Social media is extremely visual nowadays. Everything is photo- or video-based, and your imagery can make or break you.
However, at the same time, the blogging and influencer sphere is going through a shift, from more curated, DSLR-shot photography and videography to more personal, in-the-moment iPhone photography.
So how do you compete when your imagery could use some work, but everyone else is getting DSLR-quality photos that are still authentic and in the moment? And more importantly, how can you produce high-quality work when you can’t afford the latest and greatest iPhone?
The most important thing to keep in mind is consistency. It doesn’t matter if you have the best camera. It doesn’t matter if you have the very best editing skills. What matters is that your imagery looks consistent.
If you’re posting a ton of DSLR photos, and then have a random iPhone 6 photo thrown in the mix, it’s going to look off. But if all of your photos are shot on an iPhone 6, the quality won’t matter nearly as much, because they’ll all look similar.
For example, I’m using a trusty iPhone 6S for almost all of my Instagram imagery. Sure, some are taken on my husband’s iPhone 8, and a few random ones are taken with my DSLR. But for the most part, they’re taken with an iPhone 6S.
Is the quality as good as an iPhone X? Absolutely not. Does it bother me? Sure! I love beautiful photos, and it’s frustrating that other people can get nicer photos than me right on their phone. But is it worth the $1,000 to me? And, arguably more importantly, is it worth chucking a perfectly good iPhone into a landfill just so I can have slightly nicer photos? Absolutely not.
So how do you keep your feed looking consistent if you do have different cameras taking the photos? With your editing!
The photo above was taken on my husband’s iPhone 8, and then AirDropped to me so I could edit it as I please. I use the app A Color Story from A Beautiful Mess, and I love it.
There are so many great photo editing apps nowadays, so don’t feel like you have to use the same one as me—the important thing is that you’re using the same app and roughly the same edits every time!
Almost every time I edit photos, I skip filters altogether. But if filters are your jam, use them! I typically go straight to Curves and Brightness. I increase the overall curves so the photos is nice and bright, and then I move the green curves down a little bit to get a slightly purple touch to my photos. If the photo still needs it, I’ll up the brightness afterward.
Again, whatever edits you do, try to duplicate them for every photo! That will help your imagery stay consistent, no matter what type of lighting you have, what equipment takes the photo, and what the photo is of.
It might take you a bit to nail the look you want, and that’s okay! I’m still not 100% sold on my current editing strategy, but I know it’s an evolution and I’ll keep tweaking it as I see fit.
The important thing to remember is that you don’t need to drop hundreds of dollars on the newest phone or the latest editing software just to have beautiful imagery. Consistency is key! As long as you’re being consistent, you’ll be perfectly fine.