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Expert advice: Ten tips to make the best of Instagram as a photographer

Instagram has just about 500 million energetic customers in step with day and pulls in engagement charges 23% upper than Facebook and 84 occasions upper than Twitter. With statistics like those, it’s the final social media instrument for photographers to percentage their paintings with purchasers international.

However, staying on best of Instagram’s widespread function updates and taking merit of its possible to develop your small business may also be difficult.

You’ve most probably heard loads of contradictory recommendation about Instagram best practices, in particular when it comes to enticing together with your target market. There are a number of other approaches you’ll take to develop your following, however you wish to have to do what’s best for you and what’s in line with your emblem. This information will can help you develop your presence on the platform with some confirmed and efficient tips.


Most Instagram utilization guides emphasize technique and engagement – and of direction, that’s tremendous necessary! It’s additionally what most of the people combat with. However, on occasion even the smallest and most straightforward issues you’ll do, like including a skilled headshot and writing a distinctive, impactful bio, can make a large distinction to your profile’s total feel and look. Before we even take into accounts target market engagement, first, let’s believe the way you’re presenting your emblem on the platform.

Best Practice #1: Introduce your self to your personal voice.

Instagram is extra than simply your beautiful photos, and your paintings is extra than simply the photographs you’re sharing with the international. Behind each and every image is a tale, and also you’re the narrator (or protagonist?). Think of your bio as your probability to spotlight key issues about your self and your paintings in 150 characters or much less.

Food Photographer Daniela Gerson‘s Instagram bio

The personality restrict is incessantly why photographers overlook their bio, however it may possibly carry your presentation and make you appear extra skilled when achieved proper. Your profile will have to have the following pieces:

Professional headshot
Your complete title
Photographer tag
Location + strong point
Website hyperlink
Other issues you wish to have folks to find out about you!

Best Practice #2: Create a cohesive profile.

Your emblem is an extension of your images trade, so the one explicit query you will have to regularly ask your self when sharing a publish is whether or not or now not you’re “on emblem.”

What does that imply? Well, everybody has a other means to their paintings. Some photographers have a extra blank, curated glance, whilst others are extra spontaneous. Some have vibrant and colourful personalities, whilst others have moody or muted types. Some have the famed “Instagram-worthy” meals pictures, whilst others are long-form storytellers. For instance, let’s believe two photographers each that specialize in journey images. Stephen Matera maintains a vibrant, virtually fantastical grid, whilst Chris Henry curates a extra matte and moody profile.

It all will depend on what your emblem is and the way you need to provide it. (And don’t omit to have a laugh with it!)

Best Practice #2: Be unique. Be true. Be you.

These days, advertising your self as a technically professional photographer is not sufficient to wow purchasers. Clients are extra occupied with who you’re, the tale at the back of you and your emblem, and the way it all ties in in combination. Are you passionate and vocal about social and/or environmental problems? Do you determine as LGBTQIA+ or BIPOC? Do you have got any aspect tasks you’re operating on, or is there a company that you simply love and improve?

Instead of making your Instagram an actual replica of your web site or portfolio, suppose of it extra as a means to exhibit your character. If there’s anything else particular or necessary to you — don’t be afraid to publish about it! As a skilled photographer, Instagram is your social media platform. Rather than juggling to organize one non-public and one skilled account, we expect that aiming to succeed in a harmonious steadiness between sharing your outstanding paintings and what’s happening at the back of the scenes will upload an additional layer of intensity to your profile. After all, one phase of your emblem is the superior imagery you create, and the different phase is you as a individual and what it’s like to paintings with you. Most importantly, you wish to have to be posting related photographs and telling tales via what you percentage—whether or not the ones tales are about contemporary tasks you’ve been operating on, adventures you’ve had, new updates to your small business, or behind-the-scenes pictures.

Best Practice #3: Having a trade profile simply makes trade sense.

This may cross with out announcing for some of you, however we strongly counsel you make certain your Instagram is a business account. A trade profile on your emblem will give you credibility, plus there are loads of further equipment you’ll take merit of.

Instead of taking over valuable bio characters with touch information, there are separate buttons to name, e mail, or even get instructions to your location — making it more straightforward for purchasers to connect to you. Even with out a trade profile, even though, you’ll and will have to without delay hyperlink to your web site to your bio, which supplies possible purchasers the talent to see your skilled portfolio and solidify their pastime in operating with you.

With a trade account, you’re going to obtain helpful analytics in your profile via Instagram Insights, together with when your fans are maximum energetic (by way of the hour or the day), the place they are living (by way of town or nation), and the demographics of your target market glance like. You’ll additionally obtain knowledge particularly on your posts, such as impressions, achieve, engagement, and saves inside a particular period of time, as properly as what number of people clicked the hyperlink to your bio or attempted to achieve out by way of the touch buttons.

As you get fascinated about rising your following, we recommend making an investment in more instrument for extra tough, detailed analyses (Hootsuite is a nice possibility). Still, Instagram’s in-app analytics tab is indisputably a good spot to get started.

Scheduling & Posting Frequency

Hold your self responsible to a common sharing agenda after figuring out the sorts of content material you’ll be posting.

Best Practice #3: Post on a common foundation.

For maximum photographers, under-sharing is a matter extra so than over-sharing. While there’s masses of sources in the market that provide other conclusions on how incessantly to publish, we recommend making your function to publish as soon as a day. It’s ok should you leave out a day or two every week as a result of, preferably, about 5x/week is the candy spot.

Be power with it! We inform photographers should you’re most effective going to publish in your weblog two times a 12 months, there’s no level in even having a weblog. The identical is going for Instagram—don’t let your account cross stagnant. If your social media has the talent to get your paintings in entrance of hundreds of folks on a day by day foundation, you will have to be enticing extra often.

If you combat with discovering the time to replace your social media platforms in between assignments and tasks as a skilled photographer, we recommend taking merit of one of the many scheduling equipment in the market. There are masses of third-party platforms in the market, such as Later or Buffer, that let you to agenda posts upfront and publish them at a scheduled time. (Here at WM, Later is what we use to keep arranged.)

Wonderful Machine’s view of their social posting agenda in Later

Tying in with the final level, those equipment even have the added receive advantages of letting you spot into your target market analytics, with insights into classes such as impact and achieve. Make it simple for your self and do your scheduling and your research multi function!

If you combat with getting ready a photograph to agenda and publish day by day, don’t omit that you’ll additionally harness the possible of Instagram tales.

Best Practice #4: Take merit of Instagram tales.

Stories are the best position to percentage in-depth protection of your procedure or extra of the narrative of your day-to-day as a photographer. Since they’ll have disappeared in 24 hours, you don’t have to take them as critically or fear in the event that they’re getting much less engagement than your different posts (no person will also know)! Stories push up your probabilities of showing in the Explore phase as well as to holding you best of thoughts on your fans and purchasers perusing Instagram.

Instagram Stories additionally permit you further a laugh tactics to be inventive via other fonts, colours, tags, mentions, and places. With Type Mode, you’ll percentage your ideas and phrases in quite a lot of colours and font types that tie in together with your visible emblem identification. With stickers and doodles, you’ll upload on quite a lot of interactive decorations that may exchange relying in your location, climate, or if there’s a particular match taking place.

Even should you’re having a gradual paintings day or week, otherwise you’re dropping steam in your IG posts, a hit accounts percentage what they to find attention-grabbing and/or related to their tales. At the very least, it helps to keep you on the minds of your fans; at the maximum, it raises engagement in your web page and attracts in additional audience.

Read extra about how to create superb Instagram tales here.

Captions and Hashtags

Captions and hashtags are a very good means to draw engagement to your pictures and power up the likes and follows. While, of direction, visible content material is king, captions be offering an extra area the place you’ll infuse a bit of your character.

Best Practice #5: Craft your captions properly.

Remember that your audience will spend extra time on a picture if there is an interesting caption to learn. Per Instagram’s suggestions, 125 characters are what to purpose for if you wish to have the majority of your caption to show (for captions longer than 3 traces, folks could have to faucet “extra” to learn the entire factor). While duration is a attention, if there’s an enchanting tale to inform about the photograph, take the time to write it out. You’re much more likely to spark a authentic interplay this manner, however stay that first sentence enticing and trap the reader into clicking that “extra” button.

Keep your captions descriptive (even though now not overly) and keep true to your individual voice, letting the language trace at your character. It’s a good way to display purchasers what it’s like to paintings with you.

Hashtags are a other tale, used basically to select related subjects, uncover new accounts, and select up fans.

Best Practice #6: Be strategic with hashtags.

Here’s one thing to believe: Hashtags may have each a certain and a destructive impact in your achieve and engagement. Millions of pictures are classified with the “widespread” tags, and new photographs seem each and every 2d. So, should you use the most well liked hashtags (such as #trip) and aren’t pulling in hundreds of likes in step with photograph or being featured on the “Top Photos” portion, customers scrolling via are in all probability by no means come throughout your buried photograph. Plus, you could finally end up receiving extra junk mail feedback and likes from bots somewhat than actual people.

The proper hashtags you wish to have to use are the extra particular ones that actual customers (and possible purchasers) browse — they’re in most cases now not the maximum used ones. Be inventive with it – @ and hashtag manufacturers, hashtag your particular style of images, the town, and state the place you’re based totally, and so forth. For instance, #fujifeed is a high quality tag for Fujifilm camera customers run by way of Fujifeed.

We counsel holding it easy with not more than 15 hashtags (you don’t need to glance spammy or like your greedy at straws) and the usage of a website online such as Display Purposes to to find related hashtags whilst you get caught.

If you employ social media instrument like SproutSocial or Onlypult, analytics will inform you what your maximum engaged hashtags are, making it more straightforward for you to mirror the luck discovered with sure photographs.

You too can cover your hashtags, so that they aren’t visual when your symbol displays up in the feed by way of copying and pasting the ….. (5 dots) on every line of textual content after which following them by way of your selected hashtags. You too can have a set of hashtags in a position to cross, and as quickly as you publish the symbol, throw them in the first remark.

Hashtags have been created to arrange the huge quantity of content material on social media feeds however have grown to be a lot more. They be offering a new means for you to start conversations, have interaction with a inventive group, and advertise your products and services to many new customers. Hashtags are crucial phase of discovery and make allowance you to acquire publicity to area of interest teams and particular spaces of pastime as a skilled photographer.


Best observe #7: Geotag to to find and be discovered.

Geolocation lets in you to tag a position to your photograph. The identical causes you can use hashtags and have interaction together with your target market observe to why you will have to geotag all of your pictures. It makes it more straightforward on your target market, plus folks looking for photos of a explicit position, to see your images. Oftentimes after we are doing inventory analysis for an advert marketing campaign that desires to make the most of Instagram pictures, we’ll take a look at the location of a explicit spot to to find related content material.

By turning on location monitoring to your telephone’s camera roll, Instagram will probably be ready to observe the geotag of a explicit spot the place you have been if you wish to have to percentage a photograph you took there later. This applies to iPhone pictures, however many cameras have GPS features, and you’ll simply map your coordinates and input the metadata your self or simply seek via the to be had places.

Geolocation is an extremely necessary instrument for documentary photographer Johnny Haglund, who incessantly travels between nations.

Engaging With Other Users

One of the best tactics to develop your social media popularity is to have interaction with others in the trade actively.

Best Practice #8: Get concerned together with your Instagram group.

Start by way of looking out hashtags your self to to find different photographers taken with the identical topics and methods as you and apply accounts that encourage you.

Then, get started to have interaction with those different images accounts—we propose liking, sharing, and commenting on different peoples’ posts as properly as responding to feedback by yourself feed. When you inspire a two-way dialog, you start to construct actual relationships on-line, and your target market will develop with it. Try to spend no less than half-hour every day enticing together with your group.

Additionally, who you apply performs a massive phase in defining your emblem, just because who you apply is who you generally tend to have interaction with ceaselessly. Here at Wonderful Machine, we apply our member photographers, artwork administrators, and different creatives who may well be taken with understanding about our participants or shoot manufacturing products and services.

While it may well be tempting to apply your mates, circle of relatives, and that cat IG account, the ones most probably aren’t related to your emblem. Save the ones sorts of follows for a non-public, personal account, and focal point your skilled account on skilled connections. Following different photographers lets in you to see who is operating with what shopper and the sort of paintings they’re generating. You may additionally get an concept of the manufacturing workforce residing to your house or to find a new images useful resource to take a look at. Engaging with different photographers on Instagram is particularly necessary as a result of they’re in all probability to have interaction again with you.

You can even need to apply the Instagram accounts of dream purchasers, present purchasers, and related trade accounts. Engaging with those sorts of accounts will build up your follower base with the proper sorts of fans. An enormous follower base is all properly and excellent, however having fans which can be photographers or photograph trade execs is a lot more useful as that target market could have a upper engagement fee and connections in the trade. Decide which shopper accounts you wish to have to have interaction with after which dedicate—ceaselessly have interaction via likes and feedback and tag the account in photographs you publish if the content material relates to that account. Be constant—doing one thing a few times is not likely to acquire traction, however persistently interacting with an account over weeks or months could have a upper luck fee.


Instagram has quite a lot of algorithms in position that identify an order of customers inside any given individual’s feed. In the previous, Instagram offered posts in chronological order. As increasingly folks joined the platform, then again, they sought after to personalize every account’s tips by way of prioritizing the publicity of some accounts over others. This implies that for an account to be noticed by way of different customers, you have got to have interaction with others often sufficient for the set of rules to paintings to your want.

Remember that Instagram’s algorithms are supposed to display customers the posts and accounts maximum related to their pursuits. It is necessary, then, to have interaction with accounts which can be taken with images. From there, it’s easy: the accounts you have interaction with maximum can also be the accounts that offers you most publicity. Make certain, then again, to now not focal point on most effective a handful of accounts to have interaction with — you’ll need to step by step ramp up your efforts to be certain that your posts are being noticed by way of a wide variety of customers.

Other tactics to use Instagram’s algorithms to paintings to your want come with posting at widespread occasions (which may also be discovered inside “Insights”) and following developments (such as using new options like reels).

Ultimately, for Instagram’s set of rules to paintings in want of your account, you have got to bear in mind of your target market and who you have interaction with.


Collaborating with fellow photographers and different trade execs is a superb means to construct your social media presence as properly as total emblem popularity.

Best Practice #9: Plan for cross-promotions and takeovers

Take merit of cross-promotions, shoutouts, and takeovers each time you get a probability. Don’t bargain an account that doesn’t essentially have the largest follower rely, as they doubtlessly draw in a very other target market than you’re. Sometimes manufacturers will do takeovers with photographers and influencers that they really feel constitute their emblem, and that is the place tagging the ones accounts in related photographs you publish turns into necessary. They might repost your paintings or ask you to put up a couple of photographs for a themed takeover in the event that they really feel your content material resonates with their aesthetic. Here’s an instance of the widespread mag and emblem Bon Appétit sharing one of Photographer Chona Kasinger‘s contemporary photographs. It’s a nice instance of how you’ll function your content material on a similar emblem’s platform to garner extra publicity on your paintings.

When posting paintings from a contemporary challenge, at all times tag related workforce, purchasers, and types. It might inspire them to repost your symbol, and it is going to display up in Instagram searches and the account’s tagged pictures. Consider Lauren Pusateri‘s Instagram tagged page — averaging no less than one publish a week during which she’s been tagged, slowly however undoubtedly broadening her target market. Once, Savage Universal spotted photographs the usage of their seamless paper in non-traditional ways in which Lauren used to be sharing and reposted a quantity of them—main to further publicity for her.

Final Thoughts

We are living in a cell international the place you have got a a lot better probability that a photograph editor will stumble in your Instagram account somewhat than in your portfolio (despite the fact that it’s well-referenced and cross-linked).

Best Practice #10: Use it or lose it.

When you enroll on Instagram, you’re becoming a member of a inventive group that may permit you to have interaction together with your target market, percentage, be impressed, and proceed to encourage others as you develop your small business. As lengthy as you publish high quality content material, are strategic about when and what to percentage, and have interaction with others on the platform, your images will proceed to achieve increasingly folks with every publish.

Take merit of the visibility that Instagram can provide you with, and be attention-grabbing and taken with the on-line group round you.

Staying on best of Instagram developments calls for steady expansion and evolution, similar to your small business.

About the Author

Shannon Stewart is a Temple grad with a BA in English. She labored as a Marketing Specialist, and her true calling is storytelling. She is a author and a publicist at the artwork manufacturing company Wonderful Machine. You can connect to Shannon by way of LinkedIn and apply her on Instagram. This article used to be additionally revealed here and shared with permission.

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