Building Your Business, The Artsy Girls, Tips from the Pros

How to Build Your Photography Business on Instagram

If you frequent our Artsy blog, you probably already know that we’ve dedicated this page to our VIP’s: you.  Here, we try to provide insights, secrets, and tips from both the professional photographers we’ve built relationships with and our expert Artsy team.  Our goal is to help you and your business grow more successfully.  This week’s feature is no exception and could be the most important blog we’ve published to date.


Instagram is the fastest growing social media network and it continues to rapidly advance and increase market influence month over month.  Additionally, the engagement rate on an Instagram post far surpasses all other platforms; it is considered the best social media platform for engagement.  Why?  According to Forbes, we can attribute this to Instagram’s mobile functionality, visual nature, overall novelty and simple functionality.  What’s more, it is even more critical for your business to have a presence.


One very specific feature of Instagram is the key component to growing your business on the platform, it’s visual nature.  Visuals are something that only you can control, both in your content development and execution strategy.  Your content is what will drive the page.  Be forewarned, just because you’re skilled in taking photos does not mean that you’ll be an instant success on Instagram.  It is important to keep in mind the nature of your audience and their habits.


Here are our top six tips to help you grow your business on Instagram:

  1. Don’t shoot in a square format:

When you shoot with a larger frame, you have more artistic control over the finished image(s).  Think about the golden “rule of thirds”.  You gain texture and detail when you apply the same concept to your Instagram photos.


AC Blog_Rule of Thirds

2. Change your depth of field:


Using a DSLR lens, change the aperture and manipulate the depth of field to create a compelling visual. If you are adding this effect post production, you can use a variety of editing apps to add the same effect on your phone or tablet.  Instagram also has a teardrop icon that allows you to apply the tilt-shift effect.


AC Blog_Depth of FIeld_3AC Blog_Depth of Field_6Here Comes the Sun Photo Gallery Submissions // Artsy Couture // Randi Nicole Photography


Here are a few of our favorite photo editing apps: Artsy Favorite Photo Editing Apps


3. Pick a backdrop and position your subject within the frame carefully:


Spotlighting your product doesn’t mean you have to use a drowned out background.  Think bigger, and more natural.  For example, the outdoors has a ton of natural light and can provide great background options.  Textured or colorful backgrounds can also give your product depth and color contrast.


AC Blog_Background_2


4. Shoot Wide and Crop down:


One of the biggest benefits of product photography is that you can capture a still moment from any angle and crop as needed.  This means you can take the same photo and create a variety of images using your cropping tool, changing focus (as mentioned above) or adding an interesting filter. Unique, eye-catching crop adjustments can also direct the eye exactly where you want it to go by eliminating distractions from the image.



5. Tell a story:


Instagram is a great place to share a story or compel your audience to think about a specific topic, and users are more likely to engage with your honest approach.  To get started, begin by creating a series of images that are alike in nature, help paint a unique picture of your subject, and explore a theme.  One of the biggest misconceptions about new visuals is that they all have to be their own product, but your story can be much broader.  Think about how your user would react to the story, not what their immediate reaction is to the image.



Bride awaiting her Prince Charming


6. Use flat lay visuals:


A flat lay photograph typically depicts an aerial view of your subject(s).  This newer photography method gives the illusion of a polished product and brand.  Wow your audience with a quick and dirty flay lay and see your engagement explode!


AC Blog_Flat Lay


Need some help creating a flat lay?  Check out this great article by Pic Monkey.


Special thanks to all of our fabulous Featured Pro Photographers for sharing their craft with us: Rooted Love Photography, Kelsi Laine Photography, Courtney Blisset Photography and Christina Leskovar Photography.


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