How to Create Photos and Videos for Your Food Business Instagram

July 17, 2023

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December 16, 2022

Instagram presents an incredible opportunity for food business owners — it's a place to showcase your craft and advertise your business for free! But in order to make sales from Instagram, you need to focus on creating content that's as visually appetizing as it is tasty. It doesn't matter how good your products taste: bad photos can keep customers from giving your business a try. In this video, you'll get pro Instagram tips from cookie artist and content creator Laura Luk of @butterflybakesatl.

Watch the previous episode of our Instagram series with Laura Luk.

Video Transcript

Emily Brungard  
Thank you, everyone for joining us tonight. I'm really excited for a really great session with Laura Luk of Butterfly Bakes, based in Atlanta, she's a cookie artist, a mom, a business owner, just a very impressive human all around. And we're going to learn so much about how to make beautiful Instagram content and what what makes a good piece of content for social media. So I'm sure if you don't have a notebook or something to take notes already, you should probably pull that out. But we are recording this. So we'll share the recording afterwards. We'll be going through a quick presentation and then we'll jump into checking out some of your Instagram accounts, and giving you real advice that you can use today. So with that, I will pass it over to Laura.

Laura Luk  
Thanks, Emily, for that introduction. If you don't know me, my name is Laura Luk. I'm a cookie artist based here in Atlanta, Georgia, I have two segments of my business. One is I create content. And that's a stream of income for me where I, I make content for a living. And then my second main stream of income comes from my custom cookies business. So I make, sell and do all of the things that a business owner does. And one of my passions is helping other people get through that process through building a community and sharing knowledge and resources with other people and just want you all to be the most successful business owner you can possibly be. And Instagram is a big part of that.

So one thing I said to Emily, before we get started, is, we're going to have a hard stop at 815. But the good news is, we're going to make this part of a series, where we're going to really break it down into more just digestible buckets with this stuff, because we know that Instagram and social media, and specifically creating content that is exciting and that people want to watch and look forward to those are things that we know are pain points for all of you, you know, we we don't just you know, make our product and sit in our little cookie room or whatever, wherever your space might be. We are meant to engage with our customer. And that's how we get people to look at our profile. And then that's how we ultimately our ultimate goal is to get them to our website, or our Castiron shop, to buy our product. And that's, that's what we're here to help you with.

I have a couple of slides, I'm going to go over first and then we want to jump into getting you all what you want. And that's direct feedback. And that's I'm gonna I'm gonna be real with you guys. I'm gonna be pretty unfiltered is absolutely nothing personal. I want you to be the best you can be. And you're here to learn. And someone actually did this for me very, very early in my business and I took the feedback. And it just took me to the next level. And I want to give that to you in this time. So we'll get through the slides pretty quickly and then we'll go right into pulling up and reviewing some of your content, which I'm so excited to see. So again, this is going to be part of a series improve your Instagram or this can really apply to any any platforms. But here today we're going to specifically talk about Instagram, because I believe that Instagram is the fastest way to grow your business in terms of bringing people to be customers or clients.

A little bit about my background on the next slide. It basically just goes over what I just said. And then I want to give you some stats, as far as Instagram, Facebook, tick tock, I do have a YouTube that's growing. And so again, that I'm a professional at this, I do not expect nor suggests you become a content creator yourself, unless that's something that you're passionate about that you want to monetize at some point. That's a whole separate conversation. And we can get into that in one of these series. But I only list the numbers just to show you the growth that I've had over two years of consistent, and also consistently improving content. So we'll go to the next slide. Real quick, why Instagram, we went over this in our other one where we were reviewing people's profiles, it's free. It's completely free to advertise your business on Instagram, I want you to start thinking of Instagram as a search engine. So just like you would go to Google, Instagram is becoming if, if not more popular than Google. But I find I go to Instagram when it comes to when I'm trying to find a recommendation. Or if I'm trying to find, you know, where do you do? Where do you get balloons for a party in Atlanta, I would, you know, Google that, search for that on Instagram. So I want you to think of it as a search engine, I want you to be searchable. And I want you to invite people in to your world through your content. Instagram also gives you a legitimacy and legitimacy as a business just as a website does. So I recommend that you have both. Obviously, Instagram is your like billboard, basically, it's you know, showing who you are and what you do. And if you have a successful Instagram, you will drive people to purchase from you.

So first thing we're going to talk about real quick is photography. When you're taking pictures, I just want you to use your iPhone, or your smartphone, as long as it is a more updated version. I don't know what the latest phone is. And I don't know how many numbers there are now. But you don't want to have a phone from like 10 years ago, taking your pictures, if you don't have that available to you, I would think about getting one that could be a small investment in your business. You know, upgrading your current phone to that type of phone because this device is my business. I do everything on this device. I take pictures, I take video, I edit my videos and photos, and I post all of my content from my phone. So that's something to think about. If you have a professional camera, go for it. I honestly wouldn't even know how to use one. That's one of my my bucket list things. Hopefully for the next few years, it's to get more into photography, it's photography for me, is for your consumer to not just see what you do, but really get a feel for the mood you're trying to create. In the sense of how is my product or service going to make this person feel? Are they going to make them feel beautiful and special? And I almost would go so far as to say if you're not taking pictures of your product and pictures that are you know, quality pictures. To me that says you don't care as much about your product. And I know that may be harsh to hear because you're thinking well, why would I be doing this if I wasn't passionate, right? Like I love making cakes or I love making cookies. But if you don't also marry that with the love of taking a good picture picture or a good video, I see it as the same thing. Because someone who's coming in is not going to be thinking, well, that picture is kind of rough, but I'm sure she loves what she does. And, you know, you want people to take you seriously and to be impressed by what you have to present. So I listed just a couple bullet points that you're going to want to take into consideration, I already talked about quality quality of the device basically, light, I really don't care if you use natural light or artificial light, just make sure it looks good. I personally use natural light. I wish it was light out here, I could bring you to this space where I actually take my pictures on my kids play room, because we just moved to a new house a few months ago. And, of course, that that is the area in the house that has the best light. So maybe I'll show a sneak peek on on my Instagram stories or something to show what my setup is.

But that leads us into staging, which is something that, in my opinion, doesn't really matter. In the sense of like quantity like so when I say staging, I mean, you know, do you have like your product in a beautiful bowl? Or is it? You know, if it's a Christmas photo of Christmas cookies, do you have like all these little Christmas things around there? Like the beads and the ornaments and the ribbons? And like do you make it all fancy, I'm a minimalist when it comes to that stuff. When I first started taking pictures of my cookies years ago, I thought I had to have like, you know, the beads and the cutting board and, and I realized I was getting so frustrated and so impatient with that process that it was honestly taking away from how good the pictures could be just on their own. But who knows, like maybe if I get inspired by something, and I changed my mind and a few months like that. My point is, that's personal preference. And so do the staging, if it makes you happy. If it doesn't make you happy, don't do it. And then editing is a super important step you should not, I mean, unless you just have like the most perfect lighting, where it's like a semi cloudy day, it's just the right time of the day, you're most likely going to need to edit your photos.

I have a photo here, this is a photo I took. This was the original photo unedited, in natural light, some Christmas cookies. I mean, it's already like a pretty good photo, I would say like I wouldn't say there's anything necessarily wrong here. It just I know it could be better. So if you go to the next slide, this is the edited photos. So again, it's very minimal. I did all of this in Lightroom. So again, I took the photo on my phone, I took maybe, you know eight or 10 photos, that's the other thing. Don't go crazy with it. I mean, I used to take like 50 photos, when I was first learning. And you know, that's okay, just try to try to like part, you know, pare it down to like, eight or 10 is good. But, so in Lightroom I brought up the photo, and I just started kind of playing around and I know for for me, most times I adjust shadows and whites up to a level where I feel like it it looks better but not weird. Like, don't be intimidated by this process. Okay. Just look at the photo. And if you need to do it in a couple of different sittings, that's okay. But look at the photo and say to yourself, does that look right? You know, like, some of it's a little common sense, like, you know, if I take the whites up to 100% because whites make something brighter, okay? So it's like, anything that's white or anything that the light hits, it's going to enhance that and make it brighter in the photo. So if I would have taken the whites up all the way to 100% It's like, it almost looks like you have a flashlight on the photo and that doesn't look good. Right? So as you're learning in this process, you will start to develop the skill of knowing what looks good and what doesn't it I know some people sell presets and like more power to you. If that helps you. But I don't think you know really need to buy presets because every photo is a little bit different. And, like sometimes if it's like super cloudy outside, it makes my photos look very cool. And I need to adjust the warmth. But that's like 10% of the time. So I don't know, I would just start playing around with it.

We're gonna go into video next. So with reels, a couple of things, and I'm going to keep this super, super basic. Keep it simple movement in the first shot, okay. So if I'm showing a Reel of one of my cookies, one of the mistakes I used to make was, I used to put a photo of the cookie that I was about to decorate. And it was just a photo, it was just a still photo. So we have about one second to catch someone's attention before they scroll. So all of these things kind of come together, keeping it simple, we're only going to talk about one thing, or we're only going to show one cookie, or we're only going to show one step in the process, right. So if you like make cakes, you're either going to show like a time lapse of you making the cake or you're going to show like one shot of you. I don't know like scraping the side, one shot of you mixing the ice and one shot of you putting the final touches and then that's it. So it keeps the person interested in it. I mentioned call to action at the end. This isn't always applicable to like what I do, for instance, because what I'm doing is showing a start to finish process when I show myself decorating a cookie. But if you're someone who you know has, has a shop where they have pickups every Thursday, and your call to action is come pick up food from us on Thursday. That needs to be included in the video, not just the caption. The biggest thing when it comes to reels is when you create a Reel ask yourself, would I stop and watch this video? If I'm you know, 1030 at night just wanting to unwind and relax and find something funny or find something interesting. Would I stop and watch this. So we'll go to the next shot the next slide.

This was my first video ever. It was for Easter two years ago, my first video I ever did. And there's a lot wrong here. And I was so proud of this video you guys and I still am. And it was like this for a while. You know the different varying lights, the really slow panning and I mean, so almost hypnotizing. Like, that would not if I posted that on Instagram now, even with the number of followers I have. I bet it wouldn't even get 1000 views, maybe like 2000 but it yeah, go to the next one. If you can, it might not be worth playing, but this is a video from a few weeks ago.

Short clips, keeping it simple, meaning sometimes you don't have to show every single step, you can kind of jump around a little bit. Yeah, start to finish, like I'm showing you the product at the end, not the beginning. So those are a couple, you know, tips, a couple like nuggets of information that I hope helps you.

And I think we had some people sign up to get their content reviewed. And all I'm going to do here is I think we have 12, or 13 to go through something like that. And all I'm going to do is review the probably the first one or two things that I see. And we'll just kind of see how it goes. And again, if you guys have any questions, put them in the chat. And we will, again, this is going to be a series. So we're going to we're going to end up talking a lot more about this if you guys want to, I think it's super helpful, but I want it to be, we want this to be what you guys want.

First and foremost. Okay, awesome. Topsy Turvy Cakes. Let's take a look at that first reel that's there, I know, we're probably not gonna be able to do the audio, which is fine. Okay, so she's got motion in the first frame, I would put that text much, much bigger, and in a different color.

So that is super, this is super satisfying to watch this type of video where the dripping goes down, I understand that you want to show the time lapse. And that's a very simple way to film, that's actually how I would recommend everyone start is by doing a time lapse or, you know, something like that. Okay, right here, where you showing the different shot, I love that you're varying the shot there, you should have done that sooner because it's taken us this long to see another point of view. So I would do that more often I would change it more often. And these shots right here where your hands aren't in the in the frame. Just cut all that out. So even if you meet even if you use time lapse filming, and tight time lapse filming is just a setting on your iPhone. So if you go to your video on your phone, scroll all the way to the left, and it will film in time lapse and that this is a process of speeding it up by an exponential amount. So anyways, I when your hands are not in the frame, you need to cut those portions of the video out. So like I said, even if you are filming in time lapse, you still have to go through the process of editing and I would recommend in shot excuse me, that's the app that I use. And I find it super easy to work with. Yeah, I would I think you could really benefit from slowing down some of your clips. And I don't recommend slowing down time lapse clips. It makes it look all weird and it just doesn't work so well. But you fantastic. Like yeah, I think how many can you go to her reels tab? I want to see how many views that got Yeah, I mean, that video could have gotten a lot more views because it was a good video. I don't know what the music was but your shots were there you just you need to have a different order and you need to cut out a lot of the non movement. You know, we don't need to see you walking in the background or whatever the hand I want to see the action and I want to really be be waiting for oh my gosh, what is she going to do next? Or like what's what how far is that drip gonna go down like that would be amazing. Slow down. So if you could film some in time lapse and some not in time lapse I think that would really benefit you. And get people engaged with your contact is your cakes are beautiful. And yeah, I think your profile looks great. So thank you.

Yeah, again. I mean, this is a good lesson because you know, music is wonderful and I I actually love the process of picking music for my reels. I like think it's super fun. But don't over analyze the music. Because if it's a good video, like the music's not going to make or break a video.

Okay, she got cake. Okay, I can already tell your photography's amazing you must either be professionally tree trained or have a photographer, friend or somebody. When I first started taking pictures, I felt super insecure about it. And I asked my husband to take them for me. So a couple of things, I don't have a problem with this type of video, necessarily, but there's no action happening other than we're just seeing different shots of the cake. And I think that's cool is like an ending shot. But I would try to get some some type of process content from I mean, it doesn't have to be like, the actual making up the cake or the decoration. It could honestly be like, I'm setting up a photo shoot for my cake. And, like, it could be like, you don't even have to be in it. But it could be like your hands like moving the cake around, you know, maybe putting the final touches like the final rose or, like fixing something. So. And what that does is it gets the person hooked into oh, what what is she doing? Oh my gosh, is that a cake? Like, oh my gosh, and then you're, you have that oh my gosh, moment where you're like, wow, that's, oh my gosh, are those real flowers, where it could be like you smelling the flower. And then, like, I'm sure you all have seen those videos where there's a transition. So if it's someone you know, holding a rose, smelling the rose, and then they, you know, point the rose down. And then the rose is almost like a wand where it's like, oh my gosh, I just magically made this cake. So those are fun things that you can do that, you know, do take some editing skill and some filming skill. But it doesn't take as they're not as time consuming because you're not having to stop and start during your creative process of creating this amazing cake. But it still gives you that content that's going to hook somebody I love the music. I love the shots, I could probably do without that glittery filter. I don't have again, I don't have a problem with it if it was like one or two seconds of it. But it seems like it seems like your whole video or at least a majority of your video is shot with that filter. And I think it's just a little it's just a little distracting from like the beauty of the main event which is your cake. So but great job your photography is beautiful and your lighting is absolutely perfect. So I think we can go on to the next one.

Oh my friend this is my friend Maddie. Okay, Maddie is hilarious. You should definitely follow her she does. Videos like of her lip synching to audio and they're all so relatable and so funny and I just love that you do that, that you put yourself out there and I can tell it's something that you enjoy doing. So I would encourage you to continue doing that as long as it brings you joy. I think some people feel super pressured to do videos like this because they are trendy. You know having your face on cameras always a good thing. We're always I think more apt to stop and look at someone who's talking. I think that's how tick tock has gotten so popular is people want to see real people talking. So I love that you do that. I would continue doing it.

Okay, yeah, so my recommendation here is to use this type of content, as long as you enjoy it. And that kind of goes for everything. I would not necessarily recommend this for someone who like just doesn't, it doesn't bring them joy, I hope I'm kind of getting through to you all that a lot of you know, Instagram. It offers a lot for a lot of different people. But I think we all feel at times like this pressure to conform with, like what we see, or what we see other people do. And you have to stay true to yourself at the end of the day. And, you know, I I feel from Maddie that this is genuine to her and her personality and what she likes to do and what she probably garners joy from but just know that if that is not the case, or if it anytime that changes, like you can evolve into something new. That's the great thing about social media, it's the great thing about owning our own businesses is we can decide what we want to do and what brings us joy. So yeah, man, he's really good at getting close up shots. I really liked when you do that, I would just say, really to anyone. Yeah, let's look at one of those.

Okay, I do have a couple of notes for this one, which will be helpful to everyone, I hope. I love this first shot, I would have shortened that first like the white part because why just whenever I do a cookie that has YT on it, for some reason, I feel like people don't care as much about why because it's it's not as eye catching. So I would shorten that shot. And I would have done a little bit more of an overhead shot here just for that first one. And then when you go in with the tweezers, your your shot is perfect here because I can see the tweezers, you're in the middle of the screen, you know, your action typically wants to be in the middle of the screen. But I would go back up for the sprinkles. And I would just like if you could get the shot where you're just, you have the sprinkles here and the sprinkles are falling. And I would shorten each of these sections to like a second or two, I this is kind of a new thing I've been doing if it's not a time lapse video, if it's a regular speed or two times or three times speed video like this. I try to keep my clips one to two seconds. And that may seem crazy short to you. But I guarantee you go on your discover page and go through the next 10 rules that come up. Do you guys know how to look at your discover page. So when you're on the app, your discover page is right here. And if you're not going through that on a, at least a weekly basis just for a few minutes, like I'm constantly like when I need background music or something. I'll just go through reels and whatever, you know, pops up and catches my eye look at but do that that's your homework, look at 10 reels and write down out of these 10 reels, how many are either time lapse, or have clips of like one to two seconds like even like, you know, do the little timer on your phone if you need to. I guarantee you that the reels that are getting attention have those real quick movement, you know doesn't necessarily have to be sped up but we're moving on from each step really quickly. Because that's just how our brains are being programmed right now by all this stuff. But great job Maddie. Thanks for letting us use you as an example.

And so now we're back to cakes. So let's take a look at this first reel. I love that I love hearing someone's voice. There's a couple problems here. I don't have a huge issue with photos as a Reel, I think it's actually becoming a little bit of a, like an ironic trend that people are doing. But there's a few problems, you're moving way too quick. Your photos need to take up the whole screen. I'm not sure why they're not. I would ask if you're using some sort of editing app. Because usually when you, you know, go to create a reel, and then you choose your photos, you have the option to choose photos, and it should take up the whole screen. So you want to make sure that you do that. And yeah, take the other advice I gave the other cake person because I feel like the advice is very similar. So if you want to just refer back to that, I think that could be really helpful to you. I like that photo. Is that a cake? Wow. That's awesome. I like how the background is blurred out. This photo works because the background is blurred out. Like I don't know what's behind there almost looks like a cardboard box with like maybe some ornaments in it. But it works here because it's blurred out. So good job on that. I don't know if that was on purpose, but that that's awesome.

Okay, I love the music, but I also love Michael Jackson. So these look awesome, you must have an Eddie. I also have an Eddie I'm in love. But what I would do here is have some shots of the cookies coming out of the printer. You know, again, just it doesn't have to be a fancy setup, but just a couple you know, printer cookie, printer, cookie, printer cookie printer cookie, one second each, you've got an eight second Reel get rid of the little glitter filter, you don't need that. I think that can be a really cool video. Because what you're really trying to show here is all the photos and images that you've printed. Maybe you're trying to kind of show like, Oh, I just did a lot of cookies, but I don't really care as much about that. As oh wow, I really want to I want to see that outline. Like I want to see that. And how did she get that I think people are really really interested in the in the edible printers now and it's new technology and it's something that is still pretty exclusive. So you have a benefit there I would show off your your process because people are really interested in that. So I have a couple of reels on my page about how I use it. Oh, I see oh, you have a process one right there.

More of this. What I would do here is I would switch between these kind of real time or almost looks like it's a little bit sped up clip and then a time lapse of like you know, you see one cookie kind of normal you know in and out and then you see like 10 happening you know in the next shot so I I think that would be a cool idea. And then maybe like a shot of you at the end just holding up the cookie you know like a two second shot of you just holding it in your hand. And then you know we really get to see it because right now I'm kind of like oh what oh that's cute like what is that but it would be cool at the end to see like you holding one of the cookies and just how crisp it is right? That's awesome.

Okay, let's go on to the next one. Super excited. Do you have an Eddie? Okay, awesome. These are beautiful okay, this, this is a masterclass in how to use time lapse. This is really effective here because we're watching a blank canvas being painted like literally painted into a piece of art on a cookie. So this isn't necessarily what I would recommend for every single person doing every single piece of content that they're ever gonna make. But for this one, it works really, really well. And it's very effective. I think the only two notes I would have is I don't think you need the beginning. I know. I mean, we're probably talking about three or four seconds here, where you're outlining and then flooding the white. The only reason I say maybe you should consider cutting that out is I just feel like you might lose some people there. Because you're, you're a white cookie on a white background, and we're not really seeing we're seeing what's happening. But for the average person that is not looking at your page are already following your page. Because again, when I make reels  you guys, if you want to get more eyes on your page, you need to be thinking about the person that's not following you. I don't want you to think about oh, what is my friend who like saw my photos already gonna think about this, you want to think about what's that person that doesn't follow me that maybe doesn't even really think that they care about cookie art or whatever it may be? Why is that person going to choose to actually follow me? How many views did that video get? Can you go to her reels? I'm shocked that that didn't get more? I would as an experiment, if you would humor me, because your page looks awesome. And you have some videos with quite well, when did you when did she post that? Nine hours ago? Yeah, I'm surprised it didn't get more. If you would humor me and in, you know, 10 days on Christmas, so you don't already have a post that's planned for Christmas. repost that, and take out the first part. And maybe Oh, the other thing I was gonna say is, The later you got into the video, and sorry, guys, I'm kind of going longer than I had anticipated. But if you're if you're showing a blank canvas to an end product, we want to take a long time to get to the point where people recognize what the photo is going to be. But as soon as people recognize, oh, that's a barn on a snowfall in, you know, forest or whatever, then you need to quickly get to the end. Because Instagram pushes our video out to more people, when more people stay in watch. So our goal is to keep people watching as long as possible. That's why, you know, they say it's recommended for reels to be under 30 seconds. They give us 90 seconds, but they don't want us to use 90 seconds, believe me. So we want our reels to pretty much be as short as possible but effective. I'm not saying every reel should be three seconds. But as soon as I got to the point where I could see this is a barn with the trees and everything. I wanted to see the end really quick. And I was I was patiently watching it and I was enjoying it. But I'm also being really intentional right now sitting and watching your videos and being really present. But when I'm, you know, handling the kids and I'm scrolling and I'm passing time, I'm only going to stop and watch something when it's a really amazing and just so you know 80% of Instagram users walk With no sound, and most of I would say that 80% is watching while they're doing something else. So again, our attention spans are so short, but I love the art artistry of this video, and I'm sure it, you should be super proud of it. I'm proud of it for you. And so however many likes or whatever it gets, some pieces of content are just worth it. Like, if you're so proud of it, that is worth its weight in gold. So good job. I think that's a great example for us. Let's go on to the next one. Okay, so we let's do some photo.

This is a good one. Yeah. Really cute. You're showing your products, these are probably products you had for sale, I think the photos great, it has a really good lighting, you have a clear background, I see you've staged a little bit with the ornaments. And I think actually for this photo is a good idea. Because you're bringing in that Christmas feel you want to set the mood, you're trying to sell something, you're not just showing something for art's sake. And I also think next to the packaging, it's a nice like it grounds us and what we're looking at, so I really like that. Yeah, that's a really good photo, everything's in the center. Okay, so this is a good example of a photo that could use some work. Your cookies look great, your little elf on the shelf is adorable. What I would do is do not use and this goes for everyone do not use your counter your kitchen counter as your backdrop. I know it's tempting to because we think oh, there's, you know, already a stone there, I see all these pictures of people on these stones. Don't do that, because the lighting is terrible. And we're not getting like I'm not really seeing this honestly, just, if I wasn't sitting and looking at the cookies, I would have thought oh, she's like posting a picture of her kids lunch or something. Because real quick, you know, the plates very distracting, the backgrounds distracting the males distracting. So there's just a lot of distractions going on. And honestly, a photo of you holding the cookies, neck, you know, next to a window with your carpet, that would have been a lot better of a photo. So again, I believe in investing in some props and things like that and maybe we can talk about that at a different time. But even if you're just in the light of a natural light like a window or something holding the cookie i i believe that would be more effective and more eye catching. Then you know kind of just sloppy, you know, not slopping, plopping it onto your kitchen counter. And just, you know, getting getting the cookies photo taken. So, let's, let's go on to the next person.

Okay. Have the exact same feedback as what I just said for that other person's photo. This is the video version. Same thing go in front of a window and just show I would have done a photo here actually. Excuse me. Actually, no, I take that back. I like the video because you show the box opening that's cute. I would just do it in front of a window with the natural light. Because right now like you've got your kitchen light and it just it's not good lighting and it's not doing anything for you. I like your nails. I like how they match. People really pay attention to the nails. I gotta say I've been given a lot of feedback on my nails. So let's go to the next person.

Okay, this is great, because it took me a while to understand what I was watching. Does that make sense? I think you need a little you either you know what you need, you need a voiceover, you need a voiceover of the experience that you're presenting. So you're presenting this experience of walking into this beautiful store. It's beautifully decorated, it has this pretty white Christmas tree. With the cookies. You need, you're telling a story here, and it's taking us a while to understand what we're watching. So I think you need a voiceover. Or if you want to do captions, you could do captions. Oh, this is a good if you do a voiceover. Make sure you enable captions. So when you're posting a reel, you can, you can click on the stickers. Maybe one day, we can do like a demonstration. But if you click on the stickers, you can add captions where Instagram will transcribe your voice into the video and show them as closed captions, I recommend that you do that on any video that you have a voiceover on. And a voiceover would be something that you would record later, you wouldn't record it as you're in the store, because you might get background noise or whatever you would record it in the in shot app. So you would upload the video clips into InShot, you would record an audio in in shot and then you would upload to Instagram where you can then add your music. And what I usually do with a voiceover is my voice will be at 100%. But the music will be at like 25 or 50% depending on the music and I thought the music you chose here was great. And it would work really well with a voiceover. So great job is this our last one, you have two more, two more. Okay. So we got pictures that are Reels. Oh, that's such a cute little tiny piece, I would have gotten like a tiny little plate and a tiny little fork. Just to go along with it, I think that would have been funny. I don't know if you're in your kitchen, but the lighting could be improved. Just get a little table like like I said, I do it in my kids play room. So I get their little art table. And that's what I use as my prop and I have a replica surfaces photography board that I also use for my videos, you can also buy like some just, you could pick a tablecloth like it could just be a tablecloth on a little table or on a little chair with your natural light coming in. And that, you know, you cutting the cake and obviously your hand is blocking that first shot. So, you know, try to just be aware of where your hand placement is. And again, you guys, this kind of stuff just comes with practice, and comes with watching your own content. And asking yourself like, again, if I didn't know what this was, you know, I'm looking at a video of a tiny cake being cut like that is such a cute idea. I love that there's action from start to finish. But we have to set ourselves up for success by using good lighting, having a really, really high standard of quality for ourselves that like could this video get a million views like you should be thinking about that when you post videos. I'm not saying every video and every photo has to be like professional level expertise, but you know just just be aware of that's that's the bar. You guys like if you want to get people looking at your stuff that aren't just like your friends and family. If this is just your friends and family that's awesome like you do you. No one is telling you you have to have amazing content. But you're here and so to me that means you want to improve and to improve. You have to change. This is perfect. That video was great, but it has some major problems. It doesn't take up the whole screen. The lighting is bad You know get a ring light get get some artificial lighting if you don't have the capability to you know film during the day or next to a window or whatever it may be. But yeah, I like watching you pipe that's a super satisfying like people want to see that so great job there.

Okay, let's take a look at that first reel with butterflies. I would prefer it be a video instead of a photo is a video but you know it's a beautiful cake. I would love it if it took up the whole screen. And because again, a photo is a video we're not getting any action. If you're insistent on doing photos or not videos, I would do one second shots of here's the cake without the frosting. Here's the cake with the frosting. Here's the cake with the frosting and the butterflies. Here's the cake with the frosting and the Happy Birthday. Like do a progress shot of like one second clips. I mean, that's the the advice I could give if you are someone who is more into photography. So that could be a way to show your process that would be kind of cool. Yeah, I think this is yeah, your your photos are pretty good. I love the cake in the jar. I would love a video of you. Unscrew it could be like an ASMR video you unscrewing unscrewing the top, going in your kitchen and hearing the jangle of the silverware grabbing a spoon, getting the spoon out, you know the scooping and like doesn't have to be you eating it but it could you know, be a shot of the spoon disappearing and coming back clean. You know something like that could be really cool for you.

Okay, I nodded at one part. I don't know if you guys were watching me at all. But I nodded at one part when she Yeah, that part right there where she skips ahead from the completely bare cake to the crumb coat. We didn't need to see that crumb coat. I don't know why you didn't film it. But I thought was a good decision not to show that because, again, kind of like I was referring to with the painting cookie video. As soon as we understand where this is going, we need to see it to the end quicker than we got there. So with that said, I thought that was a good transition. But the mistake you made after that was you didn't transition Quick, quick enough, you should have kept that that pace, taking it into these final shots. And can I just make one other suggestion. The music was quite sad. Like it was very somber. And I think that's fine. Not every video and every you know, reel or whatever has to be like happy, joyful, but for a candy cane cake. I felt like the mood was a little serious. Like it was a little intense. And, you know, again, completely disregard what I'm saying if this is part of your art, and you were really feeling that song and that was the mood of the cake. Then again that I think that is more important than, you know, appeasing me or appeasing a viewer because sometimes this is art for people and I want to have like full respect for that. It's just my opinion, so something to consider. But I think with those small tweaks I mean, I don't know if it's the video that we're watching or if it's the quality of your video, but it seems a little grainy. So I don't know what type of camera you're filming on. And again, it, we could blame Zoom, I'm totally fine blaming Zoom. But make sure all your videos and photos are sharp. And that comes from the quality of your device. Yeah, that photo is great. I have no issue with that photo, there's a little bit of a shadow. So I don't know, if you're using artificial light, maybe you could get another light. Because sometimes when we have a bright, like artificial light over here, you know it casts a shadow. So maybe you need to add another lamp. It looks like artificial light to me, but I could, it could be direct light. When you photograph in direct sunlight, like if it's like a cloud cloudless, sunny day, I have a really hard time taking pictures because all it does is just create this really harsh shadow. So there's something to think about. But I like the white background. I like your I like your point of view. I like your kind of you kind of get to see the top of the cake and the side. I like that a lot.

Emily Brungard  
I think we made it.

Laura Luk  
Oh, this was so fun. Again, you guys can find me on Instagram, you can always send me a DM there. I'm happy to help you, you know, give you obviously I'm very honest. But I mean it in the most compassionate way. And I hope that you can take you know some of the things that I said to heart. And yeah, I truly believe in to be better, you have to watch better, like whether it's a better you want to be a better speaker or you want to be a better artists or you want to be a better creator, watch people that are better than you and emulate what they're doing. And so we hope that this type of programming is helpful to all of you. And again, let us know if you have any questions.

Emily Brungard  
We did get one question. What is your YouTube channel called?

Laura Luk  
I think it's my same handle butterflybakesATL?

Emily Brungard  
Is it linked on your Instagram?

Laura Luk  
Yeah, it should be if not, I'm going to do it right now. Or fail on my end is butterfly bakes ATL. And the thing about the thing about YouTube is subscribers. So if you want to grow on YouTube, you it's obviously free to subscribe to any channel on YouTube doesn't cost you anything, but that helps grow our presence. So if you have anyone that you follow on Instagram, and they have a YouTube, if you want to follow me, I post different kinds of content on there. I'm trying to post more like, slow down, like start to finish tutorials. But yeah, feel free to subscribe to my channel, I would super appreciate your support.

Emily Brungard  
Amazing. And I do have one other question. Would you recommend deleting any of the reels that you just gave feedback and making adjustments? Or would you say just carry the adjustments for the next time someone makes a reel,

Laura Luk  
I truly believe in recycling content. So I don't think I watched anything today that was like, horrible, that couldn't be used again. I would probably not reuse any of the photos. Just because photos, I don't even repost photos. And it has nothing to do with the quality. It just they're not as relevant. So, if photos live anywhere, like on your website, I would replace those. But people are not. The thing about Instagram is it's instant, right? It's instant. It's the moment people are not going back and saying, Oh, let me look at that picture that she posted six months ago. I mean, I could be wrong on that. I would really challenge everyone to recycle the content that I spoke about today, you know, download the InShot app. It's free. Don't use the paid version. It's a free app. And I would challenge you to recycle your old content and see how it does with the changes that we recommended today.

Emily Brungard  
That's all I have for tonight. Thank you all so much for joining us. Be sure to follow Laura on Instagram or other socials at butterflybakesATL. And of course, hit us up on Instagram at castironhq. We love to see what you're doing. So thank you all for joining us and happy holidays. We'll send out the recording afterwards so you'll all have it and thanks for joining.

About the Author
Emily Brungard

Growth Marketing Manager, Castiron

Emily is a sister, a friend, a cook, a world traveler, an interior design lover, and Growth Marketing Manager at Castiron. A career startup marketer, Emily has firsthand experience growing small businesses with marketing.

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