Instagram is the main platform on the Internet for photographers in 2019. No doubt. With this article I’m going to give you my tips to improve your photography on Instagram.
Instagram has been my main Internet destination for over a year and I really have fun posting my photos and share them with my followers. A lot of photographers nowadays do the same. If you want to be a photographer it’s so important to having an Instagram account. It’s your mobile portfolio.
Potential clients can and will look at your Instagram profile when deciding if they want to hire you as a photographer, so you need to improve as much as possible the quality of your images and present them in the best way as possible. I made a list of 5 tips to improve your Instagram photography that I researched and experimented my self and if you read to the end of the article I also included a bonus tip for you!
Before we start, let me clarify that this is not a “How to grow your followers on Instagram in 2019” kind of post. There are other authoritative sites that explain those marketing techniques much better than I could possibly do.
This article is about photography and how to improve the visual appeal of your Instagram profile if you are a photographer.
Let’s get started.
1. One Style to Rule Them All
I know you know what I’m about to say. Find your niche, your style and stick to it. I started photography because I love nature, travel and I love adventure. My photos are about beautiful landscapes and wonderful places I visit where I live and around the world. Changing your photography style every month will hurt your profile. Instead, try to keep the same consistent look and feel and if for example like me you prefer landscapes, introduce people in your landscape grid only sporadically. It’s all about consistency.
2. Plan Your Instagram Posts
I’m not giving you tips on how many times you should post, but you must plan your posts in advance to know how your profile it’s going to look. When people scroll through an account, the first thing that has an impact is the color palette of your feed. On my iPhone I use an app called Mosaico
With Mosaico I plan my grid and aim at keeping a consistent palette to create a pleasant visual effect and make sure a viewer clicks on my feed and maybe likes one of my photos or even decides to follow my account.
In a way, keeping this concept of having a consistent grid, gave me a mental framework to find my photographic style and a predefined way of editing my images. The image you see if from my Mosaico, let me know what you think in the comments section at the end of this article!
Taking amazing images is paramount, content is king… but don’t forget that curation is queen!
3. Post Only Work You’re Really Proud of
You will inevitably come across guides that tell you that to grow on Instagram you need to post every day, and listen, probably it’s true. The more you post the more chances you have that people will notice your work. But think about this, are you a photographer or you want to be an influencer? If like me you still have in your heart some love for the art of photography do yourself a favour. Throw in the bin those guides that tell you to post everyday and focus on quality over quantity. Post only work that you’re proud of, don’t compromise on quality. Never. We don’t need more photos, we need your best ones.
4. Don’t Try to Be Perfect
Alright focus on quality, but don’t fall into the trap to seek perfection. A lot of professionals never post on Instagram the best version of a particular photograph. The advantage of posting on a platform where the image resolution is “limited” at a mobile format is that you can be imperfect. No one will ever zoom an image to see if you’ve been perfect and removed all the possible dust spots or if the color of the greens in your photos are exactly the same. Stop over thinking and ship it!
5. Edit Your Photos
No I’m not telling you to use Instagram filters. Forget about that. I want to to open Lightroom and make sure you give some love to those beautiful images you have in your archive. Color correction, a bit of contrast and most important, don’t oversaturate your photos!
If you don’t know how to use Lightroom I have something for you, here’s my guide to Edit in Lightroom Like a Pro
Alright this bonus tip will help you increasing your engagement. It’s something people don’t talk about much for some reason and since you got to the end of this article you deserve to know it. To get more likes on your photos the simplest and most fundamental rule is… to shoot vertical! Instagram is an app for smartphone and it doesn’t allow the user to rotate the device horizontally. I mean you can do it, but the app won’t adapt to the landscape orientation. Content on Instagram is consumed in vertical orientation only. A vertical image will get more attention for the simple reason that it’s bigger on the screen and has a better visual impact on a viewer scrolling the Instagram feed. Look at the two images above, I know they are different and the one on the left was a hell of a sunrise with the sky on fire, but look at the difference in the number of likes compared to the one on the right. 1,914 likes left, 356 right. Quite different don’t you think?
I hope you found my tips useful, let me know your thoughts and share your Instagram handle in the comment section below. I’ll go and check your photos!