We all love a good scroll through our Facebook feeds, perusing the pretty pictures on Pinterest and being inspired by Instagram. But have you ever stopped to think, when sailing past so many others, what it is about those amazing photos that make you stop and stare? If you do I’m certain you’ll see a theme, a thread that will link the images that stops you in your tracks – they just look a little more professional.

I’m often asked what makes a great instant snap on Facebook or Instagram and so today I’m sharing my five favourite photography tips to give your craft business shots some social media magic!

Follow the light

Good lighting is a crucial element in any photograph and really brings a subject to life, dull photos are never going to win you many style points so make sure you use natural light to your advantage. Whether you’re aiming for a moody shot or a bright fresh feel, light is your friend, follow it, work with it, capture it and your photographs will sing.

If working indoors turn off the lights in a room and make the most of natural daylight only!


Keep it clean

I’m talking about your lens here, I can spot a dirty lens at a glance because the photos adopt a fuzzy haze. Grease on a lens might be an age old technique for a soft hazy portrait but it has no place in modern social media, it just means you have a mucky camera!

Every time you take a photo with your phone or camera, clean your lens even if just with the hem of your shirt! To illustrate I just photographed these pens on my phone. The first image only had a faint fingerprint on the lens but with the lens being so tiny it has affected the clarity of the subject. A quick clean and the snap has come to life!

Processed with VSCOcam

Size it up

Image size on social media is an easy thing to overlook, but resizing your image to the right dimensions for each platform can make all the difference. What looks great on Facebook, won’t be interpreted the same on Twitter, so think carefully before you post and make sure you have formatted your shot correctly. Not sure what image size you need? This always up-to-date Google Doc by Social Sprout is a great resource.

PC crop port

Level up

A simple way to instantly make a photo look more professional is to level it up. OK so I know it sounds super picky but ever-so-slightly-off photos are the worst because at least a strong angle is usually a style choice. Spend just a moment straightening it up, either as you shoot or afterwards. Simply look for the most obvious horizontal or vertical line in your scene and use that as a guide.

wonky snap

level snap

Tell your story

Tempting as it is to focus on your product range to promote your creative business try looking beyond and going behind the scenes and photographing your daily adventures.

This doesn’t have to mean baring your soul to your followers or telling them what you had for dinner. Simply tell the story of how your product was created, little glimpses of your creative process, photography mood boards or something that sparks a new idea. They are all compelling and visual treats for your followers.


Discover how you could master your own photography style for social media and more!


If you would like more guidance on achieving great photography for your creative business, then do take look at our invaluable 100 lesson e-course which covers essential aspects of photography, lighting, styling and photo shoot planning. Choose from regular start dates and enjoy 24 weeks of lesson access to work through the fun photography & styling assignments that will see your photos sparkle with confidence.

Use PROMO code SOCIALSTYLE to reduce the Standard Ticket price by 10%

I hope you have found these tips useful, I’ll be looking out to see if one of your social media images catches my eye!

Happy snapping!

LJ x


Lyndsey James is a photography & styling tutor with over 12 years experience as a professional photographer, and the founder of Photocraft®.

Previously a high street retailer too, Lyndsey combines her retail and commercial photography experience to help others succeed in retail online through her photography & styling events & e-courses. She also speaks at craft & business events around Europe and has worked with Etsy, Folksy, Kirstie Allsopp, Enterprise Nation, Craft Central, Digital Photographer Magazine + more.