Business social media 1

Business social media for the non photographer 1-the cover photo

In the process of shooting for one of my clients, I’ve observed some things. A lot of it has to do with image aesthetic and brand identity. Some of it doesn’t. Even others have to do with things they tell you that don’t work.

This originally was supposed to be one post but the content became much longer so it’s going to be a couple posts about various topics

Let’s start with the Facebook cover photo. You’ll notice immediately that it has a lot visual weight relative to the rest of the elements on the page. Cover photo choice is important, especially because it’s likely to stay around for a bit of time. So what makes a good cover photo? A good cover photo should be visually simple, graphically powerful and balanced.

These traits work with the fixed limits that are the platform. I have pulled a couple examples from various brands, including one I’ve shot.


Photoshop’s Facebook cover photo

This first one is from Photoshop’s page and it fits the three criteria. It’s visually simple. The image really only has three elements– the sky, the person and the rocks. The color palette of the image is also very limited, made entirely of purple and blue hues. It’s also also graphically powerful. There’s discrete shapes and visually there’s a rhythm to it. Finally it’s balanced. This is probably the easiest of the criteria to see as this one is practically symmetric.


Target’s Facebook cover photo

This next one if you couldn’t guess already is from Target. Once again, it’s visually simple. Very few elements make up the image. Graphically, the whole image is centered around the branding of the target, and the rhythm it establishes. Once again this one is also mostly symmetric.


Crayo Watches’s Facebook cover photo

This is the one I shot to fit with the brand identity of the company. Though this image has a lot going on it’s still visually simple. The color palette is almost entirely shades of blue and the elements are limited– product, background, background detail. Graphically, there’s the lines running up and to the left, the zig-zag of the watch faces and the “even” spacing of the snowflakes. It’s also roughly uniform in regards to visual weight across the frame.


Burberry’s Facebook cover photo

Finally, this last example is from Burberry. This one is actually the most interesting because it applies the three characteristics in the most complex way. Visually, there’s only a few elements. Product and background, the colors are also all muted and belong to the same family. Graphically it’s also strong, note the balance between the product and the space around it but also how it works in the frame. The balance of the image is also well done. Note how the bag on the right is balanced by the edge of another on the left. It’s balanced but not symmetric. This is a well styled image and is very artfully done.

The takeaway here is this. These aren’t rules, ultimately you can do whatever you want, but when it comes down to it, you have to design a photo around the design of the page as opposed to the other way around. Based on the design of the page, these guidelines will get you the best results.

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