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How To: Snap Great Images for the Perfect Social Posts

 

Creating good social media content can be difficult especially while you’re focused on being in the moment. We talked with MOJO social media manager, Allie Reilly, about her best practices when it comes to taking photos and posting on social media. Keep reading to learn about editing hacks and how she gets Instagram-worthy pictures while on the go. 

 

If I don’t have a professional camera, will an iPhone take good photos? 

Absolutely! Nowadays, iPhones have high-quality cameras allowing you to conveniently capture your travel memories without having to bring a separate camera. 

 

What is the best time of day to take pictures? 

Golden hour or right before the sun goes down is the best time of day for photos. If you can’t take pictures around this time, be sure to take photos from a couple of different angles. This allows you to diversify your options through vertical, horizontal, pano and portrait mode, increasing your chances of getting that perfect photo. Who knows, there might’ve been something getting in the way of your perfect shot, like sun glares or a photo bomber.

 

Are there any social media accounts you get inspiration from? 

I love looking at National Geographic’s Instagram since they do an amazing job of showcasing different destinations. I also find a lot of inspiration by searching for a destination on my TikTok feed. 

 

Do you edit your photos? If so, what do you do? 

I use Adobe Lightroom, but this requires an Adobe membership which is not free. There are plenty of free options available through the app store that create the same effect! Picsart offers a free plan with do-it-all tools.

 

How can I edit my photos for free?

Your iPhone’s photo app or Instagram are great tools that are accessible and affordable, allowing you to enhance any photo for free. I love the ‘auto’ edit option in the photo app because it improves the quality of the picture with a click of a button. Both apps allow you to take the same photo and get a new picture every time, depending on what you adjust. 

 

What is the best time to post on social media? 

Overall, it depends on what your followers are interacting with and when. As a good rule of thumb, I post around noon or after 5 pm because most people will be scrolling on social media on their lunch break or after work. If you are posting on the weekend, I suggest posting mid-day (noon to 3 pm).

 

Do you have any tips for coming up with great social media captions? 

My number one tip is keeping the captions on the shorter side, most people care about the content you are sharing. If you are struggling to find a caption to fit a specific destination, you can search that location through hashtags and see if anyone has come up with any creative captions. For example, I was struggling with a caption for an Instagram post of Machu Picchu, so I searched #MachuPicchu and saw great examples of captions specific to that locale.

 

What are some easy ways a traveler can get better pictures on the go? 

  1. Zooming in affects the quality of the photo. The biggest mistake I see people make is zooming in the middle of a video. Every time you zoom in on a photo or video, it affects the resolution. So, if you do need to zoom in on an object, do it at the beginning or end of the video. 
  2. Keep an eye on the sun.  Always keep an eye on the sun when taking pictures, especially when you’re taking photos of people. You want to make sure the sun is behind the subject. However, if it is too bright you want them to face the sun. 
  3. Wipe your camera lens. This may seem silly but wipe your camera lens beforehand! We put our phones in purses and pockets while traveling which causes the camera to get dirty and affects the quality of your pictures.
  4. Use the newest camera in your group. If you are traveling with a group, use the newest iPhone to get the highest-quality photos. To share photos within the group, I recommend creating a shared album or airdropping the photos. Every time you text a photo, the photo compresses and loses quality. 
  5. Turn live photos on. Live photos allow you to select a different scene in the photo, making this a great way to get more options right off the bat. 
  6. Utilize Instagram reels, especially the pre-made templates. There are so many Instagram templates that can transform your social media feed. I love using the pre-made template that allows me to sync my photos and videos to a song. If you are taking content for a video reel, be sure to take a still video for 3-4 seconds before moving the camera.