Food for Thought, The Social Media Photo Ruse (“A photo is worth a thousand words” and it could also be worth many questions as well.)

Organic Pumpkin Doughnuts with pecans and maple glaze. 1/60 sec at f/3.5 ISO 50 50mm

Organic Pumpkin Doughnuts with pecans and maple glaze. 1/60 sec at f/3.5 ISO 50 50mm

Do you ever stop and look really close at photos on social media? Do you want people to look closer at your social media images? If you are seriously using social media to represent a brand or maybe your image is your brand, I ask you; are you putting thought into the quality of the images. I know that sounds a little corny but seriously take the time and look at some of the photos of the favorites you follow. Now I’m not talking about your BFF or Aunt Martha’s picnic photos but rather the images of some of the higher profile people you follow. From Instagram, Facebook to blogs they all have their place on the web and they all serve a purpose and they all need image content whether it be photos or video, you should be putting thought into this content and not just the quantity but also the quality. One great post speaks volumes of ten good posts.

We all know (or you should know) the one way to kill followers on Instagram (IG) is to fill your followers feed with multiple images posted just minutes apart. I have dropped fairly interesting people from IG just because they post ten photos of the same party or MX race or photo shoot ect… IG is where you need to be right now if you want to promote or if you are a good photographer, but just don’t get carried away. The girl who posts ten selfies a day is just as bad as the guy who posts one selfie a week but it is in front of the same mirror in his bathroom. Boring! Just as boring is an image of a beautiful meal you’re getting ready to indulge in and there is no description as to what it is or where it is. “A photo is worth a thousand words” and it could also be worth many questions as well. So help your viewers out and give a description and respond to comments. Responding to comments even just to say “thank you” makes your viewer/follower feel like you know they are there. Of course if you have hundreds of thousands of followers returning comments can be daunting to say the least, but with that many followers you now hold an extreme amount of leverage over social media and you should be using that leverage for advertising and there for have someone dedicated to returning comments.

Now back to the questions at hand; the reason I ask these questions is because there is a bit of a ruse going on with a lot of high-profile bloggers and IG-ers. I am a photographer myself so I follow certain people or entities to keep current with news, trends or maybe for inspiration. I follow the Victoria Secret models such as a Lily Aldridge, Elsa Hosk and Alessandra Amrbosio just to mention a few. Sure they are beautiful women and they are super models and they appear on Victoria Secret’s social media. However they have their own IG accounts and they post selfies and meals just like any other girl on social media… or do they? Now please know I am not bashing or in any way disrespecting these ladies in what I’m about to say. But how is it that Elsa can post what appears to be a selfie taken inside of a vehicle and it has near perfect lighting. Or nobody ever has a photo that has lens distortion and the big give away is “we all know models are just regular people” so how is it that their faces are always free of blemishes. I’m not saying they are fully retouched images in the sense they look flawless, but rather they look natural just coming out of a pool or hanging with friends and there are no blemishes… none. Nobody is that perfect and the ruse is in this case models looking as if they are in everyday situations. But it is not just limited to models I’m merely using them as an example. It could be an image of food but if it is representing you or your brand make it the best it can be before you post it.

So my whole point is that it is obvious somebody is controlling the content and most likely there is a photographer taking the images and making them appear as if they are selfies. Smart move when you think about it. I know many agents in Hollywood will never let a client’s images go to print or social media without being retouched. Only paparazzi shots go to print or posting without retouching. So if it is good for Hollywood why not for the advertisement industry and why not for you and your social media. If you are not a photographer I would suggest you find one or learn yourself. A decent point & shoot and Adobe Lightroom would suffice for editing most images.

So there is your food for thought. Take a few minutes to look at the social media of some high-profile companies or people and look at the images that are meant to look as if they were shot with a phone camera and see if you notice the obvious.


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