a CSV file (with your pre-planned content), you could literally plan your content for the next year and beyond!

One of Hootsuite’s other most compelling aspects is its analytics abilities, though you need an upgraded plan to access these. The tool helps you and your team understand social results by producing more than 200 metrics to measure performance. Once you’ve generated reports, you can easily export them to Excel, Powerpoint, PDF and CSV files to be distributed amongst your team/or company. 

Hootsuite also has a limited free plan that includes 3 social media profiles, 1 user and a limit of 30 scheduled messages. 

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Later is a scheduling app for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. We personally love – and use – Later because they have an awesome visual posting calendar and it’s easy to use. You simply upload photos to your media library and then just drag and drop them to the time you want to post, allowing you to create a visually pleasing feed quickly. 

Another nifty aspect of Later is it allows you to schedule your first comment on Instagram, so if you want to use hashtags (a great way to reach a wider audience) but wish to keep your caption neat and tidy, then scheduling the first comment is the solution for you. 

What really sets Later apart from other publishing apps is their “free forever” plan, that would sustain the social media needs for some small businesses: 

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Similar to Hootsuite, Sprout Social combines several media tools into one platform, including social media scheduling, monitoring and reporting. Sprout Social is one of the few publishing tools that has a CRM (customer relationship management) feature. Sprout’s CRM allows companies to better serve their customers by analyzing previous interactions.  

Sprout Social is most commonly praised for its reporting features: beautiful reports ready to be downloaded and shared with clients without editing (a big time-saver for a social media manager). 

Their integrations include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, Youtube, Tripadvisor and Google.  Making it a very impressive centralizing publishing tool. 

One drawback of Sprout Social, however, is the price:

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Tailwind is focused on visual content for social media – specifically for Pinterest and Instagram. For Pinterest, you can use this app to schedule posts, find trends through their insights, monitor your brand, launch contests and promotions as well as gaining access to analytics and reporting. 

Included in Tailwind’s software is a smart scheduler that will help you decide when is best to post your updates in order to maximize engagement. 

For Instagram, Tailwind has a nifty feature called ‘hashtag helpers’, which will assist in finding, using and analyzing the best hashtags to help improve your reach and engagement. 

Tailwind is ideal for bloggers/influencers who produce content that includes a visual element and needs to link back to a website, which is perfect on Pinterest. Pinterest has 322 million active users per month, so the potential reach is massive and not a platform to be forgotten about!

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Buffer is an intuitive and streamlined social media publishing platform that allows users to optimize their posting schedule to ensure the best engagement with audiences. It supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and pro users can use the platform to publish to Pinterest. Free users have the option to connect up to 3 social accounts, including Facebook Pages and Groups. 

As the name suggests, Buffer allows users to build up a selection of relevant posts you want to share, which you can then schedule to go out at the most suitable time for your audience and provide the analytics to show the success of your posts.  

Our favourite feature within the Buffer platform is the ‘Buffer reply’ which allows you to take the following actions:

  • Reply
  • Like
  • Follow
  • Archive 

This feature also allows you to tag a conversation, allowing you to follow up later and assign the conversation to another team member who might be able to answer queries better than yourself! 

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Final thoughts

If you haven’t yet dabbled with any of these publishing apps for your social media, then we would recommend checking out as many free trials as possible and see which apps work best for you and your existing workflow. 

If you need help with your social media management, our team can help! 

Client Feature: Sahara Touring

We feel so lucky to have a roster of awesome and diverse clients. This year, Sahara Touring joined our lineup of social media clients and we’re so grateful to have them on board. 

Sahara Touring offers a unique travel experience to its customers by offering a more personalized experience on Moroccan tours. Sahara Touring believes that in order for their customers to truly experience each destination to its fullest, they should be taken to less-travelled locations and paired with local tour guides who are passionate about Morocco and everything it has to offer. They have curated their tours into 4 main categories which include the following:

  • Camping
  • Trekking
  • 4×4 tours
  • Day trips

You can check out what they have to offer more in-depth here.

Our team at Legendary has been providing the following services to Sahara Touring: 

One challenging aspect of our work for Sahara Touring is that their image sources vary, so as part of our service, we ensure that the images used for their social media channels are consistent and edited in a cohesive way. Check out their feed! 

client feature sahara touring - legendary social media vancouver

We’re currently in the initial phases of running paid campaigns for Sahara Touring, using social media ads. Once international travel becomes accessible, we’ll support Sahara Touring’s business growth goals with ads that help deliver leads for potential customers.

Are you looking for help with your social media strategy and content creation? Look no further! Legendary and our team of experts can help

Why social media will be crucial to your business’ success this holiday season

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we anticipate that the majority of holiday shoppers will shift their spending online. This means that your website and social media platforms will act as your storefronts. Today, we’ll discuss how to effectively leverage your social media to get more sales during the 2020 holiday season. 

Salesforce recently posted about how COVID-19 will shape the 2020 holiday season and expressed that “Social media will be the most important emerging platform for engaging with customers.”

Enable Facebook & Instagram shops

Earlier in the year, Facebook launched Facebook Shops, making it easier for small businesses to create an eCommerce platform. Facebook Shops gives businesses the opportunity to create a mobile-first online store that lives on their Facebook Business page and Instagram profile. 

Setting up a Facebook Shop is free and simple, so ensure you’re not leaving any money on the table and set this up if you haven’t already! 

 By enabling this feature, you have instantly increased shopping opportunities for your audience. 

Implement your holiday marketing and promotion strategy 

The online shopping arena is especially overcrowded this holiday season, so your holiday marketing efforts need to stand out from your competitors and grab the attention of your customers. Your social media strategy should include the following:

  • Paid social media ads
  • Search ads
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Video content
  • Increased holiday-related SEO efforts

Do you have holiday-themed promotions planned for your customers? For our clients, we have these planned, photographed and ready to execute by the end of October. Some of the ways in which you could build up holiday excitement with your customers include:

  • Create weekly promotions
  • Promote gift card purchases, make this an easy add on at checkout
  • Create a sense of urgency with time-limited offers
  • Offer free shipping
  • Plan holiday giveaways and contests on social media to increase engagement
  • Create an influencer campaign (great for exposing your products or services to a new service)
  • Offer a contactless pick-up option, make sure it’s safe and convenient for customers

Use social media to communicate with customers

Your social media is also your megaphone, so use your platforms to effectively communicate the following to your audience:

  • Share your exciting promotions (on your feed and in stories/reels)
  • Showcase high-quality images featuring products
  • Use video to share product knowledge
  • Share key delivery and shipping information (due to increased digital orders, postal services are already seeing a surge at distribution centres and delays may occur, offer your customers a fair warning of this potential issue)
  • Feature customer reviews
  • Do you have any charitable efforts going on? Perhaps you could share these, or offer to match what your customers donate. Only include this if it’s authentic! 

Key shopping dates to note for your social media 

Event  Date
American Thanksgiving  November 26
Black Friday  November 27
Small Business Saturday November 28
Cyber Monday  November 30
Giving Tuesday  December 1
Free Shipping day  December 14

Final thoughts

Essentially social media is crucial to your success this holiday season, as it’s your storefront, marketing and communication platform all in one. Explore every aspect and functionality of your social media channels to ensure you leave no stone unturned. 

How our social media photographer set up an at-home studio

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures, our social media photographer, Kat, has been shooting our client photography from home since March. With these few tools and tips, let us guide you through the process of how we create scroll-stopping content from home. 

Firstly, we recommend that you purchase photography equipment that packs away in a space-efficient manner. Or alternatively, invest in some storage boxes, so you can pack your gear and props away at the end of each shoot. Working and living in the same space can present some challenges, so keeping things tidy and organized will certainly help you work productively.  

The basic equipment needed for a home studio setup

    • Camera. Your camera doesn’t have to be a professional camera, you can still create beautiful content with your phone camera.
    • Tripod. If you are working with a professional camera, then consider using a tripod to steady it. We also recommend getting a tripod with an arm extension for shooting flat lays. 
    • Lighting. You can rely solely on natural light if that’s all you have, but we recommend setting up near a window with the most available light even if you’re using studio lighting as well. Amazon has some great start-up kits available for under a hundred bucks, such as this one
    • Light reflector. One of Kat’s most used items, great for bouncing light back into shadow areas or softening harsh light. 
  • Backdrops. We use paper backdrops from BD backgrounds or Savage. We also use fabric from Dressew and marble slabs from Home Depot. If you’re on a budget, use a plain bed sheet or your natural wall colour. 
  • Backdrop stands. Some budget-friendly options are available on Amazon if you want to properly hang/drape your backdrops.
  • Props. Flowers, plants and decorative household items will certainly bring your products to life. 

Find the best light

We adore natural light! Try to find a space in your home that has the best natural light for your setup. If you’re shooting in the middle of the day, avoid harsh midday sunlight by using a diffuser. If your home doesn’t get much natural light, consider purchasing some budget-friendly lights. If you’re just starting out with photography, then these continuous lights will definitely do the trick! 

Our social media photographer, Kat, generally uses flash whilst working from home as her apartment is south-facing and gets very little natural light. Here, you can see her at-home setup taken on an iPhone vs her professional image using flash photography. 

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Create your studio setup

Once you have figured out where in your home you’re shooting, it’s time to set up your studio. Set up your backdrop stands, backdrop and table. We often shoot flat lays, so by shooting off the ground slightly, we’re saving ourselves from bending over too much. Once you have this setup, you can easily interchange your backdrop with fabrics and textures. Swap out the plain white backdrop for a marble tile to add some variety. 

We recommend setting up a tripod as it allows you to:

  1. Steady the camera
  2. Slow your shutter speed if you need to allow more light into the camera
  3. Take the weight off your back and shoulders
  4. Allows you to set the camera down while you style your shot or move products in and out of the shot
  5. Allows you to change the angle of your shot

Let your creativity flow

Get creative! The more unique, original and creative your content is on social media, the more engagement it will receive from your audience. 

Here are four tips to help you get creative: 

  1. Vary the angles of your shots! Try shooting overhead flat lays, eye-level shots, close-ups and wide shots. 
  2. Depth of field. Even if you’re using your phone, most phone cameras now give you the ability to change your depth of field. 
  3. Experiment with lighting. Play around with shadows or even add a gel to your light source.
  4. Props! We recommend laying out all your props on a tray so you can clearly see what you have to work with, making it easier to visualize your shots. You can read more tips on props here

If you’re working with people, then props can give them something to interact with. Check out this recent shoot we did for Le Hibou Kids. Here below, you can see our studio setup (including the props) and then how the kids interacted with them. So cute!  

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Final thoughts

Good luck with your home-studio setup! Play around with it and have fun– why not take your audience on the journey with you and show them some #BTS of your home studio setup. And just remember that you don’t need to invest in expensive photography gear when you’re just starting out. 

If you’re shooting food, then check out our tips for better food & beverage photography. We hope you found our tips from our social media photographer helpful! 

Should you set up a Chatbot for your social media?

If you haven’t set up a chatbot for your business’ Facebook age yet, then it’s time to consider getting with the times! Messenger bots can be very valuable to any business as they can be programmed to automate customer support functions and answer basic questions, as well as capturing and converting new customers. 

What is a chatbot?

Chatbots are automated messaging software that uses AI to converse with people. You’ve probably noticed it on Facebook Messenger or certain apps and websites. 

Chatbots allow business pages to automate many low-level customer service functions or questions by using a series of menus or keywords to guide customers to the next steps. They’re favourable for many customers as they’re easy to use and a major time saver! Nobody wants to deal with calls to a customer service agent! 

They can be used to:

  • Answer basic customer questions
  • Deliver promo codes to potential customers
  • Automatically deliver important information or links

Example of our client The Facial Room’s chatbot at work:

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What benefits do they provide for both the brand and the customer?

Save time and money on customer care

Often, business owners don’t have time to answer customer questions promptly on Facebook Messenger. So by adding this step of automation into your workflow, you could satisfy customer questions, provide automated responses and even perform tasks without burdening a member of staff. 

Facebook now uses an NLP (Natural Language Processing) engine that understands and extracts meaningful information from messages you receive and send. This is how Facebook’s Messenger bots can identify intent and automate some of your replies and route the conversation to a human live chat. NPL also allows Chatbots to sound more human-like and gives the customer a better overall experience. 

Fun fact: Dates and times are automatically localized based on the locale sent from the user’s profile. 

Identify leads

As your Chatbot greets potential customers, it can filter through their needs and ask basic questions like “What is your budget?” or “How quickly are you looking to move house?” and re-direct high-quality leads to a person on your sales team or a product page on your website. 

24/7 availability

Facebook Messenger Chatbots are available 24/7/365 even when you and your staff aren’t! 

How to set up a Facebook Messenger Chatbot?

If you know how to code, then you can build your own Facebook Messenger Chatbot. Facebook offers up a lot of information and tutorials on how to set one up, so if you take this route, be sure to use these resources. 

If you don’t know how to code, don’t panic! There are several third-party tools available so you can create and customize your own Facebook Messenger Chatbot. Check out some of these third-party services available:

Tips for using a Facebook Messenger Chatbot

Chatbots have the ability to increase conversion rates, as long as the pre-designed messages are written and planned effectively. Make sure you’re doing the following to ensure top-notch customer service:

  1. Get to the point quickly! According to VentureBeat, the point of sale should be within five clicks of the designed user experience. Beyond five clicks, you risk losing the lead. 
  2. A Chatbot’s success depends on its ability to recognize when human interaction is needed. Make sure that the customer has the option, at any point to communicate with a person.
  3. Invite personalization! A Chatbot that has the ability to recognize a user’s preferences and needs quickly will result in higher click-through rates and engagement. 
  4. Integrate Chatbots into your social media marketing strategy. Measure its performance and update automated responses when necessary.    

Final thoughts

Chatbots are a welcome time-saver for customers and a cost-efficient way for businesses to limit their need for customer support staff. We definitely recommend expanding your Facebook marketing by implementing a Chatbot into your Messenger account in order to generate more leads/sales! 

If you need more information or help with setting up a social media or marketing strategy, get in touch!

Client Feature: Love & Natural Skincare

Love & Natural is a new client to Legendary and we’re so thrilled to be working with them! 

They initially came to Legendary for our Product and Social Media Photography Services with an eCommerce photoshoot of their beautiful custom facial oils. We’re so lucky to now be working with them in a larger capacity!

Who are Love & Natural

Winnie, the owner and founder of Love & Natural, has been working in the spa industry for 25 years and owns the beautiful Tao Day Spa, located in Steveston, BC. Winne is incredibly passionate about the skin and body, and its intricate network of systems. Her passion and genuine commitment to helping people are very apparent when you speak with her. She is trained and certified in the following: 

  • Licensed esthetician 
  • Certified in aromatherapy 
  • Certified in Thai body massage & reflexology 
  • Certified in Skincare
  • Certified podologist via the North American School of Podology 

Winnie wanted to help more people than she could in person at her spa, so she started Love & Natural to bring her holistic skincare expertise to customers across Canada. 

Love & Natural is an online eCommerce platform with personalized skincare solutions. By booking a skincare consultation, you’ll receive an expert holistic skincare ritual curated to your specific needs or suggested products. Love & Natural take into consideration the following elements before making recommendations: 

  • Environmental factors
  • Diet
  • Wellbeing & lifestyle

What we provide for Love & Natural

We built a multi-faceted social media plan for Love & Natural. Our work so far has included creating and managing the following:

  • Social media management on Facebook and Instagram (including running contests and giveaways)
  • Content creation (captions and stories)
  • Community management
  • Product photography & styling 
  • Traffic ads (leading audiences to your website)
  • Conversion ads (converting to sales on the website)

To build up Love & Naturals following, our content creator, Michelle works alongside Winnie to create posts with educational captions that also have a strong emphasis on self-care. Then our in-house photographer, Kat creates photographs to match the theme of each post using their products and some simple props. 

Thank you, Winnie, for putting your trust in us! We are so excited to be working with you on Love & Natural.

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What can we do for you?

Are you ready to up your social media game? Legendary Social Media can help with that! We have a well-rounded team of experts who can help your business reach its goals. 

 

5 tips for better food & beverage photography

We hope you’ve been enjoying reading our photography and styling blogs as much as we’ve enjoyed writing them! 

Today, our top tips are for food and beverage photography. We have a few restaurants and food truck clients, including Waves Coffee House and Disco Cheetah Korean Grill, that we create content for, so we’ll share some tips as well as demonstrate how we’ve applied it to our work. 

Equipment 

Use a tripod (preferably with an extension arm)! Tripods are great for so many reasons – a few benefits are: 

  • They steady your camera and eliminate blurry images
  • They save you from back pain (holding your camera and bending over for 8+ hours will result in some unfortunate aches and pains)
  • Extension arms allow you to capture awesome flat lays from above
  • They allow you to move more freely between your camera and subject (for when you have to make those tiny styling adjustments)

Another piece of equipment our photographer Kat always has on hand is her reflector – it’s compact and lightweight so she never leaves for a shoot without it. A reflector is a great tool to redirect light, fix shadows or even block out unwanted light. 

Backdrops

The backdrops you choose for your food photography are so important! They set the tone of the overall image. We recommend using textured backgrounds to add depth and interest. 

For one of our favourite clients, Disco Cheetah, their branding is very fun and colourful, so our backdrops always reflect this.

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Composition

Don’t be afraid of negative space! It makes for a more interesting composition and draws the viewer into the main focus of the image. In the context of marketing, negative space allows room for graphics. Very important for commercial purposes!

Experiment with different height levels within your image. For example, if you’re shooting sweet treats, then consider using cake stands. Creating layers with height will add depth and interest to your images.

Incorporate actions into your food and beverage photography. For example, cutting a cake or pouring milk into a coffee will bring the image to life. To make a shot look less staged, feature people or hands.

Consider how the final image will be used. If it’s for Instagram, then it’s likely going to be cropped into a square. So make sure you leave room for cropping and avoid zooming in on the subject too tight. 

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Props

The food is the hero! So keep it simple with props when it comes to food photography – there’s no need to go overboard with added elements and pull focus away from the food. The props should also compliment the food or drink within the image and make sense to the context of the image. 

For example, below is an image we shot for Disco Cheetah. Note that the props used in this image are the small dishes for extra garnishes, dips and sauces, as well as the cloth napkins and the menu. 

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Of course, cloth napkins are not available to use at Disco Cheetah’s restaurant or food truck, but cloth napkins are an easy way to elevate this style of food photography!

Depth of Field 

By using a lower aperture setting, you can focus on one specific item. This is a great way of drawing the viewer’s attention to the main subject while making the background appear softer. If you’re photographing a table setting, then you’ll need a higher aperture to ensure more of the frame is sharp and in focus. 

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Conclusion

Photography is an art form, so there are no hard and fast rules. We encourage you to experiment and see what works. These are just some of the tips and tricks we have collected along the way. 

Want to know more about what we create at Legendary Social Media? Check out our creative services

5 pro tips to styling product photography

We recently shared our 5 essential tips for creating better photography for your Instagram feed. But what about styling better photos? We’re going to specifically focus on product photography here, but you could apply these 5 tips to photography in general! 

Understand the brand you’re working with

This might sound obvious, but it’s imperative that you understand the brand you’re working with and its target audience. So before you shoot, clearly communicate with your client and create a brief from this conversation. Words like ‘modern, clean and crisp’ or ‘fun, bold and playful’ are clear indicators of what they’re looking for and will influence the overall aesthetics of the images you create. 

Proportion and scale 

Be very mindful of proportion and scale in your product photography. Objects have the tendency to look larger to the camera eye. When styling, I always opt for smaller props and here’s why:

  • Smaller props don’t pull focus away from the actual product
  • You can potentially fit more product into your frame
  • Small, relatable props will give an indication of the product size IRL

For example, jade rollers generally only come in one size. So by featuring this alongside your skincare products, it gives the viewer an accurate perspective of how big the bottles/containers are in real life. 

Colour scheme

Choose your colours wisely! 

Colour is an integral element of photography as it evokes emotions and feelings within us and colour palettes can determine how we perceive a brand. For example, here at Legendary, we love using fun, bold colours because we want to represent ourselves as fun and energetic (WHICH WE ARE BTW).

By contrast, for our client Love & Natural, when shooting, we tend to stick to clean white, neutral colours and greens because they’re calming and natural. 

For our client, The Facial Room, we create an ombre colour feed. That essentially means that every month, we focus on one colour hue and then blend it into the next month. Here you can see we use pops of colour from flowers, props like books and then sometimes the colour of the actual product itself. 

Here we went from green to blue:

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Consistency 

Consistency is key to preserving the brand’s identity in photographs, all while achieving enough variety so that the social media feed doesn’t come out looking boring. A few key things to remember when styling your images: 

  • Context 
  • Cohesiveness
  • Repetition

What story are you trying to tell? Ensure that every element of the image makes sense to the context of this story and works together in a cohesive way. 

If you’re photographing a lotion and the main ingredient is almonds, then almonds would make a good prop and make sense to the image. It would also give the customer an instant visual of what to expect from product ingredients! 

If you’re creating a series of images, then try repeating one small element throughout the series to make the collection more cohesive. 

Rule of thirds

In photography, the ‘rule of thirds’ is a theory that dictates the image composition. The idea is that if an image is divided evenly into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, then the subject or items of interest are best placed on those intersectional points. 

The intention of this rule is to help you take a more well-proportioned and balanced image so when styling, keep this tool in mind!

Our eyes naturally move through an image from left to right, so perhaps try styling your product and props in a diagonal line that moves this way. 

I would consider this more of a guideline and not a hard rule. However, avoiding having your subject in the centre of the image will always make for a more interesting composition so keep that in mind when photographing and styling. 

social media photographer- legendary social media vancouver

Final thoughts

Ultimately, our goal with our product photography is to tell a story and sell a lifestyle. Product photography should be aspirational and evoke an emotion that makes the customer want to own the product. This is something that Legendary Social Media can do – contact us!