Millions of photos are shared on Instagram every single day. So how can you make your page stand out from the crowd? We talk to @uk.shooters to find out
Instagram can be a fun way to share your life with the rest of the world, particularly any unusual or beautiful experiences. But for many photographers, Instagram has become a priceless marketing tool; a central hub of activity with an ever-growing user base and endless opportunities for networking and advertising.
An account’s popularity can be determined by its number of followers and how many accounts it’s following in comparison, and its overall engagement (how many likes and comments it receives). But being a talented photographer won’t guarantee you a well-received Instagram page. In order to gain more and more followers, and therefore a base to show off your photography skills, there are some simple tips and tricks you can follow.
Recently, we met Mike Will (@m.visuals) the founder of @uk.shooters and @uk.portraits. @uk.shooters is an Instagram page that’s dedicated to building a community of photographers, within the UK, who are socially active, supportive and who all try to produce different images that haven’t been seen before. We met with Mike and Cyrus Nezami (@cyrusnezami), who helps to run the page, to discuss a *TOP SECRET* upcoming event that Wex Photo Video, Sony and @uk.shooters have teamed up to host. More on that very, very soon…
Both Mike and Cyrus have hugely successful personal Instagram pages, with over 39,000 and 17,000 followers respectively. @uk.shooters has added to their success, but most of this has been achieved over an incredibly short two-year period. So, what’s their secret? Here are five tips that every successful Instagrammer should follow…
Users will normally follow a page because they expect something, be it the style, the subject or an editing technique. The best way to have a consistent feed is to identify what you can make consistent and stick with it.
You might photograph landscapes, portraits and the odd supercar (and sometimes, your cat…), but if you always shoot with a crazy fisheye lens, then that’s your consistent element. Another idea would be to develop your own Lightroom preset for a consistent style of editing — consistency doesn’t have to stifle your creativity.
Images must be high quality, if you want to show off your photography. Remember, Instagram isn’t limited to tiny smartphone screens — some people browse Instagram via a tablet or computer. There’s certainly nothing wrong with using images taken on your phone, but if you’re trying to build a page that displays your prowess as a photographer who produces professional imagery, quality should be at the forefront of your mind every time you upload.
Posting often doesn’t just populate your followers’ feeds regularly; it also helps to keep your page interesting, fresh and relevant. Once you’ve decided how many times to post per week, try to post consistently (at certain times and on specific days) so your followers know when to look for your content. Just make sure you resist the temptation to flood your feed. You don’t need to upload hundreds of photos per week to stay relevant. In fact, Mike posts just two to three times per week, with Cyrus five to six.
4. Use hashtags to get featured
Choosing the right hashtags can be difficult. Use a mix of popular, highly searchable tags and keywords that are directly linked to the subject of your image, where the competition will likely be lower. Another trick is to use hashtags to attract the attention of feature pages.
Feature pages can extend your reach by projecting your work to new audiences. If a popular feature page chooses to share your work, you could experience a surge in followers. That said; don’t ignore the value of smaller feature pages. Because they’re smaller and will have fewer users vying for their attention, they’re more likely to share your work.
5. Keep it social, keep it safe
Social media platforms provide a great way to interact with a community of like-minded people, with similar interests. Keep an eye on well-known, legitimate feature pages, like @uk.shooters, who arrange photographic events. Support other photographers in your area and try to engage with your community to find new spots, try out new angles and explore new locations. We all see things differently. Interacting with other photographers can help broaden your perspective and influence your photography, from how you compose shots to your editing style.
If you plan to meet with anyone online, we’d recommend bringing a friend with you. Make sure that somebody you trust knows who you’re going to meet, and when and where you’re going to meet them. Always meet in a public location.
About the Author
Amy Moore is Wex Photo Video’s Technical Editor for Photography. She enjoys numerous types of photography, especially landscapes and meteorological photography.