Successful social media campaigns require quality images. Photos of completed projects and team members in the field are especially helpful in showcasing your company and building a personal connection with your audience.

For most businesses, amateur photos with a cellphone will do, but there are some simple rules we suggest for better visuals:

Tidy Up—No one wants to see a Big Gulp cup in the work zone or a messy desk at the office. While these may be perfectly acceptable in real life, they still clutter up a photo and distract from the subject.

Crop what you don’t need--Is a significant portion of your photo just the ground or sky? Crop it out. Are you at a tradeshow surrounded by competitors’ booths? Definitely crop them out. Help your audience focus in on your subject by removing the extras.

Say Cheese—Candid shots have their place, but when appropriate, ask your subjects to look at the camera and smile. Your audience doesn’t want to see the backs of heads or photos of people eating at an event. They want to see happy, smiling faces of people who know they’re getting their photo taken. You may find this task intimidating, but it’s super easy to ask for posed photos—simply say: “Hey! Can I get you together for a quick photo? Stand a little closer together. Perfect. Okay 1, 2, 3. Thank you!”

Lighting – Have your subjects face the light, when possible. You do not want the light shining on their backs, because it will make them look like dark, faceless figures in your photo.

Watch Your Shadow—Before you take the photo, check to see where your own shadow is. If it’s in the photo, you and your subjects should turn slightly. You still want them facing a light source, but you want to get your shadow out of the photo.

Follow the Rules—Don’t take a photo if rules are being broken, especially those for safety. If someone isn’t wearing proper safety gear, for example, you won’t be able to use the photo. Correct any noticeable issues before getting the shot.

Of course, the right marketing team can help. A good marketing team will work best when there are many photos to choose from. Consider uploading all your photos to a cloud folder, and allow your marketing team to cull through the collection. They’ll know which ones are quality photos, how to make them better, and which ones follow the rules.

Lastly, remember the cliché, a photo is worth a thousand words – imagine how much more you can communicate to your target audience with good photos that help tell your story!