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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What You Need To Do To START Your Business in 2019 (Video)

 

What do you need to do to start your online presence for your brand and/or business? Sometimes it’s closer than you think.  You just need to figure out how exactly to do it. Watch this short video on my thoughts and a couple of suggestions on how to make it happen and what you need to START! 

 

 

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

5 Rihanna ‘Songs’ That Perfectly Explain Balancing Your 9 to 5|Side Hustle

I like to think that us side hustlers are flirting with the idea of having our own.

 

Testing the waters.

 

Wondering if we should stick to the 9 to 5 rivers that we’re used to.

 

Having a side hustle is rewarding, but complicated and many don’t explore it because of the fear of being overwhelmed.

 

Balance.

 

It’s key to not only survive, but thrive.

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Rihanna is the Queen of Side Hustle(s). As much as people are in her comment section about releasing new music and dragging her for being the “Avon lady,” she is goals on how to hustle…and do it correctly.

 

Sis is Jill of All Trades, and Master of ALL OF THEM! Though she has remained faithful and loyal in her marriage to music, her side pieces….ahem…businesses still get her undivided attention. She not only rules the charts, but the fashion and beauty industries.  Thanks to the phenomenal success of her FENTY Beauty line and Puma collaboration.

 

Rihanna’s hustle energy is what we should all channel into our daily lives when we venture into the side biz world.

 

Here are 5 Rihanna song titles that explain the balancing act of your 9 to 5ish and side hustle:

 

  1. FourFiveSeconds

 

Time.

 

It’s the one thing we can never get enough and balancing a 9 to 5 and side hustle often feels daunting. If you are struggling to keep up and feel overwhelmed, then you might want to take an audit of your daily life. I challenge you to jot down for a full week how you are spending your time. Even when you go the bathroom…yes it gets that real. What I have found with the many coaches and mentors of my life is they account for every hour, minute, and second on the clock. This is how they are successful and so productive.

 

Once you have finished your audit, you now need to look for the gaps you have in your schedule and this is how you can build in more time for your side biz. It is important to start time blocking your life and intentionally filling your day to day with activities that are productive. This is how you can equally flourish in your career as well as biz.

 

  1. Take Care

 

The old adage is true…

 

If you fail to plan, then plan to fail…

 

If you implement a plan in advance it will take care of you. As much as I would like to admit I have a full on plan for my content strategy on my blog or social media pages, I don’t. But I do plan my writing sessions, photo sessions, or meetings with clients when I can. You need to build in your plan what you need to accomplish. Whether it is writing, scheduling meetings, following up with leads, or content creation it is important to take care of the Big Three first. This simply is to tackle the biggest three tasks on your list first. They are usually the most difficult and bring the biggest headache. But once accomplished, it really does change the trajectory of your productivity for the better.

 

  1. Work

You know this song title had to make it in the lineup.

 

It is very important you utilize the free time you do have. So unfortunately, NO DAYS OFF! Use your time off the 9 to 5 for time on for the side hustle. If you were lucky, you got a long three-day weekend with President’s Day. Though I was off from my 9 to 5ish, I invested the time into build my brand. So take advantage of holidays, early releases, and lunch breaks, it truly makes the difference.

 

  1. Question Existing

 

You may not be familiar with this song choice since it wasn’t released as a single, but it’s a bop.

 

When you are a business leader, owner, and decision maker you will have to ask and answer the hard questions. You will have hard, uncomfortable conversations about the quality of work, your rates, your mess ups…yes you will mess up if you haven’t already.  Side hustles are meant to bring another stream of income and opportunity to grow. If it is doing more harm than good in your life, you might want to ask the questions Rihanna did to herself in this song:

 

Who am I living for?

 

Is this my limit?

 

Can I endure some more?

 

  1. BBHMM

Oh the anthem of all Bosses! Instead of B***h, let’s replace with Biz Better Have My $ for educational purposes. Raise your hand if you would be rich for every “can I pick your brain?” inquiry. I promise to write a post on how annoying AF this is. Stay tuned. For now, you are worth it! When it comes to balance, many times our 9 to 5ish funds our side hustle until it turns a profit. As admiral as it is to take on work for free 99, you need to get paid!  When you first start out, you will more than likely do pro bono work to bring awareness. But you did not invest time, energy, coins, and paper that folds to not get the check! Don’t be afraid to state your price and not compromise. You are not an imposter. You are the truth! You are everything they want and if it is the right fit they will hire you or buy your products/services.

Know Your Worth.

Then Add Tax.

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. ✨

 

Nothing Scarier in 2018 than #Fake News…Happy Halloween!

In a world where social media surrounds us like water surrounds fish, we must be vigilant in seeking the truth. As Auntie Oprah put it at my graduation, “The internet and social media is being used to erode trust in our institutions…interfere in elections and wreak havoc on our infrastructure.”  (Read the 8 Lessons of Auntie Oprah and how it got me all the way together!)

One click spreads fake news stories causing hysteria, an innocent Google search allows advertisers a window to bombard us and our phones have distracted us so much we have walked into traffic.  The solution is to push back with the truth, the only true way to strike down deceit and calm the hysteria. You have to combat the false narratives with real information and solid facts to set the record straight. Your job is to continue to keep the left, right, and center in check by confronting your own bias and reporting only the truth. This will build credibility and protect us from corruption.

My take on “fake news” was a hit at my office party! Take a peek at some of the fun!

Did you dress up for Halloween? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear!

-FG

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