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Logo of AdAgrA 2021: Hidden Treasure

Better Photos for Your Farm

Nick Knecht Kirsten Knecht



  • January 13, 2021
    6:00 PM


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Good afternoon. Are you excited to be at the photography class at Agra 2021. I have loved that all right so how many of you have ever been skiing or snowboarding before Ok and like that have you ever gone to the rental counter where you've rented the skis and they ask What is your experience level $12.00 or 3 and it's always tough to know I mean it is for me sometimes like what what level am I so i'm just want to try to get a feel of the room like and your photography experience level we're all here learning together but if you feel like you're in the one category there is no shame in that category let me see your hands if you're if you're number one Ok all right Ok how about number 2 if you're level 2 Ok great about 5050 there feels like Level 3 level 3 brave souls to raise your hand I know that Big makes it feel like you're the expert but I understand that's great Ok awesome that was helpful so fast we get into it today let me just say you already heard about us but we live like he said in middle Tennessee I guess that's the thing you say in Tennessee it's not central it's middle. So it's just the 2 of us and our little fur child hazel which is a little small to see they're not our cat they're. Together photography business that's primarily run by her and a small home garden that we do together and we work together for farmers friends asked we mentioned which is an agricultural supply company in middle Tennessee. And that's just a little bit more about us and curious and we'll tell you what we're going to cover today. Ok so the things that we want to talk about today that 1st off we're going to go over camera gear what is right for you and then we're going to go through 4 points or tips for better photos that you can put into action today to make your photos a little better and then we're going to go over easy editing techniques to help you take your photos to the next level and if we have time we're also going to touch on social media and have time for question any answers. So I'm going to do the gear section with us 1st Ok So probably if there's anybody in this room who has a gear set that looks like this it could be one of you number 3 people back there but likely this is not the case and that is totally Ok if you're gear that you're going into farm photography doesn't look like this because I believe that. What's most important is to start with what you have and so we're going to talk about gear in that way a little bit so whether you have a full frame digital s.l.r. or mirror list camera a point and shoot or a smartphone you can start taking better photos right now and that's what we're going to talk about today and as a little cabbie Ott's I know that these point and shoot cameras like the one in the top right there the kind of things that you might have gotten a few years ago you might still have around. I want to make a point that I think that smartphones have excelled so rapidly in photography capabilities that they've pretty much rendered point and shoots obsolete so I would lean toward suggesting that you use your your i Phone or your Android smartphone from the past 2 or 3 years and almost every situation more than that point and shoot camera that you might have in your closet or around or something and I'll show you couple examples of that real quick just to make that point on the left is a photo from the point and shoot camera on the right a smartphone I know the image is small and even up here it's kind of not very clear but even from this you can tell the smartphone image has a lot more dynamic range you can see the bright areas better you can see a lot more dark you can see the reflection in the pavement and the car is back there is just more dynamic range that's something that the phones are using artificial intelligence and computational photography to enhance things even if they're actual like glass and. Camera stuff isn't maybe as big as the point and shoot Here's another one it's small things but all these small things go together to make better photos the right one from the smartphone become much more of the sky you can see how much more natural the colors are on the houses behind the bike and if you can see more detail the bike just looks more vivid and gauging as well and especially when it comes to faces skin tone this one on the left this is not me this is just some random person on the internet I don't know if you have that question or not but the guy is the same guy but notice on the right the skin tones are a lot more balanced his skin just looks better it kind of just captured better and has more depth of field where he's standing out from his background as just a little sample of some of the power of smartphones today while eyes for a lot of you maybe even most of you a smartphone can take you 80 percent of the way you want to go to build your business and make your farm work better with photography. And it's something that's a big plus or pro is something that most of us have access to already in one way shape or form so a smartphone does come with its own set of pros and cons but in the pros section it's exciting to see how rapidly the camera quality has improved in just the past few years so I would suggest if you're an i Phone person I don't know the all the Enjoyed line so much but I'm going to say for i Phones something that I would get anything older than the 10 if you're just looking for a phone for photography getting it 1010 asked the 11 to 12 those are going to be great phones for photography and the newer one you get the more features it's going to have. One saying that I really like is a saying that goes the best camera is the one that you have with you and that's the beauty of the smartphone you know you often are going to have it with you to take capture those moments that are important. But what if you want to go to the next level what if you or a member of your family has a passion in photography and wants to take it up a notch here's just there are so many options you can consider so don't take this ass the best option that there ever could be on planet earth but if you are looking to spend around a $1000.00 for better photography for your farm for your business or whatever this could be a good option the Canon e.o.s. r p is a mere list camera that came out about 2 to 3 years ago it's got some great features and I would pair that more important than that specific camera I think a 50 millimeter 1.8 they call it the Nifty 5050 millimeters is the most similar focal length to what your I.C.E.'s it's just the best bang for your buck in a lens you can get so if you're thinking about getting a lens for a camera and you want to start on a lower budget get that nifty 50 it's going to be way better than the kid lens that comes with a camera that would be like an $18.00 to $55.00 zoom lens or something I really recommend it so a package like that if you got a used us r.p. with that lens around $2000.00 if you want to go to the next next level you can get used to us are and I know this is a zoom lens but it still has a lot of the good features that I like about the nifty 50 that's obviously more expensive but I feel like. If you're in the category of wanting to take better pictures for your farm to build your farm business then this is an investment that you can definitely count as an investment for your farm that's going to pay itself back over the course of time because in the area that we live in photography is the way that you show your farm to your clients and that means a lot. And in case there's somebody that's interested in the higher option or at least the camera of that right option the lens is the majority of that price so that you know take that or leave that but the us ours a great camera the company that I work for actually has one that we're selling So if you're interested come talk to me afterwards. Here's some places to get them. Be an age photos where I always call by my camera gear they're a great company out of New York City they're Jewish they're closed on Sabbath so you're probably not going to go into the website on Sabbath anyways but they're closed out of ram and as another great also Jewish New York company Amazon of course you have heard of Amazon a great place to buy stuff. Be an h.s.a. use department if you want to go used Craigslist Facebook marketplace you probably know about this I'd caution against e-bay not that you can't do it but I always like to see him hold the thing in my hand 1st and just check it over can't do that with e-bay all right next something to keep in mind when you're considering the smart phone versus the the big camera topic and that is the workflow that's involved and this is a struggle that I deal with and what still takes me pushes me sometimes to work with a smartphone instead of a real big camera and that's this let's say you take a photo on your phone and you want that to go to Instagram it could be anything could be Facebook it could be your farms Web site whatever you want to deliver that. The process from that standpoint is you take the picture on your phone and you post it Instagram it's pretty straightforward you could do a little editing if you want to but you snap your post when you move up to full size camera that workflow changes and that you take the picture on your camera and then it's on an s.d. card that you have to import into your computer maybe do some editing then you have to export that out of that editing program and then you have to transfer it back to your phone via e-mail text airdrop or whatever and then you get to post Instagram and that's not impossible or difficult stuff but it just takes time and that's something to think about that's just a barrier to entry when you start going to a bigger camera something I just did this weekend I discovered kind of a new. Way to do this with my my cameras some of the newer cameras have like Bluetooth and why I find you can transfer directly from the camera right to your phone which is kind of cool for just your basic you know Instagram kind of posting it kind of saved several steps for me and that is an option but just wanted to make you aware of that all right let's move on to that section. Ok here's the quote for you all the single most important component of a camera is the 12 inches behind it you all might have heard the story of somebody asking complimenting somebody on the cake that they made and think oh what of and you have is this same sort of thing when you're talking about photography saying oh what camera you have actually isn't the real question it's actually who is behind the camera so that is something to keep in mind with all of these points that we're going to talk about so the 4 tips that we are going to discuss for better photos is number one finding good light Number 2 eliminating distractions number 3 having a focal point number 4 adding a human element and then we're going to have a bonus tip in there so the 1st one is finding good light and Nick is going to tell us about this. Lighting is something that is super fascinating to me sometime trying to bring this down to a very like every day sort of level so I looked around with something that I just had nearby to kind of show us an example and I found this Texas orange and I took 3 photos of it same orange same location just different lighting I'm just curious if you were to pick one photo to post on your Instagram or which is your favorite number 12 or 3. 3 That's cool most of you actually heard say 3 I like number 2 and 3 very well I think they're both great photos but I definitely don't like number one and. I just wanted to kind of explain the reason why maybe we like number 2 or 3 better and what changed about it. Here's a little chart I don't know if it'll make sense or not but photo number one was taken with the sun to my back so the sun was behind me then it's me and the orange is right in front of me that just kind of makes things look flat there's no dimension there's no depth on almost every situation I never take photos with the sun directly to my back I can hardly remember a situation where I felt like that made the photo better I'm sure there are because it's art and anything can look cool but in general that's a principle that I try to stick with with the fuss if the sun is directly to your back it's generally going to look flat so just start moving away from that the 2nd picture was taken with the sun to the left and this was actually a window but Sun equals your light source whatever that is once you just put that to the left you know roughly 90 degrees I mean 45 degrees is fine too just just working your way around now you start to see some dimension like oh that's actually around object there's some falloff in the shadow to the right it's brighter on the left and it just starts looking more interesting and this doesn't always work but a lot of times I like shooting actually with the sun behind the subject that I'm shooting so that would be me with the camera then the subject and then the sun maybe not absolutely directly behind but kind of you know back in that direction that really also creates a lot of depth dimension in detail and maybe one of the reasons you like that one is that it almost looks like a small globe like you just see the sun kind of the light just like over the top and the nose is kind of dramatic and I like that and I think that in general that tends to look well in photography so biggest thing avoid it with the sun to your back. One thing. One thing on that last point it's it's sometimes tricky with the light if you're shooting with the sun sort of behind the object you want to make sure that the sun is not directly in the lens of your camera because then you'll get haze from that so either blocking the sun with with a tree or some other object but still having it behind your object will help to eliminate that haze that you would probably face otherwise. That's a great point and some extreme situations only hold my camera with one hand and I sometimes put my other hand up here and kind of block the sun coming in and just experiment and that kind of can work sometimes. So when and where can you go to find a good light a beautiful place to find good light is inside open windows or doors and the window doesn't have to be open but like not covered with blinds try turning other lights off in general unless you have in general it's conflict nice to turn the other lights off in the room for a photo like this they're shooting top down and the light source of the window probably is above in this case or in front of them and that's something to try inside or near windows or doors if you have a greenhouse or a caterpillar tunnel of some kind it's almost like a photography soft box when you walk in there you feel it even without a camera that can be a great place to take photos especially more in the middle of the day when it gets tougher to take photos in other parts of the farm when the sun is just beating down from the top another option in the middle of the day is potentially find a little bit of shade. Again it's the middle of the day the lighting is not usually yes great and so finding some shade in the middle of the day can be helpful if you're towards the morning or the evening getting close to what they call golden hour having the sunlight in out in the sun is usually a better thing but the middle the day shade can be helpful. And kind of touching or what I was just mentioning when you're coming to like shoot wide angle photos like your whole farm or whatever mornings and evenings are the time to do those sorts of things that's when you're going to get really great light so this when the sun is just barely going below the horizon and this was a drone photo but the same principle applies whether you're in the air or not for example this is a photo that I took of a farm in Colorado this summer again from my drone it was later in the morning than I would have lights I wish I could have taken this photo earlier and not that it's a bad photo. No but it just doesn't have that that pop that some of the other ones have it's just looking a little flatter the only difference is I just took this photo 2 hours late or 3 hours later it wasn't a bad camera it wasn't a bad it could have been a bad photographer but it was mainly that it was a bad time of day and this again is not the same farm but there's another example of a photo you know just kind of or as the sun was going down and kind of get those glows that special you have a tunnel you can kind of glow coming through that as well just an example of why a farm photos kind of where it's a landscape really try to do that at the edges of the day in my opinion. Ok Tip number 2 is to eliminate distractions are alternate goal is to make the subject look stunning and not let the background steal the show. So I think for that is to look for clean backgrounds it's easy to just snap a photo and not really pay attention to what's behind it what is competing with that. So I have a photo here that is an example and it's not a bad photo I took this with our s.l.r. camera and it's not terrible but if you look in the background it's just a little more distracting than I would have liked your eye is not as drawn to the flowers but you see kind of the the light coming in from behind and it's just a little distracting so one way that you can avoid those distractions from the background either you can look for another background look around you is there another place close by that you could take that produce those flowers too that might have a cleaner backdrop background or your photo your subject is just going to pop from or another thing that you can do is to change the angle and that's what I did in this situation I took this photo so both are good photos but I feel like the 2nd one is superior because you don't have the distraction of the background. And the 2nd point here is kind of similar to the 1st just making sure that nothing is competing with it and taking your eye away from what you want the person to notice and think about it where is your drawing 1st and so here's another example. These are some veggies from our garden so I went out there and pick them and I wanted to get a picture of them I took a bowl out there I thought it was going to be so pretty and I went out to the garden in the middle of the day which. Like Nic just talked about isn't the best light but I found a place in the shade under the tomato finds and you know it's not bad like the lighting isn't terrible but if you look at it. It's green all around that's competing with the green of my vegies my cucumbers and my cabbage and it's very distracting around the image just all these little details so what I did is I took that same poll about shovels inside and I set them on my countertop do you see the difference like now that your eye is drawn to those veggies and so beautiful so I took it into my kitchen and I took away the stuff that was directly behind the vegetables so that there wasn't anything competing I still left some things in the corner because I wanted it to look like this is my kitchen this is my living space I don't want to be perfectly clean. And I will have to say I did take this photo with my s.l.r. But even if I had taken it with my phone the difference is dramatic and so this is just an example you can take the same subject put it in a different place and all of a sudden you have an image that really speaks the beauty of. Your product in this case this is the vegetables from my garden. The last 2 points is a watch for bright spots or oh that was the last one avoid harsh that sun spot and watch for bright or clashing colors you know what if you're photographing flowers in this case what colors do you have around you have something that's competing with those flowers now in this situation I took this photo several years ago and I feel like it's a sad reflection of these 2 point you can look at the photo and think oh that's a nice photo but this chair that it's on has kind of the similar colors to the flowers so that's kind of competing with it and then you have these bright spots in the background where the sun is shining really harshly and it's not a bad photo but it doesn't draw attention to the beautiful flowers as much as I was hoping for so something something to be aware of it is that your eyes are drawn to light so if you have a bright spot in the background of your photo that is where your eyes are drawn 1st and you want your eyes to be drawn 1st to the beautiful produce the flowers or whatever it is that you're photographing. So the 3rd point is have a focal point. Now. Likely depending on where your photos are going if they're going to social media as you know we're all bombarded with images and information so we need to focus on stopping the scroll what kind of images can we protect that are going to make somebody stop and say oh wow look at that beautiful produce look at those kids in the garden Wow Look at that and so dropping the scroll is something that we need to think of in regards to photos and something that will help that is if you have. A focal point what do you want people to notice 1st so by a limited and distractions which we talked about and properly choosing your focus you will have your focal point the main part of the image that you want people to notice. And the last hit is to add a human element and especially if you're sharing photos on social media but I would argue really no matter where you're showing your photos this is one of the most important parts. People connect with people and nothing's so if somebody sees a photo of a beautiful bunch of carrots but they also see a photo of a bunch of carrots that somebody is holding you're going to naturally be drawn to that photo that somebody is a part of because we're drawn to people we're not drawn to just oh that's pretty sometimes we are depending upon our personalities if we're more of a creative mind we might be but in general people are connected they want to connect with people and not just things. So even if the focus is on your product like this is me and my kitchen holding the micro greens I wanted the micro Greens to be the focus of it but having that human element even if you're just blurred in the background even if you're just holding the product even if it's just your feet in the photo adds that connection and people want that connection. So here's an example we've reviewed the a strawberry pictures quite quite a bit this is we are very proud of our strawberry crop this year and we enjoyed eating them from Picard and we took lots of beautiful pictures of done so this is 2 examples of the same all of strawberries now the one on. The left I'm really bad on my rights unless you know it's a beautiful picture of strawberries but the one on the right that has my feet in it might sound funny like people are going to connect your feet I got sounds really weird but because it has that human element it's like oh there's somebody that's with those strawberries like somebody grew the strawberries somebody picked these strawberries and that's very important. Here's a few more other pictures from our garden just to give you ideas of things that you can do you know you can hold the produce in front of you down below you whatever you do you just have that element of you are behind the produce you're behind the pictures that you're showing and I good example of that is from actually our farmers friend Instagram account I run manage the social media for farmers friend and these are 3 of our top photos of the year on Instagram and yes it's our product yes it's our tunnels but what made these photos stand out is the fact that there was that human element to them and have to mention the people in the photos are also happy they have smiles there it just exudes that like oh I want that too. So we kind of already said this but you want people to connect to you you want them to know where their food comes from but more importantly you want them to know you the one who is growing it for them. And the bonus tip that I have is to be creative. And I was going to mention earlier but the photos in here are either ones that we have taken or are from Instagram accounts of farms that we know personally through our work with farmer's friend in people who really represent their farms and what they do in a in a really positive and beautiful way and this one you'll see multiple photos from them they have a gorgeous account and some of them are taken with their s.l.r. but some of them are taken with their phone too there's so much that you can do with your phone if you're just creative if you think about some of these these tips that we're sharing you can make beautiful images with whatever you have. So show the fun and the funny of farming how many of you have grown a carit that was all twisted up like we all know about those things there's so many weird things that happen on a farm that people don't even know about they're used to going to the grocery store and picking up these perfectly uniform things or they're expecting clean produce I mean like there's all these things that people don't even know about so show the things that are unique things that are like an everyday thing on the farm but people aren't even for Millie are with so whether this is on your website so showing some of those unique things or whether it's on social media show the fun and funny of farming. Also along the same lines show the ugly and the beautiful like we all know about the tomatoes I mean the heirloom tomatoes that's what it's all about as all of the has gnarly things but people don't realize that so so don't feel like your images or your produce has to be perfect like. We're all work none of us are perfect and our produce isn't either. This is the funding that a lot of farms do and that is to do a flat lay of your veggies every week and this is especially a pleasurable if you have a c.s.a. or some sort of like subscription system and it's a really easy way to showcase what you're offering that week in a fun way you can just find surface and I think it's important to use the same spot every time that just give some continuity to it so these are 4 different farms that do this every week for their c.s.a. they just lay out their vegetables in a place you choose the place that has the has a suitable background and also has good light and then you can just take a picture from above so not only is this the way that you can showcase your produce your product to the people it also is a really easy way to keep records of what you are growing like if you're not really good at like writing down things you can have a little folder on your phone that has a picture from every week the has what you put in your c.s.a. box which is kind of a representation of what you had that year that season if you want to know all went in my tomatoes come in are like little things like that I found that it's easy to be able to go back if you have photos of things so that is one thing that you can do just to add some creativity and beauty to your farm. And then perspective. Like how many times we see the inside of vegetables but they're so pretty like have you grown a watermelon radish or. Watermelon that orange inside like all of these things cut it open you you often have a knife with you for harvesting your credit open and share the beauty of what you see inside is just another angle another perspective of what you do here's another example garlic was so pretty they just cut it in half and it's a side that you never see but yet it's so pretty and unique and artistic this farm edible uprising they often will use their photos to announce something so this is restock they restock something on their on line website I think that's an easy easy thing to do you just take it out of the garden write it on a little something and take a picture of it like there's so many things that are quite easy as long as you just think about it and think Oh we could let people know through this avenue and it brings in the farm beauty and it also is just creative and fun. Ok back to Nick. All right a little bit on editing here editing is a whole world that you can really get into and spend a lot of time doing but it's not something that has to be a barrier for being able to have a good photos so just on a very basic level I wanted to recommend a few apps to you that you can get these are apps from the app the Apple App Store and I think most of them are on the Google Play Store as well but here are some that could be helpful that I know of photographers are primarily use i Phones for their account use these photos and I think the results turn out really good so this one this is one called light there's another one called after lights. A room can get a little bit more advance and it can that's probably the one I use but I use that desktop app to some more familiar with it if you want to add words to your photos than word swag can be a great one and if you know anything about app stores you know that these are not the only apps out there that do this kind of thing but these are some good options that I have gotten personal recommendations from They're either free or a small payment of some kind but again don't be afraid to pay a dollar a month or $2.00 a month or something and try out some of these apps and see if you like them because it really can make a difference they're full of all sorts of filters and features and editing things that can can really kind of make your photos pop if you want to do some editing on the desktop on your on your laptop on your computer a couple apps that would recommends 1st would be Adobe Lightroom that one is a subscription based but it's relatively economical compared to many of their other pieces of software it's like $10.00 a month or something you can just try it and see if you like it lumen are for they go a different route that app is more like $7080.00 but it's a one time payment that's a great app as well as some powerful filters and features and affinity photo is again a one time payment sort of app which I prefer I hate subscriptions but that's the way Adobe goes so those are some apps that I can recommend for the computer and for the phones that can definitely worth trying out and seeing how they work for you in terms of some editing tips. The apps really can do a lot now with just kind of that automatic like fix this photo with the little magic wand icon or the auto button or something but I just want to walk you through some of the decisions that I make in the in the order in which I go through those decisions when I'm looking at editing a photo and I would almost say that this is the same order that I go through when I edit video as well because editing color grading video is just like moving pictures a lot of ways it's the same So 1st I'm looking to correct or fix things does it need to be brighter or darker I'm looking for exposure 1st I'll fix that is the white balance off fix that next a lot of times the cameras are good enough to do those things pretty well so you don't need to do that every photo then enhance I look for color do that does it could use a little bit more saturation and when you have an app that has kind of a slider you can go up and down and just kind of just like play around with it go up down like that who down a little bit just kind of just just experiment go with your gut like I like that you're probably going to find that however you edited a photo today a year from now you're going to look back on that like oh that was that was too much color and that was too little color that was too dark that's just that's that's how it is for me that'll probably be how it is for you you can adjust highlights and shadows I usually like to turn highlights down to be able to bring some of the sky exposure back bring some of the shadows up to bring some of the details from inside. The door of the barn or even just the shadowy parts of the underside of a piece of cabbage your head of cabbage. Contrast and clarity those are the things that go to you next and then the last kind of major step is stylizing maybe applying a filter maybe not even a full power maybe slightly no adjusted down so it's not at 100 percent. You know strength filter slash presets and I'll mention something on that if you're going to use some filters and presets you might consider finding the one ideally probably the one but the couple that are your favorite and stick to those because if you do when people look at your feed your account the photos will have more continuity if you always do you know half strength of this certain filter that you like just a tit. And Sun flayers some of the apps can do that yes maybe it's not 100 percent authentic but if you don't have as much sun in there as you like you can fix it so let's edit this photo so here's a photo that was taken again it's the famous strawberries from the connect garden but it's a little dark and you'll have to go with me on this one because the projector is not. It's not the best place to edit your photos don't edit your photos on a projector please. So it looks a little dark so I'm going to go through my steps I think it needs to be brighter and the way you gauge that is you know you don't want things being blown out so you don't want things to be overexposed you want to see the detail in most if not all of the photo so we had room to go up to not lose detail so we made it brighter I think the white balance is off so I'm going to just that a little bit warmer that's looking better to me and I might go back and tweak this along the way let's try some of the enhancements so let's I'm going to boost up the contrast a vibrant and clarity and now we're That was a nice change that starting to look more appetizing like I would actually like to eat those strawberries I'm not picky about strawberries but Next let's try that Sun player so there's an app you can use maybe some of the other apps I mentioned even have this built in out a little bit of a sun flare to that top right you don't see the sun but it adds that warm glow that maybe was really there in the camera just to pick it up and that's kind of how I would leave that photo I think that that's kind of a good place so we edited exposure white balance we can kind of increase the color the contrast and then out of the sun flair if it works and it's nice All right so that's next quick editing tips. So everything that we've talked about today will help you to take better photos or matter where they go but for most firms or businesses I see 2 main avenues that are foreigners go there and they're going to go to your Web site now you might have like a blog on your website or maybe your farm as a newsletter but the likely either go to your web say or. To a sharing pov where my social media. So there is so much that could be said about social media it could be a complete talk on its own. But yeah it's huge and only going to just briefly briefly touch on it so. Let's jump in. Social media is also a complicated subject like there's varying thoughts and opinions. If it's even a place that we should have or lives so but if you handle it was care on a personal level I believe that it can be a powerful tool for your business but I just have to say a caveat like a social media can be a trap it can be you can get into the comparison game you can get into just wasting your time the 2nd thing that life out of you so I am today just talking about it on a purely business using this as a tool for your farm which it can be very powerful. So the 1st thing that I see as a perfect 1st social media is to build community and to get to know your customers better. Secondly it can allow you to be a part of a greater community if you're a farmer you can get to know other farmers in your area Facebook has amazing groups for farmers that you can help each other and answer questions go back and forth so you can build community for your local c.s.a. members or your customers but you can also be a part of that greater community a whole. And lastly it can help you promote and sell your farm products but this one you have to handle with care and. I put that as last because you don't want it to be just a way to promote yourself because people are going to be drawn to that if you're just promoting everything that you're doing. So Instagram and Facebook are the main social platforms that I would encourage any business to use and it makes it easier because they can be linked together so you can do posting on Instagram that also links to Facebook and so you can it's almost like managing one's social media there are nuances of variances that you know if you get more into what you want to be careful with but for the most part you can treat them as a similar thing share what you do on Instagram on Facebook you can you automatically if you share an interim there's a little toggle button that you can connect your Facebook to you can just use that and it all goes directly to Facebook so that makes it handy. So just to kind of know we're revealing what we're dealing with here how many of you all have social media for your business. Ok so we have we have a few here. So I would encourage if you were wanting to have your business on social media Instagram is a great way to get started it's very easy it's intuitive and one of the things that I like about Instagram is it's you don't have all of the ads and the share is as much that you get on Facebook it's a little bit more just focused on photos and the things that you're offering Now that's not to say it doesn't have ads but it's just a it's different than Facebook and personally I like using it better. So we're just going to very very quickly touch on 5 Tips for using Instagram. So no matter what social platform no matter really how you're marketing your product the number one thing to do is to define your ideal clients. So say you're a vegetable farmer and you go to you have a c.s.a. and you go to farmer's markets so think about who buys your produce who has a subscription to your c.s.a. and you want to you want to think about what is our ideal client what is it who if I think of all my customers who is it that I feel like is the most ideal that sounds kind of funny to say but like ideal clients and then you think about that person when you were posting when you're sharing stuff so let's just say for sake of illustration that it is a female between the age of 25 and 45 and there's all kinds of analytics and once you get going with the business Facebook or Instagram you can actually see who the people are that are following you and you can see the age you can see the gender and that can help you know Ok Who am I actually talking to so let's just say that it's a female and so think about her when you're posting like what are her pain points what are the things that you can help her with your farm so likely if she's buying your produce or if you want her to buy your produce she's probably into health so you could share a post about the nutritional benefits of the Swiss chard or 5 reasons why you should add of or guillotine or your salads like think about that person and post something that they're going to really resonate with like oh yes I want to learn how to cook my swiss chard better or like oh yes I need to know the nutritional benefits of this. So let's also say that she's into cooking if this is a c.s.a. customer of yours she probably is so you could share a recipe that was like a photo of the produce from your farm and a recipe using that produce And another thing that we can probably safely say with this age group is she's probably really busy like maybe she has kids maybe she's working full time but she's probably really busy so also talking about. Like really quick things is a really quick way to cook your greens like that's going to catch somebody attention to be like oh I resonate with I need a I have all these greens but I don't know what to do with them I need a quick way or a green smoothie to start your day right it only takes 2 minutes and uses all your kale and your Spanish like those are things that people like that's a pain point like I'm in the c.s.a. but I have all the scale like I don't know what to do with it and I don't have time to cook it well here's a smoothie recipe it only takes 2 minutes that's something that they could connect with so targeted to finding your ideal clients and speaking to that person is very important no matter where you're sharing your photos or information and that's going to help you connect to that person. Second is follow your customers and this is just something this goes and life in general I take an interest in people whether this is theirs on social media or just meeting them at farmer's market but take an interest in them if you're on social media as a business commenting on their posts with their kids or like their dog like taking an interest this will build so much brand loyalty to you and the people will feel like like wow my farmer actually cares about my life and. So not to mention the other opportunities that might come from that in the future for like witnessing and building a friendship so if you're going to use social media think about that like think about these are real people these are people that you're investing and and you never know where those relationships are going to go. 3rd is to use hashtags Now if you're not familiar with Instagram and how Instagram works hashtags are a system that interim has put into place to categorize your for your photos a kind of like makes almost like these virtual folders so if you were to search. I'll tell you the hashtags that I use and search our farmers for and quick cut greens Harvester quick greens Harvester that's a whole photo a whole like folder of photos of people either using the quick greens harvester or something to do with that so it's a way to categorize the photos and you can connect to people so the thing that's really important to do when you're using hashtags is to find hashtags that your ideal clients are using and that are local to you because this is going to get people to seeing your stuff that are actually your ideal client you know your ideal client if you live in Tennessee your ideal client is probably not going to be in Texas because you're selling locally so you need to tap into that local market so research and find out what hashtags other people in your area are using you can do this by looking at their posts and seeing if they have hashtags down at the bottom like what are other people doing. So here's just some examples of something Muser not legitimate and I'm sure they're out there but these are not ones that I'm like suggesting that you use They're just ones that I made up for our area that might give you an idea of the something that you could be looking for in your area. Vegans of Nashville Ok you're probably looking for vegan people to eat yourself I mean not necessarily but that could be a community that you could tap in to shop National Farmers' Market like that's local to a farmer's market c.s.a. of Middle Tennessee those are things that you could be connecting with people healthy moms of Columbia like your problem you probably do have a lot of moms you know think about that like what are some groups that moms are in what are some hashtags that they're using So that's just you can go on and on about this one but those are just a couple simple tips to think about with hashtags another thing. It's to tag people. So if you're at a farmer's market tag the location of the farmer's market so people might see oh they're out that farmer's market and tag. The Farmer's Market self often if you're going to a farmer's market they have a manager who likely runs a social media and will take pictures at the market take a picture of yourself setting up your stand and tag your farmer's market and not only will people see oh they're at that farm sparking connects you to a place but that also builds loyalty between you and your market manager and your market manager might might share your post and say hey these people are really excited they're setting up my farmer's market kind of shows what's going on at their market and now more people are seeing that post that are your ideal client like local people are seeing Oh this farm is setting up I should go and see that so that is just something to to keep in mind and all of these things there are there features and there are things that you can do but sometimes we don't like take the time to or like if you don't know about tagging somebody or using hashtags you're missing out on an opportunity a tool that you can you could connect with more people. I was just thinking and if you if you take notice some of the tips that we've talked about and taking better photos and let's just say you go to that farmer's market and you're taking the best photos of any of the vendors there that farmer's market manager is probably going to want to share your photo maybe more than somebody else's and that's not saying it in a bad way but I know with farmers friend the counter she manages there are so few accounts that we have to really restrain ourselves from posting all the time because their photos are so good you want to be that account that your market manager is like and I want to post their photo again but I didn't last week I probably shouldn't like you want to be. That account and you could get to that direction by upping your photo quality and that can really that's one way that it can kind of pre-prepared you along. Thanks for mentioning that another thing with tagging your customers to say you're putting together a c.s.a. box that week and it's for Mary and you could post a picture and tag Mary and say I'm so excited we're putting together your veggie boxes week local it's coming to your house later today or like Bill that excitement and it's like wow I am a part of this community and it can make people feel very valued and very scene. So along the same lines encourage your customers to tag you in their photos so blithely they're going to take their vegies home take their flowers home whatever it is and enjoy them so take a picture you know encourage your customers to take a picture of your flowers on your dinner table I would love to see it and then you could share that post and you can just build this community people love to be noticed they love to be seen and it's just taking an interest in people's lives and sharing pictures from your customers is going to build the brand loyalty and also get other customers excited like hey I should post a picture and tag them because maybe they'll share mine too that is something that I do a lot with farmers friend and it's been very successful with building a vibrant community of our customers. And finally the last point is sheer behind the scenes they're Instagram stories and reels now if you're not familiar with Instagram this is definitely taking it to the next level but you're wanting people to connect to you on a day to day basis and not just like oh their lives are perfect their pictures are perfect and their feed you want people to connect to your real life people you get dirty you have things that go wrong on the farm and the more vulnerable you are with those things the more people are going to connect to you because we all have problems and if you share about a problem that you have a trial that you face likely somebody else has faced the same thing and they're going to connect to you in a much deeper way and they might reach out to you or vice versa you can reach out to somebody else when when you see that that there they have this trial or struggling and something so just build that community share be vulnerable yourself as much as you know that kind of sounds cliché there's a lot of people who talk about being vulnerable like you have to decide what that level is for yourself and it's different for every people but the more that you share the more that people are going to connect to you. And hopefully with the tips that we have shared about taking better photos and then if you want to up again with your social media you well this will put you in the trajectory of building a really strong brand for your farm and also community because it goes much farther beyond just the products but it's all about community it's about relationships and it's about getting to know people and we want to leverage everything that we do. Our influence and everything for witnesses and for God's glory. So we have just a few minutes left for question. Question Ok. Here's. The question. Seasonal changes to be beneficial. I think all seasons are beautiful and there's something that we all experience and so I think sharing all the seasons is wonderful. That answer your question and you can everybody relates to the joy of the. Things that are you know highly flowery absolutely taking advantage of it when Loving out on their properties as well do the same thing you know when you do get a snow in the winter definitely like yeah get out there with your camera so use it to your advantage and you definitely can and have another question back there yellow shirt so the question is Is there any concerns or things to think about from a legal standpoint in sharing locations from your photos or taking photos of like things that I asked farmer's market kind of thing or whatever. Do you have anything to say I could say something as well oh you know. I don't know if this exactly answers your question but I was out shooting on the streets of Atlanta with a lawyer one time and so I kind of ran into some of that I asked him some of those legal questions and according to the him this is not official legal advice but this is what he told me and I went with it as that people in public. You can not only you're legally allowed to take people's photos when they're out in public you can even legally I believe sell their photos when they're out in public so if they're in a public place and this is just answering the people part of it if they're in a public place they're fair game to be photographed. Now they can still ask you not to and that's up to you whether you want to oblige that but from of strictly legal standpoint if they're in their private property you can photograph them but if they're in public you can do that kind of answer your question Ok if you want to yeah just put on that so I am I try to get people's permission as far as like sharing something that somebody else posed especially if it has kids involved but just across the board it's kind to just say hey I really like what you posted do you mind if I hear that now if they've tagged you in it likely they're not going to mind but that's just something that I do and also sharing location you know you may not want to share your location of your farm but sharing the location of your farmer's market you know that's going to help people to know where you are and where to find your stuff. Maybe your town or your city instead of your actual physical specific location let me come over here yes. Yeah that's a big topic that we could spend a lot of time about for sure the biggest thing with the drone I. Drones really and our advantage when you take the photos or videos in those morning or evening hours I feel like even more so taking photos and videos in the middle of the day. Just look really bad on the drone for the most part so I am more or less whenever what we do a lot of filming on farms and I always say of the drone of my battery for that last half an hour of sunlight without 1st half an hour of sunlight that's one tip and just smooth smooth out your motion with video as much as possible just kind of make it look more cinematic not jerky not just do a bunch of stuff so you have options when you go to add it. And one thing on video video is a whole another topic in and of itself but a lot of the same principles that we've talked about today apply to video including the equipment's which is really amazing so all of the things we've talked about whether you're looking to increase your farm exposure through photos or videos can apply and I think unfortunately that's all the time we've got for today thank you so much this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit w w w audio verse or.


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