Looking for ways to create social media content that will keep your client coming back for more? Discover these 10 tips on how to create quality photos perfect for your client’s Instagram.

Immersive images on social platforms like Instagram have the power to engage an audience into following a brand. Over half a billion users check Instagram every single day. So, the content you showcase on Instagram needs to stand out. When creating social content for clients to use on Instagram, the same principle applies.

At Shutterstock Custom, contributors work on custom content assignments, and sometimes the client company uses the resulting images on social platforms. It’s essential to have the ability to tell a brand’s visual story while creating content for them. The goal should be to keep an audience engaged and loyal to that business.

Here we share 10 tips on how to create quality content that’s a perfect fit for Instagram. Use them to wow your next photography client.

How to Create Perfect Client Images for Instagram — Understand the Brand's ObjectivesImage by leonchopan.

Understand the Brand’s Objectives

Understanding why a client is looking for content is the first step to creating impactful images for Instagram that will impress them. Think of the key messaging the client outlined, and then put your creative flair on it. They’re hiring you for your creativity and portfolio. While it’s important to keep their objectives in mind, it’s equally important to stay creative when you work. 

The client is looking for dynamic content because they want better engagement on their photographs to build their audience. The content you create should give an audience a chance to interact with the brand.


Brand Guidelines are a Great Starting Point for Creativity

A consistent voice on social media is key to building a brand. When you work on Instagram content for a brand, try to obtain any brand guidelines that they’ve created. These guidelines often give excellent tips on how a brand envisions styling, propping, and environments that are a great fit for the brand. Use these as a first step when you’re mapping out the type of content you want to create for the client.

How to Create Perfect Client Images for Instagram — Brand Guidelines
Image by Imyanis.

How does this work with us?

On Shutterstock Custom, each client brief delivered to a photographers and videographers has brand guidelines in place. These guidelines define the specifics of what the client expects in the shoot. By getting additional information about the brand, you’re preparing yourself for success by understanding their unique brand identity.


Tell Stories Through Your Instagram Content

Instagram is great for creating a dialogue, so make sure your content always has a clear story. When planning for content, the brand may identify the story they want to tell, or the photographer may conceptualize one. Crafting a story is a great way to create relevant content. When you are on a shoot for a client, picture it from start to end. This a great way to engage any models you shoot with, and will help you form a visual narrative. The client may want to use multiple images from a single shoot, so make it easy for them by building it into a visual story.

How to Create Perfect Client Images for Instagram — Tell a Story
Image by Vlad Teodor.


Keep a Caption in Mind

Think about possible captions when creating content for Instagram. When a brand uses an image or video on social media, they usually need to add a caption. These captions are essential to building the brand’s story. You may not have control over what the caption on your content is, but you can envision one that offers a launch point. Whether it’s a funny antidote or a simple story, a caption helps create successful Instagram content.

How to Create Perfect Client Images for Instagram — Keep a Caption in Mind
Image by Mr.Yanukit.


Allow for White Space

Images on Instagram need room to breathe. Identify a key focal point within your frame, and play around with your composition. While you’re capturing the image or video, keep in mind that the client may decide to use it in a vertical, square, or horizontal frame. Always allow for the content you create to be able to fit in those compositions, as it allows flexibility for the client to use your creative work.

How to Create Perfect Client Images for Instagram — Include White Space
Image by Bogdan Sonjachnyj.


Keep it Straight and Clean

Instagram is not a very forgiving platform when it comes to composition. Because you can view photographs in detail, having an image that’s off-kilter can make or break it. Use gridlines while shooting to line up the points of interest. This directs the viewer’s eye to the area of the frame you want to highlight. If for some reason your composition still isn’t straight, adjust this in post-production before delivering to the client. It’s a simple fix that has a huge impact.

How to Create Perfect Client Images for Instagram — Pay Attention to Composition
Image by De Repente.


Authenticity is Key

When you create branded content, it can be tempting to put the client’s product directly in front of the frame. While this works for typical commercial work, it doesn’t do as well on social. You should absolutely still take these shots as options for the client, but add a bit of genuine authenticity when you shoot and try to capture real moments. Audiences browse Instagram to get inspired by the content they consume and to look for that “I want to be in that moment” feeling. They can see right through content that isn’t genuine, and they aren’t very forgiving. Use your creativity to craft scenes that are authentic and real when you’re creating work for Instagram.

How to Create Perfect Client Images for Instagram — Authenticity is Key
Image by Imyanis.


Produce Quality Content

Take care when it comes to producing social content, as it has the potential to be shared around the world. Treating social as a tool solely for social interaction is an old way of thinking. It’s now a tool with incredible power to share and spread a message. If you’re creating images that aren’t top quality, you risk losing your audience. Invest time in the quality of the content you create, the same you would with any other commercial work. When a client reviews your image, you want every piece to jump out at them with “wow.”

How to Create Perfect Client Images for Instagram — Aim for Quality
Image by Bambara.


Provide Diverse Visuals with Variety

Diversity in content is incredibly important. While creating content for online use, ensure that you are putting creative spice into it. Repetitive content is boring, and you don’t want to submit a batch of photographs that all look the same. All submitted content should provide variety. You can achieve variety by simply changing the wardrobe, composition, or orientation. The more variety you provide, the more opportunities you’re giving the client to fall in love with your content.

How to Create Perfect Client Images for Instagram — Offer a Variety
Image by Tataev_foto.


Be Original

It’s tempting to create generalized content that appeals to everyone, but brands risk getting lost in the noise. Millions of images get shared daily on social platforms. So, make your Instagram content stand out. In an over-saturated market, a photographer needs to provide a unique and specific voice. When a brand hires a photographer to create Instagram content, combine their objectives with your creativity. Even if there’s a specific shot list in mind, always go the extra step if an idea sparks while you’re on a shoot.

How to Create Perfect Client Images for Instagram — Be Original
Image by De Repente.


We hope these tips help you create amazing Instagram content for your next client. Photographers have the ability to produce a story that elevates a brand’s voice. What’s could be more powerful than that?

Top image via Bogdan Sonjachnyj.