Whether you have been a professional photographer for ages or have taken up photography as a hobby, it is only natural that you would want to showcase your talent on social media. With two decades, well into the 21st century and newer things popping up every other day, one of the biggest and best social media platforms where you could showcase your work is Instagram.

Indeed, Instagram is one of the most powerful and efficient tools that both established and budding photographers can use to portray and promote their talents to the world.

Initially, Instagram was an app where people mostly used to post images and videos. There were no complex mechanisms behind the operation of Instagram, such as the algorithm or engagement metrics. But since its launch, Instagram has grown a lot.

It is one of the apps that social media marketers never fail to include in their marketing strategies. That is because Instagram, like Facebook, its parent company, has become the hub of advertising by bigger brands, businesses, and influencers.

But there remains a burning question- is photography a business too? It sure is when you are showing your works to the world. Suppose you are pursuing photography as a profession. In that case, it is only natural that you would try to make a living out of it, and that is where Instagram comes in. You see, influencers don’t necessarily have to be people showing off their protein shakes; an influencer is any person who shows to the world any certain skill set of theirs.

It is necessary to mention that it takes a lot of hard work to become a successful influencer, especially if you want to show off your camera skills. In this blog, you will get to know all about the intricacies of becoming a successful photographer on Instagram.

How can you promote your photography on Instagram like a pro

  1. Know and define your niche:

    The first step to making your profile all about your photography is to define your niche first. Here’s how you do that.

    • When you get the hang of posting your works online as an established photographer, you need to ensure that each of the photos you post has its individual “WOW” factor. That is essential besides the fact that they should look great collectively too.
    • As we have said earlier, having a consistent aesthetic, whether in color, theme, palette, or style, is crucial to building a larger audience.
    • Suppose you are unsure of which picture to post amidst multiple photos of the same style; use the multiple-picture (or collage) option so that only one photo shows on your feed yet. In that case, viewers may have the chance to view the others too.
  2. Personal touches are like a chef’s kiss:

    The next step to be a professional photographer on Instagram is to treat your Instagram feed as your journal of photos. You can use your feed to allow your audience to take a sneak peek at what goes on behind the scenes of each of your photos.

    • When you give your followers a teaser or an insight on your shoots or show them important moments in your daily life, it piques their interest.
    • Suppose you are unsure how to balance out your feed between professional photos and personal ones. In that case, you should try following the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule implies that if 80% of your photos are professional and follow a theme, the remaining 20% could be personal and behind-the-scenes.

      Suppose you want to show your personal life. In that case, you could either post stories daily or set up a different personal profile altogether.

    Besides, Stories are a great way to capture and hold the interest of your followers, which we would elucidate further in this article.

  3. Ditch your smartphone:

    If you want to be a professional and established photographer on Instagram, clicking pictures on your smartphone won’t cut it. You need to ditch the smartphone and invest in a good mirrorless or DSLR camera so that you can take professional shots of exceptional quality. We know there is a perpetual debate going on about the pros and cons of each of these cameras, but hear us out! Though DSLRs offer a wider selection of lenses, mirrorless cameras are creeping up the market, and many renowned photographers are switching to mirrorless cameras.

    But leaving this dichotomy aside, both of these types of cameras provide far better image qualities than any smartphone can provide. These cameras would even give you better control over how any photo would look as you could adjust focus, shutter speed. Depth of field, and you will have the choice to changes lenses as well.

    Further, it would be best to use Instagram filters to edit your photos and use an actual editing application to adjust your pictures’ brightness, contrast, and clarity. You will also be able to change the proportions of your picture, modify the white balance, and reduce noise in your photos.

  4. Strategize “when” and “how” you post:

    When you are a professional at anything and are trying to make a brand of yours on the Internet, especially on social media, you have to act strategically. Your singular focus would, of course, be to post quality content even if you don’t post daily. As they say, quality always matters more than quantity. Yet, we must inform you that you must be regular with posting your photographs.

    • Relevant, quality content does provide you a higher chance of getting positive feedback from your followers, which would ultimately get your posts ranking preference from the Instagram algorithm. But if you are not consistent with posting your photographs, your followers might start losing interest in your page.

      The point here being, if you want to build a sense of community with your Instagram followers, you must develop a routine to post regularly. Every renowned photographer who has made a name on Instagram agrees that posting requires discipline. Consistency is critical when you aim to become a pro in photography on social media.

    • Coming to “when” you should post, the best time to post is the morning as that’s when most people check their ‘Gram. The time when you post also depends on factors like where you live, the time zones you want to target, etc. Studies have also shown that Sundays provide maximum engagement.
  5. Use original, crafty captions:

    Suppose you are about to give an interview for a coveted job; what do you think the employers would look for when interviewing you? Of course, your qualifications, the way you dress, your speaking, your presence of mind, and several other factors.

    Similarly, when you are posting on Instagram, your followers would not only look for a great photograph but a great caption as well, even if subconsciously. It is plain psychology that people are more likely to engage in an account that is great in all aspects than just their feed.

    • Posts that have an intriguing caption and quite a few relevant hashtags would naturally attract people. Thus, the best thing you could do is talk about the photo or the story behind it when you are posting. Such a caption would cause your followers to mentally engage with the photo and establish a more personal connection to your photo and with you.
    • You can have fun with your caption and craft it in different ways. You could ask an open-ended question that would lead viewers to contribute to the posts’ comment sections by stating their views.
  6. Hashtags are important:

    Hashtags are yet another way to increase engagement in your posts and attract followers who would relate and engage with your posts.

    • While using hashtags, you need to make sure that they are relevant, specific to what you are posting, and popular. That is the way you will be able to boost exposure.
    • Using hashtags has become not only common now but also essential as people follow specific hashtags. Thus, you will be able to get a ranking preference too.
    • Some generic yet effective hashtags would include the subject of your photographs, the locations, your brand, and even the equipment you are using. Destination and community hashtags are quite fruitful in connecting like-minded people around a particular subject.

    Though there are no rules about how many hashtags you can include in your caption, currently, you can put in up to 30. Again, the quality of your hashtags matters more than the quantity, so it would be best if you bear this in mind. You could also create your hashtag unique to your brand.

  7. Share stories:

    As aforementioned. Instagram Stories are a great way for you to connect with your followers by giving them a peek at your personal life and an insight into what goes on behind the scenes of each of your photos. Here are the reasons why you should utilize the Stories feature.

    • Firstly, it will seem very professional if you share the best works on your feed while also sharing parts of your daily life on your Stories. Not only will this pique the interest of your followers, but they would also be able to relate and build a connection with you.
    • Secondly, you can share it on your Stories whenever you post something, driving traffic to your posts and enhancing your reach. But for this step to work, you must follow the first step. That is because if people don’t watch your Stories in the first place, they would, of course, not see if you have posted anything.
    • You must tap into the full potential of Instagram Stories and keep your followers entertained. That is because they might lose interest in your account if you don’t interact enough. You can do this by posting your followers’ valuable comments to make them feel appreciated. Q&A sessions are also a great way to engage with your followers.
  8. Engage with your audience:

    When trying to make a brand for yourself on Instagram, you must know the Instagram algorithm and engagement metrics. You must know that the Instagram algorithm gives ranking preference to those accounts that receive high interaction or engagement on their posts, that is, the accounts that get lots of likes and comments. Likes and comments are the engagement metrics that show the algorithm the quality of an account.

    In simple terms, the artificial intelligence behind the algorithm assumes that if more people like or comment on a post, the post should be of great quality.

    Thus, that post starts showing up in more and more people’s feeds. That is the reason you need to engage with your followers who have commented on your post. Not only is this a courteous move, but it will also allow you to get feedback and thank the people who have given their time to comment on your post.

  9. Build your community:

    If we reiterate what we said earlier, everything, from your posts, hashtags, and even to the number of followers you have, needs to be about quality and not quantity. So what does it mean to build a community?

    • Firstly, you should focus on building a relevant community consisting of people who truly like your work and engage with it. It would be best if you remembered not to confuse your followers with people in your community. That is because there may be tons of inactive accounts clogging your account or, let’s say, your follower list. Honestly, you don’t need them, and it would best if you report and block them.
    • Secondly, you could group people into smaller communities based on the photographs they would like to see. It is also vital that you follow other accounts in your niche. For example, suppose you click pictures related to fashion and sports.

      In that case, you should follow fashion or sports-related accounts or photographers who click photos on these subject matters. Not only will you be updated on all the latest trends of your subject, but you will also expand your network by following different accounts. Thus, it will be easy for you to get your name and portfolio out there for potential clients to see.

  10. Engage others too:

    There are several ways to engage others in your posts but first, let us understand why you need to do that in the first place. The simplest reason is to explore your network and increase your reach. People won’t know you until you put yourself out there and show off your portfolio to potential clients. And, to do this, you must have a good network first. Now let us understand the ways you could engage other people through your posts.

    You could do it by simply tagging any Instagram users you want or tag locations in your post. If you are tagging a person, it must be a person or a client who is the subject of your photograph. If you are tagging locations, it could be the place where you have taken a photograph.

    That is a great way to build your community and gain exposure, especially since these posts will show up in their respective tagged libraries.

  11. Look for ‘hubs’ on Instagram:

    When making a brand, you really cannot do everything alone. Yes, posting pictures regularly, the captions, posting stories, etc., are in your control. Still, to expand your network, you need to take help from others too. And that is where Instagram’ hubs’ come in. Suppose you are still on the road to get established on social media as a pro in photography.

    In that case, you may not have heard about these ‘hubs.’ Hubs are those Instagram accounts that curate and share the photos or images posted by other accounts with credits. One might even say that the feeds of such hubs are like an online gallery.

    • Each hub generally features images revolving around a particular subject or theme or based on a particular topic. You must find out such hubs which feature photography. They probably will be sharing images based on a specific genre or a particular subject or color palette.
    • After finding hubs that share images by photographers, you must follow them, interact with them and use their dedicated hashtag on your posts to get featured. Though you might not always get reposted, using an established hashtag on your posts will boost your account’s exposure and help you gain relevant followers.
  12. Optimize your Instagram profile:

    The most important part about being a social media pro in photography is your profile. Considering how the user base of Instagram is increasing every single day, your profile must stand out among others in your niche. It would be best to create a dynamic Instagram profile that will efficiently convey and promote your brand.

    • Firstly you must choose a username that is unique, easily recognizable, and simple to remember. If you already have a website, you need to make sure your Instagram username is the same as your website name. You must use the same name/ username for all your social media accounts; else, people may not be able to recognize and follow you.
    • Next, you will need a profile photo that defines you, your niche, or your subject matter thoroughly. Your profile photo should depict what photography means to you.
    • Last but not least, you need to have a perfect bio. You should include in your bio where you are based and what you specialize in. You should also include the link to your website if you have one. Your bio should make it easy for people to find and interact with you off the Internet. Thus it would be a good idea to include your contact details on your bio as well.


There you have it- the 13 tips that would help you become a pro in photography on Instagram. Before summing up the article, there’s one last thing that we must reiterate: on Instagram, quality always matters over quantity. Keeping this in mind, you must upload your best works regularly, be strategic about how you post, and utilize the many features of Instagram to grow your account.

Also, it would be best if you did not forget to keep up the communication between other accounts in your niche, hubs, and followers, of course.