As a professional photographer, it is crucial to not only show your skills, but to be networking consistently. I started my Instagram account one and half years ago – ever since I created my own bubble, I have gradually become part of the community, which nowadays inspires and encourages me to continue with the work that I do. I wanted to share my experience and tips, so take notes!
1) You get what you give
If you pay attention to other artists and connect with them, they will gradually notice you as well. If you participate in the activities of the community, you will be invited in more. Just sending a private message in Instagram is a way to start the conversations, which can lead to a collaboration or something great. Expecting people to just like and comment on your photos sounds as shallow as it is – even the most skilled artists and celebrities still find a way to connect authentically with their audiences. If you work hard and reach out, Instagram is a great platform to network and learn.
2) Stick to the style
A consistent feed is much more interesting and appealing, than one that veers in every direction. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure what kind of feed I wanted to have, which caused some headache. My advice is not to think too much about it, but to do and try. After every photo you can ask yourself: “Do I feel comfortable with this photo? Does this style represent me? What could I do better?”
Overdoing effects is very easy, so having a test account might help you to compare the latest edit to your previously published photos. As this is a popular question, I will write a detailed article about photo editing in the future. A consistent and good looking feed can also be your quick portfolio item, as it is easy to exhibit and contains quality content.
3) Look for idols, make new friends
Following the top artists of your own style and niche is one way to improve your visual skills, and to keep up with the latest trends. Try to find a way to connect with super talented artists, because you can only stand to benefit from consistently being inundated with supreme content, not to mention any advice that they extend to you. Participating in instawalks and instameets is also a great opportunity to ask questions and share experiences. If you don’t know of any instawalks or meetings in your area, do it yourself! It’s one of the biggest efforts one could make for the creative community, and really worth it. Recently I organized one meeting, and just sent the invitations as private messages in Instagram. We were able to gather over 30 people together, and for almost everyone, it was the first time.
4) Enjoy it
In the end, it all comes down to the enjoyment. As Instagram is all about storytelling, sharing and interacting with the community, it still should be fun! As your skills and styles adjust through your experiences, you will begin to thrive as a result of strong content and adequate networking.
If you have any thoughts, leave them in the comments, and feel free to test out the Instagram networking concepts by sending me a direct message on Instagram (my handle is @joonaslinkola). If you enjoyed this, you may enjoy: ‘Q&A with Photographer Joonas Linkola’.