If you are on the internet these days (and obviously you are), you have probably noticed that good photos are hot items.  From your profile image, to your friend's snapchats, to the ads that run in between them, a quality picture doesn't just say a thousand words -- it says them FAST and EFFECTIVELY.  

     Therefore, this week we wanted to share a few tips from the experts to help you make your already awesome photos say even more.  Whether you are taking a picture with a jar of coconut coffee, the Eiffel Tower, or your drooling baby, these 5 points can help you craft meaningful and shareable images that others will find hard to scroll by.

1. Get on the grid!

People like balance!  Photographers who have realized this often use a grid on their camera's viewfinder to make sure the elements in their photos are equally weighted, and you can do this too!  Most phone cameras come with a grid feature that you can turn on in the settings. It looks like this:

To balance your photos, you can then use the lines as placement guides for the objects you are photographing.  Most experts recommend you put your main points of focus (the items you want us to look at) at the four places where the lines intersect, like this:

Drawing our eyes to those places will make your photos seem balanced and pleasing look at.  We find the grid is especially useful when you are taking a "Cup and Product Portrait," like the example above.  Just line up your mug and our product in the sweet spots, and snap away!

2. Change your point of view!

Because we often see things at eye level, it's super interesting when we get a chance to see from other angles and perspectives.  You'll notice that many popular Instagrammers work different points of view to make pictures of fairly common things, like food, stand out, and all it take is a little moving around!  Check out these eye-in-the-sky examples from CAcafe fans @tastyprahok and @hippiedoctor:

Or this sneaky, "I didn't see you there" angle from our friend Rabaoon:

It's all about point of view! Try it out the next time you are eating something especially good-looking (*cough* like gourmet coconut coffee) and get ready to bask in the likes.

3. Catch us off guard!

Lighting and angles are important, but sometimes what you really need to reach your audience with is a memorable subject. Try being creative with what you choose to photograph --  dress up your products, make them do fun things, or take them on trips.  Instagrammer @devonna30 is a great example as all of her product pictures go above and beyond to be funny and different.  Check out some of her shots for inspiration:

Really, the sky is the limit with this one!

4. Pose wisely!

We've all had those moments when looking at pictures of our friends where we've had to stop and ask ourselves -- "Why is she standing like that?" or, "Why is he making that weird face?"  Well, it's probably because she or he isn't posing with the right mindset!  When taking a self-portrait, you first need to decide which emotion or feeling you want to convey.  Once you have decided this, you can then start getting in the zone by thinking of something that makes you feel that way yourself.  If you want to take a genuinely happy picture, for example, then you can think of your favorite coconut coffee ;), or maybe have a friend tell you a joke that you can laugh at.   This tip is really useful for taking the "Just Chillin' with Product" photo, or any kind of picture where you want to seem natural.  Check out this happy example from CAcafe fan @enica1980:

Or this super candid shot:

5. Use your phone's regular camera instead of the front-facing one!

We know, it's super convenient to look at yourself while snapping a picture with your phone's front-facing camera, but bear with us.  Even though phone companies are starting to get with it and beef up their selfie lens qualities, most regular cameras still take a higher resolution photo, and have better flashes than their front-facing counterparts -- meaning that your photo will have the best lighting, focus, and clarity if taken normally.  However, if you stand in front of a mirror while taking your photo, you'll still be able to look on point while also getting that high quality!  Check out these crisp and clear examples from fans Greg Edwards and @amalstable:

Let's turn those cameras around!  

     Lastly, don't forget to share your CAcafe faves with us either on social media or by e-mail!  Good luck with the tips; happy shooting! And when you get on a roll, don't stop. Join the #CAcafePhotoChallenge and rack up dozens of free products for yourself while spending just a minute a day. ;) What are you waiting for?

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