I'm Sorry...

Have you ever sent a post you regret?  Have you ever had an upset fan or follower that has expressed their dissatisfaction publicly?  I’m sure you have; but it is all in how you handle the situation that matters. Consider following these steps to help your business deal with upset or offended fans and followers. 


1.      Don’t ignore the problem.  Acknowledge the problem and let your audience know you are addressing the issue.  By not responding it may seem that you don’t care or that you are just ignoring the issue.

2.     Send the unhappy follower or fan a private message.  Let them know that you care about their perspective and see if you can solve the problem on a more personal platform.

3.     Put yourself in their shoes.  This isn’t always easy to do, but remember that you have a personal investment in your business and they don’t.  Try and see where they are coming from before you respond.

4.     If you have resolved the issue, remember to comment on the original post so your followers see that the issue was resolved.

5.     Unfortunately there are the times that a post needs to be removed.  You can ask the person that posted it to remove it or if that isn’t an option you can remove it as an administrator.  Remember to use your best judgement, not all negative conversation needs to be removed. 

Remember the old saying, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”  These are definitely words to live by in the world of social media. 

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Andrea Applegate earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Eastern Illinois University and her master’s degree in Public Administration from Indiana State University.   She has 6 years of small business marketing experience, but her real passion is social media. Her “go to” for any business information is directly linked to her smart phone!  Andrea is always out and about either volunteering or supporting her husband and two boys at their different athletic events. She has the Facebook posts to prove it!

Make Your Pictures Stunning - Composition

Last week, I discussed how lighting can make or break a shot. This week I will discuss composition.

Background Clutter

When shooting portraits remember to check the background for clutter. There’s nothing worse than a tree growing out of someone’s head!

Leading Lines

Use leading lines to draw viewers into your photograph, whether it’s leading them to an object, person or horizon.

Leading lines.

Leading lines.

Leading lines don't have to be straight either.

Curved leading lines.

Curved leading lines.

Rule of Thirds

All cameras have a grid you can use as an overlay on the viewfinder (or phone screen) which lets you use the ‘Rule of thirds’ for a more pleasing composition. Basically it means using the top or bottom line on the grid for your horizon and placing interesting features at an intersection of the horizontal and vertical lines.

Rule of thirds.

Rule of thirds.

Foreground Interest

In landscape photography using an image with something in the foreground makes for a more interesting photograph and captures viewers attention and leads their eye into the photograph.

Foreground interest.

Foreground interest.

But remember, rules are made to be broken!.

“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” - Ansel Adams

Make Your Pictures Stunning - Lighting

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” - Dorothea Lange

I always have a camera with me so that I never miss a photo opportunity. Photography is all about light and composition so that no matter what camera you use - phone camera, point-and-shoot or DSLR, some basic photography tips apply across the board. Today we will discuss lighting and other tips will be discussed in future blogs.

Photograph was taken with a phone camera.

Photograph was taken with a phone camera.


Window Light

With indoor portraits you don’t need expensive lighting equipment if there is a window nearby. Sitting your subject in diffused window light is one of the most flattering ways to light a portrait.

Window-lit portrait

Window-lit portrait

Also when shooting directly into the sun use Fill-in Flash to brighten your subject. This technique works well any time the background is significantly brighter than the subject you are photographing.

Golden Hour

Shooting in the ‘Golden Hours’ of dawn and dusk makes for the best landscape photographs, but it also makes for great portraits.

Portrait at sunset.

Portrait at sunset.

Exposure Compensation

Try and avoid the harsh light of the midday sun. Overcast and stormy skies produce dramatic landscapes but you might need to use Exposure Compensation to compensate for the lack of light. All cameras have Exposure Compensation, even your phone camera, and learning how to use this is probably one of the best ways to improve your photographs. You use this to increase the exposure (in dark situations) or decrease the exposure (in bright situations) The Exposure Compensation slider on a phone camera is usually found by pressing and holding the screen till a small sun symbol and a slider appears. On a DSLR or compact camera there is usually a dedicated button or dial with the +/- symbols next to it.

Angela Freeman moved with her family from Scotland to the USA in July of 2010 and has been working freelance as a graphic designer, photo editor, photographer and web designer since then. In Scotland, she worked in the printing and design industry from more than 30 years. She produced and designed promotional materials, stationery, photographed library events and worked as a team member of the marketing department to promote the East Ayrshire Local Government Library Service.