Photography I do on a regular basis:
Cell phone Wallpapers
Wait… huh? One of these things is definitely not like the others. Traditional business and photography advice is simple: Share what you want to sell/book. Makes sense. People want to generally see examples of what they are looking to purchase. Common wisdom is to bombard your audience with as many quality examples of your photography (that sells) as possible hoping that at some point your efforts convert into a… sale. Makes sense.
I don’t focus on photo shoot sales actually. Obviously I need to book clients in order to support my family, but I care more about providing an enjoyable content experience for my followers than I do about the bottom line of my photography business. Crazy right?! That is why I spend a considerable amount of time creating and sharing free photos that Buffalonians (and others) can screenshot and save as a backgrounds on their personal devices.
So - do you want to know how I do it? I see a lot of other photographers and even big brands make wallpapers - and there are a two common mistakes you need to avoid:
1. Shoot with Intent.
Shoot your photographs with the intent of making it into a wallpaper later. This first step is the most critical by far. Most cell phone screens are 9x16, but no camera shoots that aspect ratio natively. So if you aren’t shooting your initial photos with the intent to crop it to that size, you will likely have a composition that doesn’t look great as a background. Do yourself a favor and take your best photo - and then crop it as a 9x16 photo and see what you can come up with. Generally you will find that unless you shoot with the intent of making your image into a 9x16 wallpaper, it doesn’t turn out that great. This little exercise should teach you all you need to know about composition except for one other big thing…
2. Make the time.
This is a double entendre haha. Not only do you need to spend considerable time thinking about and planning for what subject matter would look wonderful on your lock screen, you also need to make the time look good in that composition. What I am referring to is the time (and other info) that is displayed on top of the wallpaper on your phone! Often I see a stunning wallpaper I want to save that forgets to consider the time in its composition. I am a massive Buffalo Sabres Fan and they have a section on their instagram account for wallpapers. On each one, the time displays right on top my favorite players’ heads or the team logo!! (see for yourself @buffalosabres). Phone brands each have a unique home screen and lock screen layout, however generally you need to leave the sections I highlighted above free of any distracting compositional elements that would clash with the user interface. I use Apple products, so all of my wallpapers are selfishly shot to look great on iPhone!
Good wallpapers are made from beautiful photos. GREAT wallpapers also take into account the composition limitations of a cell phone.
I hope by sharing what people love and enjoy, and not just what sells, I will stay motivated to make a name for myself - all while brightening up your home screen in the process. Thank you to everyone who tunes into my instagram stories on Wednesdays!
This blog post was brought to you by Wallpaper Wednesday!
Check my instagram story every Wednesday for a limited release of an original wallpaper collection. Each is free for your personal enjoyment - just press and hold on your screen (to pause the story and remove all the user interface clutter), and then screenshot the images! I make these just for you.