Instagram for Professional Photographers

If you’re not already one of its over 100 million users, you’ve at least likely heard of this incredibly popular free mobile app that allows you to take a snapshot on your phone, throw a snazzy filter on it and share it with the world.

instagram

However, as a professional photographer, you should be picky about what marketing channels you are spending your efforts on to benefit your business. Is Instagram worth your time? Here are a few elements professionals can use to their advantage:

  1. Efficiency – In one click of the “share” button, you can have your picture posted to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and Foursquare.
  2. Branding – As a photographer and artist, your personality is part of your brand. Your prospective customer is asking herself, “Am I going to like this person?” She wants to know if you’re the type of person with whom she  wants to share some of her most cherished memories. Instagram allows your potential customers to take a peek into your life to find out what kind of a person you are.
  3.  Get Discovered – Maybe you’re not very well known but you know that your photography kicks some serious you-know-what. Get prolific and get discovered. Don’t be shy to post a screen shot of your blog or website showcasing your latest work, too. You never know who is poking around, looking for someone new to like.
  4. Networking – You see someone’s amazing images on Instagram. You start following them. They check out your work and dig it, so they start following you. You connect over it. You become friends. It’s Instagram magic! Hey, it’s happened to me, it could happen to you!

Instagram Profiles – Following in Facebook’s steps, Instagram users now have a mini Instagram “page” that you can link from your website or blog, expanding your exposure beyond the mobile audience. You can find my profile at http://instagram.com/jillcarmel

Filters – If using Instagram for business, it’s a good idea to define your style from the start. Be a purist and use no filters at all or try to use only one or two that are consistent with your professional portfolio.

Hashtags – Personally, I don’t generally use hashtags to join trends or categorize posts. The vast majority of photographers that I know and follow use hashtags purely for sarcastic humor or entertainment. One of my favorite Instagramers, Yan Palmer, is famous for her long- winded, hilarious hashtags – you have to check her out to see what I mean.

Fun apps to combine with Instagram:

VSCO – Love the film look? Process your photos with this app first, and then post them online using Instagram.

Self Timer – Great for self-portraits or group pictures.

Snapseed – Selective adjustments like brightness and saturation – two functions that Instagram doesn’t offer.

Diptic – Create a photo collage to juxtapose contrasting images, create before-and- after sequences, or make a photographic series.

With the plethora of social media mobile apps out there, who’s to say if Instagram is right for you? All I can say is that when it comes to posting images on the go….“Goodbye, Facebook” and “Hello, Instagram!”

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jill carmelJill Carmel is a natural light portrait photographer, offering over ten years
of professional experience and specializing in maternity, newborn and
child photography in Northern California. Her portfolio may be found at
www.jillcarmel.com.

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This is the first post in the CMD Business Series for 2013! Stay tuned each week for more.

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