Across all social media platforms and your website one thing is universal. Taking good pictures helps you get more views. You don’t have to be an expert at taking pictures (I am far from an expert) but you should develop some skill as it’s an important part of the social media world. Hopefully this article can help you out with beginning to take some good pictures and also how to use those pictures to there fullest potential.
You’ll want some kind of quality camera. Now if you have an expensive smart phone with a good camera on it that will be fine. If you don’t have an expensive smart phone or want to take it to the next level, I suggest buying a cheaper end dslr camera (unless you want to spend more $$$) A really nice camera is awesome but not required. You just want the ability to take clear, high resolution, in focus pictures easily. I don’t want to link one here because they update models so frequently but you can usually find a good one for $150-$200 on amazon or at Costco. Try to get last years model as it’ll be cheaper :).
Take Lots of Pictures at the Beginning
Digital cameras are such a cool thing, because you don’t waste film. So you can take pictures all day long and your aren’t being “wasteful” For picture taking I use a simple rule. I make up for what I lack in skill with volume. I take TONS of pictures. The DSLR camera I have will let me hold down the camera button and it just keeps snapping pictures. I use that feature A LOT. Why? I don’t always know what a good picture will look like. If it’s going to be in focus. If it’s going to have the right lighting. So my theory is take lots of pictures and then go through them and hope some of them come out. To give an example, sometimes I’ll take pictures during our church services (2 services lasting 4 hours total) and I’ll take about 300 pictures. After service I’ll download the pictures onto my computer and go through them and keep maybe 25 of the 300 pictures. If you aren’t a naturally good picture taker (like me) don’t worry as you go along you’ll get better at it as time goes along.
I make up with volume what I lack in skill when it comes to picture taking. – Pastor Todd
People Should be Smiling
Don’t get too caught up in the artistic element of taking pictures (unless your already good at it, then fire away). Simple picture taking is all about telling a story. For me the most used story is simply, we are here (Faith and Victory Church or where ever you are) and we are having a GREAT time. People want to come and see what’s going on where other people are having a great time. Nothing conveys we are having a great time like a smile. A big, natural, ear to ear, not fake, I’m really happy smile. You might have to coax your subjects into smiling but that’s ok. A coaxed smile is better than a frown.
Make Your Profile Picture a Picture of People Not A Logo
I love a sharp logo. It pales in comparison to people pictures though. People want to know that you are real. Your logo does not convey realness. Depending on how you want to come across you may want to just have a head shot of one person or maybe a couple of people. That’s up to you but think about what you want to do and make sure they are human :).
Your logo does not convey realness.
Tag People On Facebook
One of the greatest outreaches that no one is using right now is tagging people in pictures on Facebook. If you attend a small or medium sized church (less than 500 people) chances are you are Facebook friends with at least half the people in the room (if you aren’t you should be) on a Sunday morning. You can take a few pictures and upload them to Facebook and tag people in it and that’s instant exposure for your church to all the friends of the people who you tagged. The reason is because it’s going to show up on their timeline as Billy (whoever) at Faith and Victory Church (your church/non profit). Now since Billy is smiling (because you read this article) his friends are going to be curious about why and what makes your church/non profit so special. If they are non – Christians then Billy has just “witnessed” to them without even doing anything. Simply by allowing (don’t tag people if they tell you it’s off limits) to tag them in church pictures they are furthering the cause of Christ and maybe opening the door for people to get saved. At Faith and Victory Church we have seen so many people walk through the door and accept Christ because we tagged their friends in Facebook posts.
Tag People On Facebook Pictures for Jesus
Get Rid of Stock Pictures on Your Website
As much as pictures tell a story so does your website. You want your website to reflect the people of your church. You want a visitor who has found your website and looked at it to show up on Sunday and recognize people. This will make your visitor feel more at home. To beat a dead horse, it will make you seem more real. Lose the building pictures, the nature pictures, the pictures of your sign, and graphics of Jesus and or Mary. You want real life, flesh and blood PEOPLE pictures on your website.
Go and Start Collecting Pictures
As you start taking pictures make sure you keep a collection of the really good ones somewhere. That way as future needs arise you have a library to go back and tap into. This can be on your computer or through some kind of file share system online.
Go Forth and Snap Pictures for Jesus