Assignment Forty One: “Social Media Shoot “



Social Media is a big part of all of our lives. And a big part of social media is the images that are used to introduce ourselves to the world. A good headshot/business shot and something dynamic and fun can all be important to get the message of who we are out there.

Social Media sites have different parameters and challenges for the photographer. Some sites need square photographs and others can use horizontal photographs, and still others need to have vertical images to work well.

Let’s look at a typical Social Media programs and the needs of the person to be photographed for them.


The new Facebook “timeline” calls for a narrow, wide image for the top of the timeline. The dimensions are:¬†851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall

See this graphic for more info. Also see this page for additional FB image prep info.

In addition, Facebook will also need a square portrait for the person’s profile photograph.


This is a social network portal page, and it has similar competitors out there. Most all of them require a large, single image, for the background of the page. This image should allow room for copy and links. Image size information here.

Twitter Backgrounds:

While I never use Twitter on the web, preferring to use TweetDeck, there are a substantially large group of people who do. A Twitter background should also include a photograph of the person, and this image should be tall and narrow to fit the layout of the twitter background.

You can get a layered PShop file here.

 Additional Resources

YouTube Background.

YouTube presents a unique challenge to the photographer as the background expands to fill the browser from the middle out. We must create an image that works with the center part of the browser being a fixed size window, and the background revealing to left AND right. Tall photographs work best.

This is a nice niche for photographers – especially portrait, music and corporate genres. I do a package shoot/design for social media and I price it high enough to make it appealing to people who understand how important the image is for their social media sites.

More info here: Download this folder. (ZIPPED)

Works better in FireFox and Chrome.
Drag the index.htm into an open browser window.
This Info just for Project 52 folks.

Flickr page is here:

Author: Don Giannatti

I have been a photographer, art director, creative director and designer for nearly 40 years. The experience both behind the camera and behind the desk hiring photographers has given me a unique set of tools for working with photographers. Project 52 grew out of a frustration with the boards and forums that seem to be more about personalities than the actual work of being a commercial photographer. I am not famous, and I have no aspirations to be... but I know what the hell I am talking about.

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