Techniques to elevate your content

Making your social media content stand out doesn't have to be hard. Improve the quality of your posts with these photography and vlogging tips.
Canon Camera

Social media platforms are bursting with people trying to get their content noticed. But how do you make your posts stand out?

According to the four artists who took part in Canon's collaborative Crew Create campaign, you need just three things: a passion for what you produce, a desire to push your own creative boundaries, and posts of the highest possible quality.

The first two are down to you, but to help with the last, here are a few photography and video tips for beginners and experienced influencers alike.

1. Get a grip… and a tripod

A woman with blue hair sits in front of a laptop while a Canon camera on a small tripod films her.

Vlogging to camera is a classic technique, made easy by the best Canon vlogging cameras such as the Canon EOS M50 Mark II with its vari-angle screen and the tilt-able touchscreen on the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III, which allow you to see yourself while filming. Investing in a grip, however, will help refine your handheld content even further. Grips open up new, comfortable camera angles and benefit the aesthetic of your footage, too. The tilting mount on the Canon Tripod Grip HG-100TBR allows vertical shooting – perfect for when you're shooting for Instagram stories or TikTok. And using its extra reach, you can achieve higher, more flattering selfie angles, giving your posts a polished edge.

The Canon Tripod Grip HG-100TBR can also double as a tripod for creative flexibility, providing a stable shooting base for full-body shots, tutorials or wide scenes including your surroundings or friends. TikTok star and dancer Nifè uses this grip for a range of content, often pairing its built-in Bluetooth remote with the movie self-timer on her EOS M50 Mark II.

"Sometimes I shoot handheld but sometimes I need to set up and move back. I might need my torso in shots or my full body. I have to be able to move around and I need time to get into position before I start," she says. "The remote is really convenient. It means my clips are shorter. I don't have to edit out the beginning or restart music because the track started ages ago."

2. Never miss a moment with slow motion

A person films a graffitied neon strawberry on a wall using a Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III camera.

It's important to show your followers as much amazing detail as possible. That's why many of the best cameras for content creators will capture video in slow motion. Try using slow-mo to increase drama or suspense in your content, or to ensure incredible split-second moments aren't missed.

In movie mode, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III can record at 120fps in Full HD. The 120fps slow-motion automatically gives you a 30fps movie that is four times slower than when filmed. Fat Cap Sprays uses this technique to record bursts of intense colour, capturing the vibrancy and beauty of his art.

"People respond better to good quality content, to seeing colours pop off the screen the same as they would if they saw my art on the street," he explains. "When I'm spraying glow effects, it's really dusty. It's like a big flame. The PowerShot G7 X Mark III shoots at 120fps, which allows me to capture those dusty flame effects beautifully. I can show the amazing detail of my art and you see the action as it happens."

3. Stay sharp with AF tracking

A Canon EOS R6 with a detached microphone placed on some grass – a person is performing a football trick in the background.

To keep your content looking the part, make sure everything stays crisp by utilising your camera's autofocus system.

The Canon EOS RP and Canon EOS R6 both feature Dual Pixel CMOS AF, as well as face and eye tracking, making them great for filming solo content from home or keeping up with fast-paced movement. Enable Movie Servo AF in your camera's AF Operation panel and it will constantly find focus when recording. By setting the AF Method to Face Detection and Tracking, your camera will automatically detect, focus on and follow faces within frame, while objects can be tracked with a simple tap of the touchscreen.

Football skills vlogger Ewan Baggott (aka EABSkills) uses his Canon EOS R6, which tracks focus points across 100 percent of the frame, to keep himself in focus no matter how fast he's moving.

"The one feature that is absolutely key for me is the autofocus," he says. "I'm usually moving so fast and my shots are going right, left, forwards, backwards. I could be moving in and out of shot and it's just always there, it never drops out."

4. Personalise every photo

Stills are as important as video in ensuring your followers get the content they want, so it's vital that what you upload to your socials reflects your creativity.

All Canon EOS cameras feature custom Picture Styles for personalising the parameters of your photos. Download or create custom Picture Styles, upload them to your camera and bring in the likes with unique imagery.

Brit Award-winning musician and producer Jack Garratt loves expressing himself through photography, and uses Picture Styles to individualise his photos. "I've created a Picture Style for my Canon EOS RP – a black and white preset that makes every single photo I take look gorgeous. I take a lot of pictures of my dog and every photo I've taken of her so far has looked like an Annie Leibovitz spread," he says.

5. Use focal lengths for more than zooming

A young man in a white hooded jumper adjusts the settings on his camera.

Focal lengths aren't just for zooming in close or out wide, they can also be used as a tool for creative expression. You can change the entire feel of your content, by simply choosing the right length of lens.

Focal length can dramatically change the artistic feel of your content. You can experiment with different lenses to fine-tune mood and impact.

Wide-angle lenses alter the viewer's perception of distance by enlarging foreground subjects, with the effect of increasing the apparent depth of a scene. This results in a personal tone, drawing viewers in by making them feel like they're sitting in the room with you – great for solo content at home, such as tutorials.

Telephoto lenses have a narrower field of view and make things seem closer than they are, compressing depth in an image. A mild telephoto like 85mm equivalent can lend a flattering aesthetic to faces, a longer telephoto is great for keeping the camera out of the way while filming action, like football tricks. They also compress distance, giving the appearance of a shallower depth of field by making the densely blurred, out-of-focus background seem closer to whatever is in focus. Employ longer lenses to control your environment, using blur to isolate and highlight important aspects of your frame for a professional feel.

With his Canon EOS R6 and Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM lens, Ewan uses telephoto image compression to frame himself within the goal. "I take the camera really far back," he explains. "I put it on the halfway line and zoom into the box at 200mm. You get a nice shallow depth of field effect."

This not only creates a bold shot but usefully keeps the camera out of the way when he performs his tricks.

6. Go live with streaming

A bearded young man sitting on a mustard-coloured sofa sets up a Canon camera to film himself.

Connecting and interacting with a live audience is a massive part of being a successful online creator, allowing you to share your creativity with others as it unfolds. Thankfully, most Canon mirrorless and DSLR cameras can use the Canon EOS Webcam Utility Software to stream live content online through your PC or Mac. Your camera is your gateway to connecting with your audience, so try it out.

"I'm always trying to find ways of sharing my music with the rest of the world as I'm making it, and one of the best, quickest and easiest ways to do that is with streaming," says Jack, who intends to use his Canon EOS RP to broadcast to his fans. "It's made me start thinking about ways that I could incorporate more streaming, especially from my studio."

To find out about the Canon kit our four creators use, and why, read more here.

Written by Peter Wolinski

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