7 Instagram Hacks for Photographers

Using Instagram to promote your photography service can mean big business — no surprises there!

And the steps to building an engaged audience on Instagram can look easy on paper. Implementing them is a whole different story.

Does the following sound familiar?

You join Instagram with the best of intentions. You feel inspired and ready to share work you’re proud of. But then you don’t see your audience engaging with the things you put out there. Growth is slow. There’s no increase in bookings, despite your best efforts. You get frustrated. Maybe you even start questioning your work altogether.

So, what’s gone wrong? What could be putting potential clients off?

Don’t despair. Creating amazing work just isn’t enough these days to gather attention on Instagram. Your strategy to get it out there is just as important.

There are lots of ways to supercharge your social media presence. And in this post we’ve put together some amazing tools and techniques for you to do just that. These simple Instagram hacks will get your Insta game to the next level.

So, enough of the small talk. Let’s talk Instagram hacks…

Photographer: Graeme Passmore

Instagram Hack #1: Add A Little Jazz to Your Bio

Summing up the essence of your business and its unique selling point in a few short words is a fantastic exercise for everyone who’s self-employed. And if you manage to fit your core mission in an Instagram bio, you’re golden.

So how do you do it?

First up, resist the urge to make your bio look like every other photographer bio out there. State what you offer. Then make it personal. Focus on what differentiates you. Ask yourself: What would your ideal couple want to read there? What would make them stop and take a closer look?

Also, include an eye catcher.

Use alternative fonts (like Wingdings) by copying and pasting your bio from Google Docs, or C&P from Microsoft Word to add special characters or emoticons. Sure, it’s only a little flair. But it can make quite the difference!

Not sure how to add line breaks and spaces to your bio? This guide will walk you through it step by step.

Instagram Hack #2: Share Other People’s Posts in Your Story

Crushin’ on another photographer’s work? Tell them!

It’s called social media, after all. Curious how so many people expect to receive attention on Instagram, but never like, comment on or share their love for other profiles.

Sharing another account’s posts in your stories is a fantastic way of applauding another creative. Your audience gets to see more content they enjoy. And you never know, that account may end up doing the same for you!

That’s what’s so great about Instagram; it’s a supportive, collaborative space for photographers everywhere.

Sharing posts in Instagram stories is a pretty new feature, but it’s been proven to increase reach and get you those hearts. If you’re not sure how to do it, this guide by Buffer is a great place to start.

Photographer: Kisa Conrad

Instagram Hack #3: Use Hashtags in Your Stories

Speaking of which — did you know you can (and should) use hashtags in your stories? Yep. If you’re only using hashtags in your Insta posts, then you’re missing out on a great way to reach new people and get more likes on Instagram!

Psst. You can even make them invisible. Simply type the hashtag out, then use the text tool to change the text color to match your background.

Instagram Hack #4: Build Up Hype with Sneak Peek Stories

IG’s pen tools can be super useful in your stories. We were so excited when we learned how to use them to create sneak peek posts. It’s a great way to rally suspense and build up a buzz around photography work.

What are we talking about?

  1. Simply open IG and go to post a story.
  2. Choose an image from your camera roll.
  3. Tap on the pen tool. Choose your favorite color.
  4. Hold your finger down on the screen for a few seconds. The screen should fill with color.
  5. Now, select the eraser tool.
  6. Draw patterns to allow for a sneak peek of your image. Get creative!

Amazing, huh? Thanks Instagram!

So, what could you use this quirky feature for? Maybe you want to do a slow reveal of an exciting new project? Or you’re launching a new product, and want to keep followers guessing for a little while?

Have fun with it! Stories only last 24 hours anyway. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Instagram Hack #5: Lay Out Your Copy So That It’s Readable

Investing a bit of time and energy into your IG captions can really pay off. But keep in mind the speed at which many people scroll through their timeline. Present your content in a way that is eye catching and easily scannable to a user who’s just scrolling through.

Massive blocks of text are easily skipped. Make sure you write out lengthy captions in your Notes app — complete with line breaks. Then copy and paste them into Instagram.

FYI: Same goes for bios or comments!

Instagram hack #6: Archive Old Posts That Aren’t Supporting Your Aesthetic

Your photography brand is important. And it’s only natural for your style to evolve over time. Every now and then, you’ll want to refresh your profiles. That way new clients can’t come across old work that isn’t representative for your current style or approach.

But that doesn’t mean you’ve got to go through your whole IG account and delete any posts which don’t suit your new aesthetic.

Archiving posts is much savvier; just in case you ever need to go back and re-use that content for any reason. Simply click on the three little dots to the top right of a post, then select ‘Archive’.

Need a little inspiration for a brand update? Check out any of our favorite IG accounts right here.

You can easily make sure that your future posts align with your brand aesthetic by planning them out before posting. Tools like Planoly and UNUM are a great way of visualizing your feed ahead of time. That way you can make sure it all ties together beautifully.

Instagram Hack #7: Link It All Up!

You want your Insta account to be a sales tool. That’s why you should connect your IG to your website, blog, or anywhere else you want to direct interested clients to.

How? Using Later, you can add links to Insta posts, or tag products in your photographs. That way you are basically turning your IG feed into a clickable landing page. This is not only super useful for your audience, but also a good way of building a joined up online presence.

It’s easier for potential clients to stick with you across channels. And your brand will look and feel much more cohesive.

Transform your IG with These Simple Hacks…

Want to know the best thing?

None of these easy Insta hacks take a long time to implement. And no advanced social media understanding is needed.

So, what are you waiting for? Open up your Insta app and get hacking!

And if this article left you feeling inspired, have a look at our 7 hacks for boosting Facebook engagement, too.

Written by:
Dirty Boots & Messy Hair Team

Connection is what it’s all about. Feel free to reach out to us with any comments or questions you might have, even if it’s only to say hello. If it wasn’t for our beautiful community, this place just wouldn’t feel the same.

Photographer Tips
23 Jun 2019


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