Indermaur Media, inc.
Visual Narrative
IMG_4128.JPG

Indermaur Media - Visual Narrative Blog by Scott Indermaur

Informational blog about techniques, ideas,industry trends, clients and projects of Indermaur Media. Written by Scott Indermaur, professional corporate photographer.

Posts tagged social media
10 Tips for Using Mobile Phone Photography in Corporate Social Media

Many of my clients are using their mobile phones to share their corporate narrative on social media. Successful mobile phone photography is essential for any corporate social media marketing plan. I partnered up with a strategic marketer to create Visual Thrive and streamline the storytelling for companies social media use. Visual Thrive hires professional photographers because we know they have the “eye” for the details, lighting and angles; but with a few tips you can level up your social media photography and draw more engagement from your followers.

WITH MOBILE PHONE PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO?

Yes! The new generation of mobile phones offer sophisticated technology, mobile apps with filters to process images and video that rival content captured with professional photo and video cameras. Phone photography allows you to create images much easier than a more sophisticated camera and definitely share online with ease.

10 TIPS TO BETTER YOUR IPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS FOR INCREASED SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT

1) Shoot wide, medium and close - A general rule for photojournalists is to take a wide photograph of the entire scene, then a medium one, and end it with a close detail photograph. This makes your story more interesting and brings your eyes to various locations within the same scene. This tactic will cover your visual narrative needs and after you take photos using these three angles, you can have some fun experimenting with different perspectives or color schemes to see what you create. You can use many photographs from the same scene, mixed in with your experimental angles for lots of interesting visual images for your social media feed. If you only need one photograph to use for your story on a particular day, then photograph all three angles anyway, it will allow you to choose your best in the editing room or save others for another post on another day.

2) Show the entire scene (wide) - Remember your narrative, and at times the whole environment is exactly what your story is about.

3) Photograph medium perspective - this is an excellent opportunity to show close up activities, smaller groups of people, and minimize the surrounding distractions.

4) Get in close - Many times people take a full body photograph of someone doing their activity when the story they want to tell is actually about their hands and face. Zooming in close and tight to your subject makes it more exciting. This works for people, a house or an object. Show only what is necessary to get the point across. A simple detail cell phone photograph can tell a story and increase interest in your narrative. For example, the action of hand writing notes can be more interesting than a table full of people taking notes.

5) Photograph lots of images - For a Visual Thrive assignment, I typically photograph 300 images with the goal of creating 30 excellent photos for a social media campaign. It’s always better to have too many pictures than realizing you didn’t photograph enough, or had an excellent photograph but your subject’s eyes are closed.

6) Watch for items in the background - Images with poles, branches and other background distractions coming out of the subject’s head or ear is not visually pleasing. A simple shift of the angle will clean up the background and make a good photograph even better. The below examples were all photographed by me. This happens often, and the reason why taking multiple images of each scene will help you fine tune the image as you take more.

7) Creative Angles - Be creative with your angles. Take you phone low and shoot up, or hold your phone high and shoot down, or use foreground elements to draw the viewer into the subject matter. Cover your basics and then enjoy being even more creative.

8) Shooting in front of a window - Sometimes a window view looks great when you are in the room looking out. Keep in mind that a phone may not be able to balance the brightness of the outside with the indoors. Also, if a window has bars going through it, it may fall under the realm of Tip #5. A window with a view may not be the best selection. Sometimes having a person in front of the window and photographing them with your phone from an angle will be more pleasing depending on the background.

9) Have fun with phone photography - Have fun, take lots of photographs and the more you tell your corporate social media narrative visually, the better you will get.

10) Enjoy using your filters - Instagram and many other photo apps and platforms offer filters. Have fun with these filters. Filters allow you to get creative and add a level of interest to your photos that you won’t get from a non-filtered image.

Social Media Marketing Using Phone Photography
Branding and personalizing your company through social media marketing can be fun and practical with a few mobile phone photography tips to keep in mind and practice. Remember the more phone photography you create, the better you will get. When you are busy, do not hesitate to partner up with a co-working that understands your company’s brand and story, or hire someone like Visual Thrive to take that task off your plate.

Indermaur Media wins Rhode Island 50 on Fire Innovation Award
IMG_0048.jpeg

Indermaur Media is honored to be a 2019 Rhode Island Inno’s Second-Annual 50 on Fire Award Winner for creating Visual Thrive.

As a winner in the “New to the Ecosystem” category, Visual Thrive frees companies from spending lots of time, energy and money on their social media branding. By combining forces, Scott Indermaur and Lori Giuttari have partnered to bring decades of media and communications experience to small and medium businesses. This Visual Thrive partnership delivers a streamlined, cost effective way for businesses to maintain a steady flow of high-quality social media posts tightly aligned to the company’s brand. Each post tells an ongoing corporate narrative that their website never could.

Both Lori and Scott have more than 25 years of professional experience in the corporate world, and have created an offer that brings their deep knowledge of what works well onto any social media platform. Visual Thrive creates, targets, publishes, and analyzes each post; letting company’s do what they do best - run their businesses!

Visual Narrative Approach To Social Media

This award signifies a shift in the way businesses showcase their companies on social media. As one of the most important ways customers will find you, social media can no longer be treated as an arbitrary task, but has solidly arrived as a necessity for business branding and expansion.

  • Visual Thrive combines decades of professional experience to deliver a powerful visual narrative for your business’ social media presence in a simple format.

  • Visual Thrive takes photographs with professional photographers, writes engaging captions, and schedules consistent content to optimize social media engagement – hashtags included!

  • Visual Thrive provides monthly analytics to continue your company’s strategic discussions, while delivering plenty of photos for your business’ use.

On February 5th Visual thrive will proudly receive its Innovation Award, and the team looks forward to meeting the other Rhode Island companies included in the 50 on Fire Awards.

The qualities that make a company stand out as “on fire” are numerous; anything from incredible scale, to an official launch, to a new product or sustained leadership count make a company “on fire.” Visual Thrive is doing uniquely fabulous work to continue to set the ecosystem ablaze.

Developed during the Goldman Sach 10,000 Small Businesses class that I attending in 2018. It is being scaled at a national level.

Making Compelling Visuals for Social Media Optimization

I had the pleasure of giving a talk recently as a guest for Newport Interactive Marketers. NIM collaborates to provide their clientele with helpful advice and useful tools to keep their businesses in top shape. The subject of my talk involved making compelling visuals and improving photos and video using social media sites like Instagram or Snapchat. Social media is the perfect bridge between your business and public identities, showing your potential clients recent developments as well as photos that are important to you or your company. Here are a few basic tips I discussed to get the most out of each post:

  • Use the Camera App on your phone rather than Instagram’s camera feature. The amount of data that’s kept by a photograph upload brings much more detail and fidelity to your photos, making them much more impressive than the direct upload from the Instagram app.
  • Take a few pictures per session, especially for group photos. Having a selection give you better odds of shooting a photo or video clip that everyone likes.
  • Have fun with the filters! Some can add a sense of light or can make the shadows deeper, enhancing your original photo exponentially.
  • Make good use of the framing options for photos that won’t normally fit into the square shape of Instagram.
  • Use the power of the timeline to your advantage. Tell an engaging narrative story through your arrangement of pictures through social media.

Telling your brand's narrative story should be simple and fun. Keep taking those photographs and videos and connect with your customers, while making sure you optimize your visuals for social media.

 

Mobile Phone Photography & Its impact on brands
IMG_8043 4.jpg

I was a guest on 1540 AM WADK's Interactive Marketing Insights hosted by Suzanne McDonald. We spoke about mobile phone photography and how it impacts businesses and brands large and small in today's world. Here are a few highlights from the show

I find the biggest challenge of social media today is time, commitment and creativity. With the phone, it can be effortlessly, making an average photo excellent.

I am a big fan of the square image because on Instagram it feeds so nicely through the phone. I find the horizontal and vertical photographs a bit jarring when displayed on a format designed for square images.

Tighter shots are always better for viewing on the phone. For example, when a company promotes a fair booth with a large group of people that are taken head to toe, the image is not very dynamic. Instead, shoot a tighter photograph, possibly at a different angle instead of straight on. Experimenting with angles and getting in tighter may simplify the image, making it more exciting and creative to catch a viewer's eyes.

Consistency is necessary with the same type of filter and color pallet. There are 3-4 filters I prefer because the style ties closely to my brand and allow my photographs to be more aligned with my vision.

Keep your phone photography simple and focused on humanizing your brand. For example, a restaurant should take more than photographs of the food. Take pictures of your staff, or a chef cooking is a beautiful photograph that humanizes your restaurant and allows your customers to connect with the "behind the scenes" activities.

Anticipate taking lots of pictures, and you will still only use less than 10%. Don't hold yourself back. Shoot more than you need. Having an inventory of photographs and then choose the best images that allow you to be more creative and have fun with experimenting with your brand.

The Interactive Marketing Insights radio show includes several other tips from myself and Suzanne McDonald from Angles and Insights. A few days later I was a speaker at NIM (Newport Interactive Marketers) - Get Seen! Video and Visuals: Pro's tips at your fingertips.

I also want to mention this fantastic article, “Finding Your Inner Photographer: Making the Most of Your Camera.” The website, Groom + Style, created a fun and simple piece that is full of excellent tips to become a better photographer with your camera and your smartphone (iPhone or Android).

8 Steps for a Successful Headshot - Portrait

Portraits and headshots have many uses in social media for your LinkedIn profile, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other purposes. I am often hired by corporations to photograph headshots for an individual and or an entire department with uses for their website, associate's bios, sales brochures, public relations, social media, and many other applications.

When a corporation is in need of portraits/headshots, we usually set up a studio at their office--that way the subjects only need to take about 10 minutes of their day for the session. Few people have the time it takes to drive to a photographer's studio during busy work schedules. A large space gives us more options with lighting, though it is not necessary. We have photographed headshots in offices, conference rooms, a corporate lobby and even hallways. I often am hired to photograph assignments in New England and throughout the country, and headshots are part of the schedule.

Headshots can be a simple portrait taken in a few minutes. There have even been times when we have to photograph 20 subjects in about an hour. Other times we may spend 20+ minutes with a subject. I do find that non-professional models will fade energetically after about 10-20 minutes.

To give you a sense of the possible images and their uses and versatility: all the sample images below may be cropped tighter, or the entire image may be shown to fit a layout better.

Remember - they may be cropped

Environmental Headshots

Another modern style of a headshot is the environmental portrait. Environmental Portraits are very popular among corporate and commercial clients. These pictures use available and meaningful surroundings as a background. The background is often blurred to make the human subject a unique graphical element as well as providing more of a sense of place.

 

8 Steps to a Better Corporate Headshot:

  1. A working studio created from a conference room, office, cafeteria, among others works well. If a room has furniture, it is best to move it to the side. I have photographed headshots in hallways (must be wider for lighting equipment), lobby, offices, conference rooms, unfinished rooms and even outside.
  2. Less production may work best. The above doctor photograph used only the ambient lighting. While the image may not be as high quality as a studio style portrait, it allows for a more straightforward journalistic style. It may fit your purpose better than a more "polished" portrait. The other advantage is it allows photographing in a high traffic area in which setting up a mini studio is not ideal. This environmental style headshot also makes it possible to capture the "doctor office" feel of the orange door.
  3. 15-minutes is an appropriate time to spend with a subject. If you have a large group and just need some basic headshots in a short period, allocate 5-minutes. I have done less than 5-minutes and more than 15.
  4. If a subject wears glasses regularly, leave them on.
  5. A makeup stylist is very helpful if there is enough money in the budget and time in the schedule. It allows the subject to have a little down time between meetings and being photographed to shift their mindset and relax. It also provides a higher level of makeup application since an expert is now doing the touch-up with photography/video in mind. For females, I like to leave about 20 minutes for makeup.
  6. Wardrobe should be kept simple, with solid colors usually work best. I typically say to stay away from solid white or solid black. Though I find there are times that subjects look great in those colors. It is helpful for men to bring a few ties for the creative team to pick and females to bring a few outfits if there's time for a wardrobe change. Remember, if you have a group of people for individual headshots, you may not want four of your five men to show up with similar ties or females with same color outfits. While unlikely, I have seen it happen. A discussion beforehand on what looks good with the background color can be constructive. Keep in mind what is most comfortable and makes a subject feel good helps them to relax and be more themselves in front of the camera. So, all the rules with wardrobe can be thrown out the window at times.
  7. Most subjects do get nervous about being photographed. As a subject, be serious, be silly and express yourself on how you want the others to see you. Also, work a bit outside your comfort zone. Follow the photographers lead and don't fixate on that bad frame/photo or awful expression. I will take 100++ photographs of one subject to get that perfect portrait. Focus on the positive and the perfect portrait of you, and it will happen.
  8. Retouching will elevate the quality of your headshot. Allowing to eliminate stray hairs, better skin tones, fewer skin blemishes, among a few other improvements. I did share a few headshots above that were not retouched, maybe you can identify them.