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March 08, 2022

5 Instagram Marketing Tips for Photographers

5 Instagram Marketing Tips for Photographers

So you’re a photographer? Neat. Let’s say you’ve got your business website and your portfolio that shows off your photography skills. Is there any other tool you can use to promote your biz and reel in new clients? Of course! 

Social media platforms like Instagram are free and easy to use. On Instagram, you can showcase your work, find potential clients and brands who will hire you, and expand your brand reach. How can you share your work on Instagram, keep it protected from  those pesky copycats, and attract new clients? Our Instagram marketing tips for photographers will teach you how below!

Make the most of your bio

Imagine that someone sees a beautiful photo of your work on their Explore page. They tap your account name and arrive on your main feed. Where will they go if they want to book you right away or check out your website? Your bio.

Don’t neglect your bio! It should  always  include:

  • Your personal name, business name, or both. Use whichever name people can find you in search engine results or on Google Maps

  • A link to your website or portfolio. If you have a business account, you should be able to include one link in your bio.

  • Contact information. As of early 2022, you can post your address, phone number, WhatsApp phone number, and email address.

Also as of early 2022, Instagram has “action buttons” that let people interact with your business. You might like to use the “Book Now” option in your bio. Plus you can set your account category to “Photographer” so that people can find your page more easily.

What should you actually write in your little bio blurb? You have 150 characters to describe yourself and your business, so make it good! Be as concise and clear as possible. One sentence that describes your business and location, like “Denver-based wedding and engagement photography” sums it all up.

Experiment with what you post (and when)

We’re not going to keep repeating “as of early 2022” so keep in mind that all of this information is, well, as of early 2022! Social media platforms evolve quickly, adding and removing features, so play around with Instagram before following our advice to a T, alrighty? 

In June of 2021, the head of Instagram said that the platform was “no longer a photo sharing app,” and  would focus more on video content thanks to competitors like TikTok and YouTube. Yikes.

 

The contract shop videos on Instagram


Even though that’s somewhat scary news for photographers, you can still create an online presence for your brand and biz on Instagram. Just don’t be afraid to play around with they type of content you post.

You can still post photos of your best work. But why not create a quick Reel of the last location you shot in, or a behind-the-scenes video of your latest commercial photography project? Keep in mind that videos currently get more exposure thanks to the algorithm, so more people will see them than your photos. 

Also, experiment when how often you post, what day, and what time of day. You can check how your posts perform in the Insights section of your account. Maybe videos reach more people and have more engagement when you share them on the weekend. Maybe your photos perform the best in the morning during the week. Check your Insights data so you can tweak as needed.

Partner up with other brands

We could all use a little help from other small businesses, right? That’s why it’s a great idea to team up with other brands, accounts, or small businesses so you can cross-promote each other.

Maybe you could give a shout out to local wedding or event planners, floral shops, or stationery brands you often come across as a wedding photographer. Or you might host a giveaway for a product that you worked on for a commercial shoot. (Just make sure you follow Instagram’s giveaway rules! We can help you  with this guide .)

Likewise, think about  joining affiliate programs  or becoming an influencer for brands that make sense for your business. Authenticity is super important, so choose brands that you genuinely like or use. Your followers will be able to tell if you’re being fake!

Make the most of photography hubs and communities

One of the best tools to take advantage of on Instagram? Photography hubs. Hubs are feature accounts that curate photos taken by Instagram users. Think of them as little online art galleries in a museum.

Hubs range in follower number, photography genres, photos taken with certain gear, and more. The trick to getting featured on a hub account is to find ones that align with your style, specialization, or niche. 

So, if you’re strictly a Canon user, tag  @cpcollectives  or their special hashtag  #cpfeatureme  to try and get featured. If you’re primarily a food photographer, tag the account (and hashtag)  @gastroart  so your work gets noticed.

It doesn’t hurt to be active in these online communities either. Follow other users who post using the same hashtags as you. Admire someone’s work? Let them know! You can build your local  and  online network this way if you’re active in the right communities.

Cover your legal bases

Hang on a second. After all this talk of posting and sharing your work on Instagram, we forgot to mention one super important detail. Do you still own the work that you share on social media?

Yes, you do. Instagram doesn’t claim ownership of any content you post. However, by sharing your work, you basically give Instagram permission to use your content in whatever way they want. And they don’t have to pay you. It also means that (unfortunately) more people will have access to your images… and they don’t always use them in the right ways. 

That important info is in their terms of use (you read it, right?), but just know: You own a copyright on your images when you’re the original creator. Unfortunately, if you want pursue something through legal means — like getting a copycat photographer to stop using your images — you’ll want to file a copyright.

We have an entire  guide to photography copyright here , so check that out. And if you’re still wondering, “Do I need a copyright for that,” we have  some advice here.

Know Instagram’s rules!

Do you plan to do more on Instagram than just share your images? Maybe you want to host a giveaway or get sponsored by your dream camera company. How can you do that legally? Instagram has their own set of rules for this, alongside other crucial details like how to host giveaways legally and how to disclose paid or sponsored content. If you use any of our tips for marketing your photography biz on Instagram, we also recommend you pick up our  Instagrammer’s Guide to Legal-ish so you can cover all your legal bases.


 

the instagrammer's guide to legal-ish

 


This guide contains everything you need to know about using Instagram for your photography business. Look, no small biz owner has time to deal with copyright infringement cases or lawsuits, right?? Protect yourself and your content by understanding your rights when using Instagram!  Get your guide now!

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