Sub-par social media photos are no longer an option in today’s saturated social feeds. Quality visual storytelling is essential, and everyone from your local cafe to your favourite music festival has an Instagram.
With such a massive influx of visual content on people’s feeds, it has become crucial to share your event’s photos in real-time with your followers. Here’s how to make sure what you share represents the best of your event.
Lay the groundwork to ensure you get great shots
First, you need a great photographer. And even if you don’t have the budget for a fancy camera, smartphones can more than adequately fill that gap.
Whether you’re taking your own photos or working with a professional, make sure to answer these three questions before you start shooting:
- What moments do you need to capture to illustrate the story you want to tell?
- What feeling are you trying to convey?
- What highlights are likely to occur and how can you make sure the photographer is in the right place at the right time to capture the action?
Once you have the system down, it’s easy to have dozens, even hundreds of images at your fingertips seconds after a true Kodak moment. But which photo do you choose to post on social media?
With the help of some stock photo sites, we’ve compiled some key tips on what to look for – and avoid – in your photography so that your social posts keep followers coming back for more.
Choose high-emotion, unique moments
Avoid: Shots that will blend in with fan photos
This is a perfectly adequate shot for your Instagram – it shows the singer’s face and documents a moment of action. But every event that hosts this singer will have similar photos, and yours is likely to get lost in the influx of posts from fans who captured similar moments at your event.
Look for: Interesting angles and emotional moments
It may seem counterintuitive to post a photo that hides the singer’s face, but what’s great about this photo is that it shows the singer lost in the act of performance, a more unique moment than her simply singing. The backlighting of her hair is dramatic, rather than the blurry stage lighting of the previous photo.
This photo also has a more interesting angle that invites viewers onstage. The angle of the guitar creates more depth to the scene, making even the most casual Insta-skimmer feel like they are a part of the show.
- Choose moments of high emotion
- Look for dramatic lighting that highlights rather than hides your performer or speaker
- Pick an interesting angle that creates depth to the scene
Don’t let your message get lost in the crowd – literally
Avoid: Emotionless crowd shots
This photo shows an engaged audience with dramatic lighting and depth due to the crowd of fans leading to the stage. But something’s missing: it doesn’t show anything special about your event.
What makes your venue stand out? What was so great about this particular performance, this particular audience?
You want attendees to be able to relive their favourite moments, and anyone who didn’t show up feel major FOMO (fear of missing out). That way, they will be sure to grab tickets or register for your next event ASAP!
Look for: Snaps that highlight individual fans
While it’s natural to want to show off high attendance, what makes this photo more effective is that it makes the crowd seem more intimate, and the moment less random. The fan in question is clearly overtaken by emotion, even if we can’t see their face. And while the depth of the scene is not as apparent in this photo, the silhouette effect highlights the fan better than trying to pick them out in a busy crowd.
This conveys an important message to your social followers – these events are made just for them, by people who care about their experience.
- Look for moments of intimacy even among events with high attendance
- Try to avoid random moments – people expect attendees to be engaged at your event, so show them something more
- Highlight fans, not nameless crowds
Keep the story small while still pointing out your strengths
Avoid: Chaotic shots of the full scene
This photo has lights, a fast-moving crowd, and decorations galore. So much so that the moment you look away, nothing sticks in your mind.
Let’s think back on the previous two examples. You want to choose a unique moment of high emotion that highlights an individual. These elements are clearly missing from this photo. No one stands out in the crowd, and this photo is probably one of many similar snaps.
But wait – you want your social followers to see your decorations, the special work you put into your venue, the wealth of cool activities you worked hard to provide for opening day.
Check out the photo below to see how to achieve this – and to ensure your social followers stay engaged.
Look for: Small, heartfelt moments
Here’s why this photo works. It may be capturing only a small moment, but a small moment that is a great representation of what you want your social followers to know about your event: to expect family-focused fun, complete with sweet treats and classic fair attractions.
The background of this photo is especially effective. While it still may be tempting to use the first photo to show the scale of your event, this photo highlights those nostalgic fair visuals in a less busy, but still attention-grabbing way. This photo is also a lot more fun than a posed photo. While posed photos can occasionally work, more often than not a moment of sincere action will provide a much stronger message on social media.
- Choose small moments that represent what you want followers and potential attendees to know about your event
- Employ singular, eye-catching visuals rather than trying to capture the entirety of your event in one shot
- Try to avoid posed photos
Staring down at the hundreds of photos from your event can be intimidating, but if you know what to look for, Instagram can become a fun marketing challenge – and a great way to connect with potential fans.
Looking for even more ways to upgrade your social posts? Posting photos in real-time can have major rewards for your brand. If you want to learn more, check out ‘The Best Social Media Promotion Tactics for Events’.