Chris Buggins Multimedia Producer extraordinaire, specialises in stills photography, videography, editing and post production. He’s shot a wide array of content including action scenes for emergency services as well as weddings and corporate images. He lives with his fiancée and flatulent German Wirehaired Pointer in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Social media is about engagement. Platforms are designed to let you tell your story share it with the world and engage with others. I don’t need to tell you just how important this is for almost every business in existence today.

There is no better way to convey your story than through photo and video.

Understanding there is a science behind the art of online engagement takes time to learn, cultivate and really understand. But you can get started with very little equipment (just the mobile in your hand).

Now, as great as capturing those spontaneous moments happening in front of you that just beg to be photographed, there are a few basic things to keep in mind.

1. Check your background

I am on a mission, no, a crusade to stop trees and poles growing from peoples heads. We have all seen that one wedding photo – the happy bride, groom, mums, dads, aunts and uncles. A rare wonderful coming together of family, but all you can do is stare at the branch emanating from the grooms head, you can’t concentrate on enjoying the picture because that bloody branch is so distracting.

If you are taking a picture of a person its always good practice to do a quick check of your background. Overtly bright colours will distract the viewer. Does your subject stand out from the background or do they kind of blend in to it? Move them if you need to. And of course branches and poles, or anything that is behind your subjects head that makes them look like something is growing out of them.

Why you should check background when taking photos

2. Light it up

Shooting indoors? Can you get near a window? I would much rather use natural light over artificial indoor lighting any day. And that applies to both photos and video. Most indoor lighting tends to come from overhead, which often creates a very unflattering look for your subject.

If you can get some nice daylight coming through a window the light will come in from an angle – much more dynamic and appealing. Just make sure whoever is shooting has their back to the window at a slight angle. Someone standing directly in front of the window will cause silhouettes, and if they are facing directly toward the window the light will be okay but possibly slightly flat. Get the window at an angle and you can’t go wrong. Just keep an eye on any clouds that might cause light levels to rise and fall.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you’re taking portraits of someone to take shots at different angles with the window facing the subject, as the quality of light varies depending on the time of day.

Importance of good lighting for photography

3. There’s no shame in editing

#NoFilter – please don’t be that person. I know there is some kind of purist nostalgia about not editing your photos but gimme a break! Editing is very much part of the photographic process (and has been since the dawn of cameras) and done in the right way will massively enhance your work.

My favourite photo editing app is Snapseed. For a start, its free! Available for apple and android, the layout and workflow is easy, organic and regularly gets updated with new pre-sets. It will take you a few hours of hardcore use to get into the swing of it, but once you do it’s totally worth it.

Why you should edit photos

So there we have it, some helpful hints to get your photos and videos looking on point. Go out there, try them out and let us know what you think!

Follow Chris on Instagram for more photo and video goodness.