Instagram is an excellent way to attract attention, gain followers, engage with likeminded folks, and even improve your picture taking, but it’s all easier said than done, right? Plenty of photographers publish on Instagram and get nothing from it – no followers, likes, or even views.
So how do you use Instagram the right way? How can you promote your pictures on instagram and arrive away with likes, followers, and comments galore, not forgetting a great community?
In this article, I’m going to share my personal secrets for Instagram achievement. Specifically, I’ll offer processes to get better exposure for your pictures, build a community, and grow as a photographer through Instagram. I assure you, I know what I’m talking about; my personal Instagram account has 15, 000 followers (and counting). So you know this advice works.
Let’s get going.
1 . Only show your very best work
What’s the difference between a good artist and a great artist?
Great artists only show their best work . While no one is expecting you to competitor National Geographic photographers immediately, you should pay close attention to what you’re sharing. It only takes one poor photo for people to lose interest in your photography.
In short, if a photo does not make you say “ Oh , yeah! ” when you see it, don’t submit it.
Furthermore, don’t post too often. Until you have a really good reason for spamming your follower’s feeds, do not do it. I recommend sharing a couple of images a week – it’ll keep people interested with no getting annoying. So publish the great stuff, and rule out the bad, the sub-par, and even the good.
2 . Find your niche
This is essential to defining your brand and to your growth as a photographer. It’s about determining what makes you different from everyone else regarding using that difference to make something unique and fascinating.
The amazing issue about Instagram is that it’s composed of people across the world, all of whom have a different attention. I’ve seen fantastic balances focused on street food within Vietnam, rock climbing in Utah, and architecture in Chicken.
But regardless of these differences, the best balances all have one thing in typical: a focus around a main theme. And it’s this particular theme that captures their audience’s attention (and maintains it).
Do not forget: the only person who should specify your niche is you. Would you love paper maché and dinosaurs? Then become the greatest photographer making seaside pictures of paper maché Velociraptors.
I love to travel and explore nature , so the account reflects that and just that. You won’t find photos of my food or my family. If you want to talk about snapshots from your daily life, obtain a private account for your friends as well as your family to follow, because they are the only ones who (might) want to see that stuff.
3. Use a dedicated camera, not just your smartphone
Your gleaming new mobile phone may take gorgeous snapshots, but constantly counting on a smartphone is like looking to perform a piano recital on a kid’s electronic keyboard.
Yes, smartphone digital cameras have come a long way in recent years, and yes, there are plenty of outstanding smartphone photographers out there. But except if you’re an experienced photographer using a lot of compositional and illumination knowledge, I highly recommend obtaining a “real” camera, such as a DIGITAL SLR or mirrorless model.
Why? For one, it’ll force you to learn crucial photographic skills, such as exposure , depth of field manipulation , and proper handholding technique . Plus, it’ll give you additional focal lengths to try out with, so you can shoot birds in the distance, sweeping landscapes , spectacular close-up pictures , and more.
4. Take those editing process seriously
Instagram may provide itself to a snap-and-post type of photography, but producing exceptional photographs doesn’t work this way. Great photographs aren’t used – they’re created.
This means shooting within RAW , then working in your favorite picture editing program (I suggest Adobe Lightroom ). Learn how to manipulate light, shadow, and clarity until your final product is something you can be proud of. The Instagram app just isn’t built for this level of sophistication, so ditch all those corny filters and effects is to do your work on the computer.
5. Discuss a story with your photo
Great photography simply leaves an impression. So do well-written stories. But when you combine strong images with powerful words, you’ll evoke an emotional response in your viewer and assist them connect with your work.
It wasn’t till I realized this and started sharing the story at the rear of my photos that our account started getting true interaction – people talking about how the image or phrases affected them and their own experiences.
No one expects the next Hemingway to end up of Instagram, but some properly chosen words in a thought-provoking caption will do wonders in order to connect you to your fans.
6. Ask questions in your captions
What is the difference between a story plus a question?
A tale builds an emotional link between the viewer and the picture; a question builds a personal connection between your viewer and you.
So tell stories, but ask questions, too. Your questions should be open ended that a space for your fans to contribute some of their own stories to the community. Remember that many Instagram users are new to digital photography and are looking for people to connect with. By asking questions, you can encourage them to engage with the city (you might even make friends along the way! ).
I never grasped the value of effective hashtagging till I started weaving all of them into my posts. You should be hashtagging important nouns plus verbs – stuff people will be searching for.
And get specific, too. The difference between #fishing and #instagood is huge for apparent reasons: people who might be interested in your photo are much more prone to be searching for their favorite hobby than some meaningless, catch-all term. So don’t include a bunch of generic hashtags that say nothing about your projects. Instead, use descriptive hashtags that target certain customers.
Speaking of hashtagging, do a bit of digging to find effective hashtags you might be missing. It wasn’t until I came across the hashtag #explorebc that I began connecting with a ton of great local photographers who eventually showcased my work on their accounts (resulting in a huge enhance of exposure for my photos! ).
8. Post in the morning
The morning can be when most Instagram users check their feed, therefore keep this in mind and set your posting schedule accordingly. I live on the West Coast of North America, so if I write-up at 8 AM, I’m already late for our East Coast followers. Aim to get your posts out in the morning for the time zone you’re targeting (of course, in case your followers are worldwide, this is less useful).
Is there a best day from the week to post? Studies show that Sundays have the greatest number of interactions, which makes sense considering that many users spend Weekend relaxing at home. Otherwise, stick to weekday mornings.
Build a neighborhood by actively finding professional photographers you respect and building relationships with them. I will not lie – this is a lengthy process, but it’s required and worthwhile.
It’s also pretty simple: Just find a hashtag that speaks to you and your work, then check it whenever you can to see who’s posting. If you find photography you like, leave a thoughtful compliment and follow the user. Chances are, if they such as what you’re posting, they’ll check out your account and reciprocate.
Whatever you do, when commenting, don’t request people to check out your account or even follow you back. It’s tacky and makes you seem desperate. Instead, be innovative, complimentary, and ask for nothing in return.
10. Cultivate champions
A champion is someone who really engages with your work. They comment frequently, and their own comments are thoughtful – not just “Nice” or “Love it, ” but more, meaningful content explaining the actual like about the posted picture.
Champions are great for both your community as well as your popularity, but how do you get all of them? What makes champions comment on your photos?
Here is the best way to draw in champions:
Foster relationships with other users.
Of course , this is easier said than done. But if customers are leaving you thoughtful remarks, return the favor plus respond with something a lot more meaningful than “Thanks! ” If someone cares sufficient about your work to awkwardly type out praise on the smartphone, they’re worth their weight in followers. These are the people who are going to follow together through your adventures and send their friends and fans. Do enough relationship building, and these delightful unicorns will be out there promoting your work for you.
11. Provide others into the conversation
Bring others in to the conversation by photographing together or referencing them in your posts. Two amazing women from Vancouver kicked away @localwanderer several years ago, in which they will document their travels close to North America and feature the hidden gems in communities.
Where the @localwanderer creators really excel (in conjunction with their photography and writing) is in their ability to continuously bring local shops, restaurants, and people into the discussion. Using this method, @localwanderer introduces its local community to someone new, who in turn will introduce their local community to @localwanderer.
So think about who or what you can reference on the account. If you’re a nature photographer, you might try tagging local parks; if you’re a good architectural photographer, you might test tagging the owners of local buildings/businesses. The specifics will depend on the photography you will do, but as long as you’re innovative and you persevere, you’re bound to make some valuable connections.
I’d rather have 100 fans who have interact with my work compared to 1, 000 followers who seem to never like and opinion. Your goal shouldn’t become about quantity of followers – instead, it should be about the high quality of your community.
Speaking of numbers, don’t be scared to clean up (and block) followers, especially those who are clearly inactive or fake. Not what you need is a bunch of zombie accounts clogging up your Instagram. Also, one danger of getting many inactive followers is that your account is less likely to be recommended to other users of Instagram.
There you have it: 12 tips for success upon Instagram. As long as you follow these guidelines, your account will grow as well as your engagement will skyrocket.
Now over to a person:
What are your tips for promoting photography upon Instagram? Do you have any achievement (or failure) stories you’d like to share? Let’s hear them in the comments area below!