Instagram is one of the best social networks for photographers because it’s visual and you’ve already got the skill and knowhow to take wonderful photos. If you want to use it to promote your photography business – regardless of which niche you serve – follow these 10 tips.
1. Use a real camera.
You’ll be able to get better quality images this way, and then you can edit them according to your preference and needs, then save that version for upload to Instagram. Business profiles can add new photos from a computer or mobile phone.
2. Experiment with various editing techniques.
Try different editing techniques with your original photo to see what you like best. You can even post multiple versions of the photo and ask your audience to tell you which one they like best so you know what to use again in the future.
In addition to experimenting with your editing techniques, you can use a variety of different Instagram filters to change the appearance of your photo.
3. Share a story with each of the photos.
Tell your followers something about each one of the photos. Describe the shoot and what led you to take the photos. Share details of the venue, the couple/family in the photo, etc. Use hashtags where appropriate – more on that later.
4. Don’t treat Instagram as your portfolio.
It’s not where you should post all your photos – you should use it as a platform to drive traffic back to your website. Instead, use it to show your latest work or as a daily journal. You can add it quickly to your Instagram while you work on uploading the entire project to your portfolio.
Use it to post images you wouldn’t normally put in your portfolio, such as a single photo, rather than a series of work. Use Instagram as business card, and give people your Instagram handle if you ever find yourself out and about without cards, or without cards while you wait on another round to be delivered.
5. Use hashtags strategically.
Whatever you do, avoid hashtag mistakes, such as using banned hashtags or using ones that aren’t relevant to your brand or niche. Depending on what kind of photos you take, there are specific hashtags you should consider using to help people find your work.
For instance, wedding photographers can use:
#weddingphotography #weddingphotographer #weddingphoto #weddingday
#weddingmoments #weddingceremony #weddingstyle #weddingfashion #bridalfashion
#weddinginspirations #weddingdetails #weddingideas #weddinginspo #weddingrings
#weddingblog #weddingblogger #weddingplanning #loveauthentic #junebugweddings
#destinationweddingphotographer (if of course, you shoot destination weddings!) #bridalphotographer #couplesphotography #engagementphotos #engagmentphotography #engagementsession #bridebook
Landscape shots can use: #landscapephotography #landscapelover #landscape_captures #landscapes #landscape_photography #pixel_ig #landscape_hunter #landscape_lovers #landscapecaptures #landscapestyles_gf #landscape_specialist #landscapeporn #getlost #landscapephotomag #ig_landscape #trapping_tones #ig_masterpiece #ig_podium #splendid_earth #gramslayers #agameoftones #optoutside #discoverearth #exploretheglobe #nakedplanet #places_wow #earthfocus #ourplanetdaily #earthofficial #natgeo #nationalgeographic #awesome_earthpix
Portraits can use: #portraits #portrait #portraits_ig #pixel_ig #portraiture #expofilm3k #portrait_perfection #portraitstyles_gf #snowisblack #portraits_universe #featurepalette #bleachmyfilm #portraitmood #featurepalette #rsa_portraits #makeportraits #profile_vision #top_portraits #life_portraits #postthepeople #quietthechaos #2instagood #way2ill #justgoshoot #artofvisuals #l0tsabraids #ftwotw #igPodium_portraits #ftmedd
There are even hashtags specifically for black and white photos and general photography, too. No matter what you’re photographing, there are hashtags you can use to target the right kind of followers – all just a quick search away.
6. Show behind the scenes.
Beyond showing your killer photos – give your followers a glimpse into the life of a photographer. Have someone take photos of you while you’re working on a shoot, so you can show people what goes into planning the photos you take.
Share screenshots of your editing process, that you can use as sneak peeks before uploading a full project to your portfolio. Encourage people to visit your portfolio to see the rest of the shoot.
7. Test your post timing.
Posting content at various times of day will affect how your audience sees and responds to it. You want to post your content at a time when most of your audience is online to engage with it so the Instagram algorithm picks it up as popular.
This way it will have a better shot at landing on the explore tab where you can get a bunch of new followers. Once you know the time that works best for your audience, schedule all future posts around that time.
8. Engage with your followers.
Take the time to respond to their comments when they say something on one of your photos. Check out some your followers profiles and like their photos and leave comments.
When they see you as an active participant in the community, they will be more likely to continue engaging with you, and even recommend your account to their friends and followers.
9. Follow the KISS Principle.
KISS stands for “Keep it simple, sweetie.” That’s exactly what you want to do with Instagram. Don’t post long descriptions on all your images because people won’t read them. Use Instagram automation to help foster account growth while you’re working on your photoshoots.
It’ll help you get more followers, while also give you a way to schedule your posts so you can keep content fresh even when you’re so busy with shoots and editing photos you come home and collapse into bed.
10. Don’t forget to have fun.
Instagram is a social network, so you should be social with it. Have fun with your followers and the shots you post. If it’s all work and no play, you likely won’t see the return on investment you’re hoping for.
Treat Instagram as a community where you can meet new friends and promote your work. You’ll get real feedback that you can use to make yourself a better photographer, and you may even find that you land a few new gigs, too.