Instagram is arguably the most popular social network and if you aren’t sharing content on Instagram, you are shutting the door on a world of potential opportunities! With over 400 million users, Instagram was built strictly around sharing photos.  Instagram is all about the photo…and you are a photographer!  So why aren’t you using Instagram to your advantage as a photographer and capitalising on the world’s fascination with photo sharing?

Instagram has the power to become one of your most important means of promoting your photography business.  More and more photographers are using Instagram to market their work.  It’s also one of the easiest photo and video sharing platforms: You simply post a  photo or video and add tagging, captioning, or both. Then, other Instagram users can like your photo, add comments, and share it with their friends.

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The big guns are embracing it.

Companies like Getty Images and Sports Illustrated, and so many others, are curating galleries using photos taken from Instagram which allows your work to be discovered. There are lots of other ways to get discovered too.  For example Instagram’s own Hashtag contests.  People who win these get ‘discovered’ by Instagram which leads to tons of new followers and all kinds of opportunities to have your photos featured. Similarly, I know many people who share photos of when their idols or famous people like and follow their pages. Many other social media platforms just don’t allow for this type of involvement. Instagram doesn’t discriminate between accounts with millions of followers and accounts with ten.  Link to your website in your bio, share your photo, hashtag appropriately, post consistently, and you will be set!

It’s about Consistency…Not Frequency

Consider the example of Selena Gomez, who recently became the most popular person on Instagram. She doesn’t post that often. Selena Gomez has only ever posted about 1,131 photos on her account, which is about a fourth of the number the seventh-most-followed Kylie Jenner, and is half as many as fourth-most-followed Ariana Grande, and even Taylor Swift has only posted 857 times.  The idea here is that if you post fewer Instagrams, each individual one becomes more of an “event”. It creates a certain “special-ness” to the posts which isn’t there for who post much more frequently.  As a photographer this gives you the opportunity to curate the photos you post to Instagram creating a feed that has a certain ‘feel’, instead of worrying about just cranking out 20 posts of whatever each day.

Hashtags are the ticket!

Hashtags let you engage with your target audience. Sure, on other social media, you can hone your target audience, but Instagram takes it to another level with their massive hashtag database.  Instagram even allows you to see how many other people have used tags like #landscapephotography or #weddingphotographer. You are allowed to have up to 30 specific tags on each photo. Use them wisely and to your advantage.

It’s your time

I know there are photographers who say that Instagram is horrible and kills opportunities for the modern photographer.  But I disagree, I think that as a photographer, it is specifically you who should  jump on this growing craze, put the focus on your business, and set yourself up for social media success. Either way, the pros outweigh the cons and almost every major business, established photographer, and average person is making use of Instagram and you could be too!