Vintage Cameras

How to Take Photos and Make Them Look Professional

In all my communication I use real photos WHENEVER POSSIBLE. I do not like using stock photography for two reasons:

  1. Good stock photography doesn’t come cheap. I’m not a cheapskate, but I have to prioritize my budget and expensive photography for every scenario is not realistic.
  2. No stock photo will EVER be as good at communicating the personality of our business as an image of your business in real life.

When using real photos, I consistently run into one major problem: I don’t have time to edit the photos I do have to give them that professional look.

What I Do When I Don’t Have Time to Edit My Photos – DESKTOP PROTOCOL

My iPhone takes great photos but sometimes they can appear stale. I prefer to edit my photos with Apple’s Aperture. Today I did not have that time so I used a program for the Mac (available for PC too) called CameraBag. It isn’t free, but neither is your time… a little investment in CameraBag can save you editing time or hundreds of dollars in savings from purchasing stock images.

Today I used CameraBag to spice up several photos I’m using to accompany a social media campaign for our community questions.

Check out the results below (note that only the text and logo were added in Photoshop. The actual image was CameraBag):

CameraBag is so easy to use. Open it up, drag and drop in the photo you want to edit, I select the “My Styles” tab from the right and just press the down arrow until I find a filter that I like. It takes about 40 seconds, but the image that I produce has a lot more character than the image I started with.

What I Do When I Don’t Have Time to Edit My Photos – MOBILE PROTOCOL

When using my desktop is not an option. I have several little apps on my phone that I use to edit.

PicTapGo (get it here) – one of my volunteers shared with me the powerful features that PicTapGo offers by way of preset filters. It’s like Instagram, but with way more filters and you can combine them to make new looks and then save the recipe. This is BY FAR the photo app I use the most when editing on my iPhone.

Phonto (get it here) – this app allows me to add words VERY EASILY to my images… and it’s FREE. With literally hundreds of fonts to choose from AND precise placement controls, within a matter of a minute I can create an image to throw up on our FB page.

Here is a list of other photo editing apps I also use: Pro HDR, KitCamera, Camera+, Rhonna

Don’t let a lack of photo skills force you into using stock photography. Just use some ready made tools and tweak till your content. Really, this is like Instagram but with more options and in a pure editor mode.

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