As a photographer, you’d think the one thing I’d have nailed would have been how to take images of myself for my social media feed. But for many years that wasn’t the case. Wanting to be the silent partner behind my brand Jerri Jarmeh Photography, I didn’t see the benefit of exposing my personality for business growth. I thought the work would speak for itself; people don’t need to know me, like me, trust me, right!
Well, I don’t like to admit when I’m wrong. But yep, I understand how it’s all part and parcel of your business and marketing growth. It wasn’t until I built Just Jerri J and started daily content creation, that I realised, I’d been working hard, but not smart. That a consistent look and brand voice is exactly what you need to build a flourishing business.
I know how to get the best shots for other people, so I decided to adapt those techniques to take photos for myself. To use all my knowledge of lighting, grading poses, and start producing my own marketing material. And you know what it worked. I have more engagement now than I’ve ever had, and it’s not as scary, vain or narcissistic as I thought it would be. Because let’s be honest, that’s what most of us worry about, and if you grew up in the 80’s it’s hard to let go of that old mindset.
So if you’re more use to showing your LIFE over yourSELF, posting a picture with you front and centre is a big hurdle to jump. I encourage you to take massive action, and get out in front of your camera, show the world who you are, your brand, your face and your personality, be bold and be YOU.
These are a few of my tips to inspire you to take photos of yourself. Then edit those images to give you a consistent look throughout all your social media marketing platforms.
Okay, there are two ways you can do this. Either with your camera or on your iPhone. Let’s start with the iPhone.
If you need the images for your IG platform, then shooting with your iPhone is quick and easy. Plus, once you’ve shot the images you can edit them in the Lightroom Free mobile app – This is how I shoot my daily social media stories for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
You don’t need a fancy tripod to get your shots, prop the phone up on whatever you can find in the house, office or studio. The only thing to consider is the light source.
And this goes for all photos regardless of how they’re captured! You want to take photos in natural light but NOT in direct sunlight. The best place to take a photo is with your face facing a window, as I did in the video below. With natural light coming through, but the sun isn’t shining right in your face causing the light to burn out on your images.
The best time to take photos is when the light is softer. Early morning or late afternoon, or whenever it’s overcast, the clouds act as a diffuser over the sun!
Don’t shoot at midday when the sun is at its highest in the sky. This is around 12 pm until around 3 pm. You’ll end up with hard dark shadows on the face and unless you’re going for an artsy look, this is a no-no.
I wouldn’t recommend you use the digital zoom on the iPhone. It’s not like a normal camera, you’ll end up with a very grainy and distorted image. Move closer if you’d like a tighter shot, and also try the portrait mode, this will blur out anything unalluring in the background, putting the focus on you.
If I’m honest, your life would be easier with a DSLR or other wifi-enabled cameras that’s not your iPhone. They allow you to download a companion app that will enable you to remotely control the shutter on your camera. Giving you the opportunity to see exactly what picture you’re taking.
Plus the images sizes are bigger which means you can use it for your website, advertising campaigns or any print material. You’re not limited to Instagram.
Yes, it’s easy to have, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have one. Plus carrying a DSLR and tripod around all day is tiresome, believe me!
I use my Canon EOS R and the Canon app on my iPhone to capture remote images. Then I download the images straight to my iPhone and into the Lightroom Mobile app. To edit, I use my pre-made presets, then I upload the images to my Instagram feed. Download your FREE GUIDE and 3 FREE PRESETS, to help you save time and create an appealing consistent IG feed.
In the photographic and film industry, Instagram, over time, became a second website, the highlight reel. It is a quick and easy way to market yourself. But, once you’ve uploaded all your lovely images onto the platform, It’s difficult to show your personality without it cluttering your beautiful feed, which you’ve worked so hard on. That’s why most photographers have two feeds. If that’s too much to handle, create one and use stories as a way to showcase your personality.
That’s when I realised I wanted a feed to share my stories. Explore my personality, share my wins and losses. Somewhere I can connect with others. To my relief, gone are the days when your social media platforms had to be magazine ready, honestly, I was never one of those people.
My feed is colourful and authentic, it’s the only way I know how to be. But! If you’re like me, that doesn’t mean you can’t create an aesthetic that is consistent and cohesive. It is a photo-sharing app after all. Marketing your brand personality and business all in one go.
Your photos should have some similarities, and a great way to do that is by using presets. What are presets you may ask? Well, they are a way of saving adjustments so you can re-apply the same adjustments to many photos.
These adjustments include exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks and colour. Pretty much anything you can change on a photo using Adobe Lightroom applications.
To save you time, because I already know you’ve got a lot going on, building your business and all. The last thing you need to do is start deep-diving into the many colour grades out there.
So, I’ve created a selection of 14 easy to use beautifully crafted presets https://justjerrij.com/the-shop! You can get all 14 for £20 by using this discount code ‘HELLOBLOG’ – Go to my IG profile to get a peek at what I’m talking about when I say consistent and colour-uniform photographs. Because I use my own preset to create that consistency on Just Jerri J and Jerri Jarmeh.
I’ve also created this video tutorial below to help you edit your images on the lightroom desktop! I can’t wait to see what you create, please tag me in them @justjerrij
In the end, all it’s really about is creating content that’s authentic and showing up consistently. You don’t need fancy equipment or a massive budget for a professional photographer.
So, don’t let the perfectionist in you be the excuse for not showing up, just good enough is better than not at all. I’m far from perfect, most of the time, just like you, I’m spinning plates whilst trying to keep my eye on the big picture. So, take a deep breath, that’s it…. Go download Lightroom, use these beautiful crafted presets, made to make your life easier, pick the one you love and use it consistently, easy, job done! Way to go, YOU CAN DO THIS!
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