Whenever people visit Victory Club’s website, they have a stronger sense of the project than when I explain it to them. The website makes the project so clear because images show what our events feel like: what the food, spaces and people look like. Over the course of starting my own business, I have dabbled with use of visuals, and here are some of the things I have learned:
1. Be consistent
Consistency of images is the overarching principle to keep in mind when curating imagery for a visual platform like a website, Instagram feed, or blog.
Take into consideration the consistency of lighting and color by remembering these quick tips:
- Use a real digital camera instead of a phone camera whenever possible
- Time of day should reflect the timing of events
- Brightening tools should be used to clarify the subject
- Sharp image quality is key, stay away from blurry images
- Use free editing tools, such as Instagram’s Brighten, Contrast and Sharpen features to enhance images.
2. Surprise your followers
While it is important to be consistent (see rule #1), you should also occasionally change things up for intrigue’s sake.
On my personal Instagram, I often show myself in the kitchen or hosting an event, but when I’m on vacation I also share pictures from my vacation. It keeps people guessing and adds a level of relatability to my life as the chef and founder of Victory Club.
When I am shooting food or art, I try to vary the angles of the dishes or the works on display. This will make the viewer feel more like they are experiencing the meal or having a relationship with the food or art.
3. Add some complexity
When you shoot an object, include an additional element to enrich the setting and mood.
For example, a picture of a cookie in front of the ocean is more interesting than a picture of a cookie without any context.
Or a picture of me in the kitchen with my dog is more engaging than a picture of me alone in the kitchen.
4. Take lots of pictures
A great picture is the result of one of two things: a very, very talented photographer or luck. I am not a very talented photographer, but by taking more photos, I increase the chance of getting a good one, so I take lots. From the boatload of images I take, I share only my highlight reel – the tables that were full of people, the day that was sunny, the plate that was perfectly plated, the people were smiling.
It took so many tries to get this picture right.
And a lot of pictures were taken during this event.
5. Stay on brand.
Before I post anything, I ask myself, does this image accurately reflect the brand (corporate, community, personal)? Spend time figuring out your brand aesthetic and drive it home every time you share any imagery on the internet.
Because visuals are the closest you can get to experiencing something in real life, they are very important to get right. With enough practice, you will develop an aesthetic that becomes familiar to your audience — and appealing to those you want to engage in your audience.