Workshops, conferences, expos, and meetups are all great resources for your photography business. But what about that daily boost of inspiration and education?
We’ve curated 19 Instagram feeds we think every photographer should follow. Learn, grow, and show up every day like the empowered bada$$ we know you are.
#2: The Design Space Co.
The Design Space Co. does more than sell beautiful website templates. They also share great design tips and prompt thoughtful creativity – like this post on finding font pairings.
#3: Digital Marketer
Digital Marketer is the go-to for any photography business owner who’s ready to grow their online marketing skills. You can even take their online classes and earn digital marketing certifications!
HOMEWORK: Follow To Make Friends
Find three new-to-you photographers with solid work, but with fewer Instagram followers than you. Follow them, and leave them a few complimentary comments. Instagram networks grow the same way your in-person networks are built: through personal outreach! Plus: we believe #PhotographersSupportPhotographers – at least all the good ones do.
#4: For Women Who Roar
For Women Who Roar’s Instagram content overflows with mindfulness reminders, empowering messages, and creativity prompts with a feminine lilt. But we like FWWR for anyone with a photography business. After all, every single one of us can benefit from reminders that we’re pretty great just as we are.
#5: Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk is a social media master. Don’t @ us. If you haven’t read his books, let this example be your warning: Gary pulls no punches. If you’re ready for some straight-talk and self-analysis, you’ll love this feed.
#6: Goal Digger Podcast
Podcast host and Instagram feed curator Jenna Kutcher highlights the strategies and success stories of entrepreneurs of all kinds. Focused, hungry, goal-driven creatives can gain a lot simply by following this feed. If you’re ready for more, though, head over to the Goal Digger website and listen to Jenna’s podcast!
HOMEWORK: Automate, Automate, Automate!
You’ll read it again and again: thriving businesses tend to automate as many of their processes as possible. From email sales reminders to invoice prompts to easy-sign contracts, we’re pretty big fans of automations here at ShootProof, too. Automate the stuff that slows you down so you can get back to the work you love!
The Moo feed isn’t a trove of educational content, but it is a wonderwall of visual inspiration. See Moo’s most impressive business cards, posters, stickers, flyers, and more, and store up ideas for your own brand enhancements.
Mint rocks because their budgeting app is FREE. Their feed rocks because it’s a terrific resource for your photography business (if you’re into saving and being smart with money and stuff like that.) Even if you don’t use Mint for your own money management, their feed will keep your finances top of mind.
#9: Gottman Institute
The Gottman Institute is all about relationships. What does this have to do with your photography business? Everything. When you keep focused on healthy relationship-building, you can better understand your clients and how to connect with them.
HOMEWORK: Find Your “Enough”
What’s one area of your photography business in which you regularly feel you aren’t “enough?” Creative enough, focused enough, organized enough… What if, instead, you reframe these judgements as milestones? “Enough” is all too often a word of comparison. Stop looking at where your colleagues are on their paths, and embrace how far you’ve come on your own path.
#10: The Instagram Expert
If Instagram is gibberish to you, The Instagram Expert is your new bestie. Sue B. Zimmerman brings her joyful energy to delivering free tips, easy tutorials, affordable webinars, and step-by-step walkthroughs of every Instagram feature imaginable. Literally.
Website: Visit Sue’s YouTube Channel
#11: ISO 1200 Magazine
ISO 1200 Magazine shares all the behind-the-scenes photos you wish you’d taken yourself! Peer into the studio setups that enable our industry’s most powerful portraits, advertising images, action shots, and fashion photos.
#12: Later Media
Later Media has some of the best Instagram Stories out there – and a delightfully colorful feed to boot! Their Stories feed is full of Guides, Freebies, Marketing, and Strategy content aimed at dramatically improving your social media skills. Plus, use the Later.com app to visually plan and schedule your Instagram posts!
HOMEWORK: Start Measuring
Instagram’s native Insights offer only the broadest overview of your Instagram analytics. Start using a third-party app to plan and schedule your social media. You’ll also see in-depth reporting on your most popular posts, which hashtags are delivering results, who’s looking at your feed, and what your competition is doing. In addition to Later.com, check out these resources suggested by Hootsuite.
#13: Magnet Mod
Magnet Mod (or “MagMod”) showcases stunning photographs from various photographers alongside detailed descriptions of how the images were created – using Magnet Mod attachments, of course! Get inspired to try new techniques, and keep your photography business relevant with the latest methods.
#14: Work Party
Work Party makes work more fun. Learn from their feed. Listen to their podcast. You’ll come away inspired and excited to get to work! (Unless you hate pink. ‘Cuz there’s a LOT of pink over there.)
Website: Work Party Podcast
If you’re not already a member of Professional Photographers of America, their IG feed will convince you to join. Education and inspiration abound, not to mention event reminders, special discounts, contests, and some pretty relatable memes.
HOMEWORK: Get Legit
Professional organizations like PPA make a critical impact by influencing the utmost professionalism in photography business owners. Tap into other great resources, too, like TheLawTog, to stay legal and organized.
#16: Whitney Hansen Co.
Budgeting apps are great, but sometimes you need an actual human’s help. Meet Whitney Hansen, a self-proclaimed money nerd who wants to make your money work for you. Learn from her feed, or connect with Whitney directly for personalized financial coaching.
#17: Printographers’ Society
Printed photographs have largely gone the way of those awful static-cling photo albums. Printographers’ Society is working to change that. Follow this relatively new feed to find product inspiration, selling tips, pricing education, and so much more.
#18: Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
Since 2014, ShootProof has collaborated with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep to provide free online galleries to families devastated by the death of a newborn baby. We believe deeply in the difficult work done by NILMDTS photographers, so they’re our non-profit of choice to follow on Instagram.
You certainly have causes you believe in, and organizations you support through volunteering or financial donations. Find these organizations on Instagram, and show your support through comments and likes, too. This engagement will help broaden awareness of the non-profit, expanding their reach and increasing their resources.
HOMEWORK: Promote What Matters Most To You
Find one organization to be your focus non-profit in 2019. Commit to posting about them (or regramming from their feed) once or twice a month in your own Instagram feed, and consider dedicating a percentage of your 2019 sales to the organization. Your clients and followers will connect more deeply with you, knowing what you value. And you may just inspire someone else to get involved in the cause!
Okay, so we’re a little (a lot) biased. But we think the ShootProof Instagram feed is well-worth a follow! Look for more educational content in 2019, plus continue to gain inspiration and add to your collection of photography memes. Bonus: our feed always links to our latest blog post – like this one!
Instagram for Photographers: Tips and Strategies
It’s common knowledge that Instagram is an ideal social network for photographers–it’s driven by visuals. At its core, the platform empowers you to show your photography skills and your unique vision. If you want to use Instagram to promote your photography business, here are a few ways to reach new audiences, gain new followers, and get more clients.
Post Quality Content
Photos are still the primary content fueling every Instagram account. It goes without saying, the photos you post should be high-quality and compelling for viewers. Otherwise, they’ll get lost in the feed, scrolling right past your work! Since you’re using the platform to promote your business, be sure to showcase your best work.
Think About the Overall Look
The “look” of your profile helps attract new followers, earn likes, and even book clients. When someone scrolls through thousands of thumbnail-sized photos, what do they see? Sometimes, the flow of your photos affects the viewer’s decision to keep following your profile. Be consistent with a beautiful color palette, whenever possible.
Maybe someone followed you because of your style as a product photographer. If you post a different niche–like pet portraits–you won’t lose followers. However, you might get a lower engagement rate when you post things outside of your niche. Try to stick with a specific genre.
Additionally, you can post behind-the-scenes photos or videos while you’re working on a shoot. While you don’t have to restrict yourself on the photos you want to post, try to be as consistent as possible. Make sure the content you are posting is quality content that viewers will want to engage with.
Tell a Story with Great Captions
Tell your followers something about the images you post, using as much detail as possible. Share the inspiration for the photo or describe the shoot itself. You can also include information about different subjects, lighting, and locations. Remember, keep inspiring followers!
Another way to boost engagement is by asking a question or advice through the caption. People want to help; they’re more likely to comment when they can share their thoughts.
Although it’s easy, avoid simple captions like, “Perfect wedding day with the perfect couple! [heart eyes emoji].” The problem with a caption like this is that it does very little to engage your followers. There’s no story, no call-to-action, and no connection point that someone could easily have to the post.
Use Hashtags Strategically
Hashtags enable you to categorize your images, which also allows viewers to discover your account using hashtags they search. Make sure that the hashtags are actually relevant to your posts. That will increase the chance of someone actually clicking on your photo.
When choosing hashtags, use some that are very specific and others that are really broad. By doing this, you can cast a wider net of who can actually discover your post.
For example, if you’re posting a photo of a wedding you shot at San Francisco City Hall, here are some specific hashtags you might use:
Here are some broad wedding photography hashtags you might include:
Develop a Consistent Schedule
When it comes to posting on Instagram, the trick is to be consistent. Whether you’re posting photos, creating Stories, or a mixture of the two, try to keep to a consistent schedule so that followers know when to expect content from you.
To remind followers of your work as a photographer, post photos at a time when most of your followers are online. That’s how Instagram’s algorithm picks up posts as “popular.” Additionally, your photos will get a chance to land on the “explore” tab, increasing your visibility!
The exact time of the day may depend on factors like your followers’ age, gender, and location. If you’re not sure when to post, test by trying various times to see what works best. From there, you can start to determine the consistent time that you should be posting.
Engage and Socialize
The use of Instagram for photographers requires becoming active participants in the community. While posting your own content is important, it’s equally (if not more) important to engage with others on the platform!
Aside from posting your photos, actively follow other accounts, like and comment, and share posts and stories to your own stories. You want to show up on other people’s feeds and notifications. Being an active participant means more people will want to engage with you, which may drive them to share your profile as well.
Whenever you follow people, there’s a chance they’ll follow you back. You can follow many accounts, including other photographers, to watch what propels their activity in the community.
When you choose to follow others, consider whether you’re following them for the right reasons. Don’t just follow someone in the hopes that they’ll follow you back if you’re not actually interested in the content they share.
Like and Comment
The simple magic of liking images is that other people receive notifications about it. Be open to discovering new accounts, actively like photos that inspire you, and join in the conversation!
A comment is worth a thousand likes. Remember, comments are more noticeable and flattering than a ‘like.’ After all, comments show up right under the photo! When commenting, be genuine and try to comment thoughtfully. In addition, take time to respond to comments on your posts–this will show your followers that you do actually read comments and care what your followers have to say about your work.
Focus on What Matters Most
Instagram has become one of the most useful marketing channels for photographers. This social network empowers you to share your vision and connect with a like-minded community. With many creative ways to grow your audience, you can use Instagram to promote your photography business!
Which Instagram feeds help YOUR photography business?
Share them in the comments below!
Written by: ANNE SIMONE | Photographs by: KENDRA LYNECE | Special thanks to Kendra’s fun, Instagram-worthy clients!