How to Style Photos for Social Media

 

Let’s be real…if you are wanting to monetize your social media and/or take your business to the next level, you are going to have to know some elements of styling–especially with photos. It is important to make sure you curate a visually appealing feed, especially on a platform like Instagram.

I’m not a professional photographer and I don’t plan on becoming one, but I am fortunate to have an eye. Because of this I have some tips on styling photos that I am excited to share with you today.

Before we get started a couple of disclaimers.

Disclaimer 1: I highly encourage that you invest in a professional photographer eventually. It truly elevates your brand/business and separates you instantly in an overly saturated market. Most photographers are aware of social media photography and how to give you the look and feel you want. It helps with your trust factor and consistency which equals coins!

 

Disclaimer 2: Highly stylized photos doesn’t mean direct sales. It doesn’t work like that, but it does build content for your social media channels and acts as fillers for the high value content you are creating. More than likely, you will not get a ton of likes or engagement as you think, but it is a great way to give yourself a break. Remember this isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. We are in it for the long game.

 

Tip #1: Choose Your Hero in the Photo

Have a main subject around which you can create a theme or mood. Instead of having several things just thrown together, be strategic with your space. Find one main subject, your hero, and have the secondary subjects surrounding it. I like to call it your hero’s supporting cast. The subjects should be distributed in a way that compliments your hero subject not compete for space or attention. The subjects are only there to insinuate the main piece of the photo. My main piece: planner. The notepad, pen, paper clips, and butterfly clips are the supporting cast.

 

Tip #2 Choose Your Color Palette

Remember theme and mood are what we are creating when we style our photos. Colors are a great way to create a theme and communicate with your audience about your brand. It just helps make it more cohesive. Only choose 1 to 2 colors and that they complement each other. Too many colors can be distracting and start to compete with one another. Remember as in the first tip, you want to complement not compete. Pick a main color and you can’t go wrong. A single focused color helps to convey the point you are making more clearly.

Tip #3 Tell the Complete Story

When selecting your props for a photo, make sure they tell a story that is finished. It can be tempting to try to incorporate props that have similar colors, but may not complete your story.  Ensure it drives home your story where it makes sense. Do not be afraid to use the tools you may use to make your product(s) as props.  For example, maybe you are a travel blogger and are heading to one of your fabulous adventures. Think about the tools you use and how you can visually tell the story: a map, passport, sunglasses, your favorite hat, and a travel favorite pouch. In my photo, I am telling a complete story with props on planning, goals, organization, etc.

Tip #4 Crop it Likes its Hot

This is the rule to live by! If you don’t get anything, CROP…CROP…and Crop! Many of us struggle with cropping because we like to show it ALL, but our eye is so smart that it only needs a reference of part of the item to get the full picture…pun intended. When you reference the objects exist, your audience eye will do the rest. A way to crop successfully is style your photo in a circle. The outer props are the ones you can position to crop and still tell a complete story.

 

Tip #5 Gotta Hit Those Angles

You know I had to reference a Drake lyric somewhere. When you have styled the photo the way you want, now you can focus on how to capture it through your camera lens. Try different angles, you want to draw your audience in to your main subject. Where is your subject in the frame? So maybe you angle it off center or direct overview (as my picture is), maybe directly at eye level. This is where the fun continues! Start shooting at different angles and figure what photo you like the best. Always shoot at three different angles to give yourself variety.

BONUS: Now it is time for you to practice. Remember just start doing it! The first few times you will suck at it, let’s just be transparent! BUT! The more you do it, the better you and the photos will get.

 

FG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Apps To Uplevel Your Social Media Game in 2019 (So Your Followers ‘DONUT’ Scroll/Tap Pass) 

I love donuts. 

And I love word play so don’t mind me on my playground. 

I am asked on the regular about social media and how I grow my engagement and following organically. The most common question I get is what apps I am using. 

In this list, I have broken down my fave apps. Most are FREE 99! Others require a low cost or subscription. 

Get ready to delete some apps, photos, and messages to give you storage room to save these apps!

Content Creation

Regrammer-allows you to save and repost content you see on Instagram without the pesky watermark. 

Tip: Once you copy and paste the link, click the ‘repost’ button select ‘more’ and it will prompt you to save to your phone. This allows you to repost to IG without the watermark. 

Quik-allows you to create videos with your fave photos and videos and works magic! There’s a reason it has 5 stars in the app store with close to a million reviews!

Over-specifically designed for Instagram Stories and a way to use a combo of graphics, fonts, and filters to engage your audience. 

Unfold-I heard about this app on the radio, Kidd Kraddick Morning Show’s Jenna Owens had Unfold featured on her faves segment. MY FAVORITE OUT RIGHT NOW! This is an app big time social media influencers don’t want you to know about because its a jewel and it’s FREE! You can upgrade for additional cost. If you like the clean, polished look for your stories…download it! 

Planoly-if you want to create an aesthetically pleasing Instagram grid like your fave influencer, this app is for you. The free edition let’s you upload your pictures as a preview so you can see how it would look on your actual ‘gram. 

Editing and Filters

VSCO-intuitive and easy to use, a supply of stunning filters and style options is the reason it is one of the most beloved apps.

ColorStory-once you open and use this, you’ll never go back to another app to edit pics. This app is especially good for food, interior and home decor, and scenery images. 

Inshot-has powerful production features that you would think only can be done on a desktop. It takes images or videos and sizes them to your stories via mobile.

Lightroom-even Adobe is in on the mobile editing game. This is especially made for Instagram and the person who wants to take their feed to the next level.

Perfect365-there’s a reason even celebrities such as J.Lo and Kim Kardashian are avid users! A make-up try on app that creates a full makeover at no cost!

Did I miss any? What are some of your fave apps? 

FG

Hair Isn’t the Only Dead Ends that Need to Be Cut in 2018

“New Year, New Me” is slowly escaping the lips of many as we head out of 2018. Memes will soon follow and fill our feeds and explorer pages. 2019 is lacing up the kicks and waiting by the sideline as 2018 takes its last free throw and taps out. So what is next for you?

GROWTH!

You don’t have to wait until 2019 either to start. Just like you wouldn’t water dead plants, don’t hydrate dead, fake friendships, relationships, or ‘situation’ships. Even if the external is beautiful or Jean Claude Van Damme fine, YOU DESERVE BETTER! Cut it off, let it go…it’s a guarantee when you cut off the dead ends, exponential growth soon follows.

I still remember the time shortly after I moved to San Antonio, I needed to get my hair done, but had no money. I decided to go the cheap route and go to a local beauty school. I had a white girl put a relaxer on my head and apply it like it was color. This is a no-no. Let me edua-ma-cate. When hair has been processed already by a relaxer, you only need to touch up the roots. You only apply the relaxer to the roots and ends when it is virgin hair. My hair hadn’t been virgin since I was six! She also didn’t base my scalp with any grease or protectant so my head had Satan dancing on top. I tried my best to stay calm, but I could clearly see the white girl was in as much distress as me. Black folks’ hair can be intimidating to many people. I eventually asked her to please get an instructor because she had not applied it correctly and Satan wasn’t letting up on the Milly Rock.

The instructor stared in horror and we immediately headed to the shampoo bowl. This basically was the start of a traumatic experience. In just a few days my hair began to come out in clumps and I eventually went back to repair the damage. The next student was on the verge of graduation and was very different. She was confident and black! But she couldn’t salvage my hair and I had to cut it all off! I was mortified and absolutely devastated. I got a big head, I can’t rock a baldie like Lupita…IT AIN’T HAPPENING. But she let me know that the only way my hair could grow, we had to cut the dead off. She reassured me my hair would start to grow and quickly. And correct she was! But it was a process.

The dead hair I was hanging on to for comfort, is so many of us with dead end relationships, jobs, attitudes, beliefs…the list goes on. So let’s get in a warm-up and start now with cutting __________ (you fill in the blank) off and letting _____________ go.  And watch the GROWTH!

-FG

When Life Gives Us Mountains…

“He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains.” {-Psalms 95:4}

⛰⛰⛰⛰⛰⛰⛰⛰⛰

A couple weeks after my 32nd birthday I sat numb in my doctor’s office. Her lips moved slowly and precisely, but I didn’t hear a word…just the typing of the transcriber in the room.

The next couple of hours were a blur. I just remember I called my Mom 21 times. She didn’t answer. I refused to do anything else until I heard my Mom’s voice.

So I sat in my car and waited….and waited…my phone buzzed. Work email. And waited. Eventually my Mom called. She had been out grocery shopping and left her phone at the house.

I couldn’t even get it out…I just blubbered like a baby. If there is one thing about Virginia Faye Baker Green…she’s a prayer warrior!

-“Who is bigger Faith? This mountain or God?,” she asked. “Huh?,” I replied. -“You heard me. Who’s bigger? That’s what you ask every time you feel fear, despair, or even this health scare. You already know.” I could feel her smile through the phone.

Fast forward⏭

After many tests, scans, and results, I have experienced a range of emotions, highs and lows, the mountains and valleys. And I know you are experiencing it too and if you aren’t, someone close to you is.

There is a mountain ahead and it’s scary, intimidating, above our scope of understanding and the uncertainty on the other side of it. But guess who’s bigger? I think you know the answer. ✨

 

The Wine Down: A Recap of My Insecure S3 Premiere Watch Party

 

It was the moment we as Insecure fans have been waiting for…the return of Season 3! We were excited AF and were not disappointed! Whether you are Team Issa, Team Molly, Team Daaaaaang Daniel, or Team No Lawrence the premiere has us all wanting more!

I have loved and supported Issa Rae since her groundbreaking Youtube series Awkward Black Girl. HBO’s Insecure has become a cultural phenomenon and I couldn’t be happier for Issa’s success. She is a brilliant content creator and I am so glad the world is finally taking notice. It was only right that I threw an Insecure Watch Party in my city! All this golden content she’s producing, I knew there were other fans like me who would want to come together.

Many thanks to The South Chicken & Waffles for hosting us! The bartenders even made a thematic menu of food and drinks for the party like my fave the ‘black girl magic.’ ⁠ DJ Fat had the ultimate Insecure playlist to set the scene before the premiere. (click through images for more deets.)

Shoutout to the brothers that came out in full force to support!

 

 

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Early birders and select VIP got a surprise gift…Issa’s Box of Faves. Each item was significant to InsecureHBO⁠ :

 •🍷⬇️ Wine Down (Issa loves her Moscato and Prosecco)

• Hot Cheetos (when Molly + Issa had their first make up in Season 1, Issa brings Hot Cheetos as a peace offering )

•Treat Yourself-From manicures, pedicures, facials to therapy, self care is a common theme throughout the show

•🍾Lituation-Issa is known to turn up and a little brown/clear liquor does the trick

•Kleenex-Issa 👁💦🍆  Well this infamous scene toward the end of season 2 with Issa and Daniel had Twitterverse a buzz with the great debate. 😩😂

Thanks to everyone that came out and supported. Can’t wait for episode 2!

 

-FRG