Alt Chat Wednesday: Perfecting Your Visuals


By: Eden Hensley; Photos by Brooke Dennis and Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Have you ever taken a random sampling of your visuals and really looked at them? As you look at them what stands out? What’s missing?  Where is the camera? Overhead? Straight on? Where does your subject appear? In the center? Off to the side? Somewhere else?

Images grab your attention two ways: the composition and the execution. Get one wrong and an image gets scrolled by on social media. Nail both and scrolling stops, your message may be read. But other than an image being in focus, what else goes into successful execution?

Take another look at your visuals. Do the colors pop? Or are they washed out? Are the images dark? Can you make out details in the shadows? Is the entire image in focus? Or is your focus selective? Are subjects frozen in time? Or are moving objects a blur? 

All this and more combines to create your personal style. (Unsure of your visual aesthetic? Candice of Handmade Mood shared a five minute exercise that can help.) But, before you jump into aesthetics, it’s important to hone your craft and work the limits of your camera (or smartphone).

Join #AltChat on Twitter this Wednesday September 16 at 9AM PDT / 12PM EDT / 4PM GMT as we focus on the basics of photography and how we’re working to perfect our visuals in an ever changing social media landscape.


4 Steps For Better Photos

In the meantime, here’s how to get better images in four steps!

  1. Improve image contrast in Photoshop.
  2. Find great light.
  3. Stop shooting in auto mode, try manual mode or one of the other DSLR shooting modes.
  4. Try a very shallow depth of field to minimize clutter in your images.

Future #AltChats

Next week don’t miss how to generate excitement for upcoming projects and ensure you tell complete stories. Subscribe to our Events via Facebook page and get reminders for upcoming chats. You can find all of September’s Alt Chats there.

Topics that have been suggested and will be covered in upcoming chats are: Collaboration: The In's and Out's of Successful Partnerships; Newsletters: Building Your Subscriber List; Is Doing It All the New Having It All: A Tale of Balance and Time Management; The Art of the Pitch and Media Kits; Community: Building Online and Offline; Mastermind Groups: Finding or Creating One that Works for You

Have an idea not listed here? Comment below or send me an email.


Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.