Instagram has become a leading social network with its highly addictive feed of visual candy. Photographers can network with each other, sharing inspiring images and new techniques, and connect with potential clients by showcasing new work on a regular basis. With loose rules, you’re free to personally define your own approach to the Instagram experience. Whether you’re just getting started or looking to further define your brand strategy, here are a few tips to make the most of Instagram.


When you choose your Instagram screen name, be consistent with your studio branding so it will be easy for clients and industry professionals to find you. Include details in your profile that will give followers a sense of your style, other places to find your work (your website, Twitter handle, Facebook, etc.) along with your contact information. As you begin to follow others, search for photographers, artists and bloggers who inspire you, so you’ll be continually excited to shoot and share. Commenting on their images is a way to break the ice and open up communication.


If you’re shooting images with the intention of "Instagraming," you’ll want to compose your shots with a square crop. Many cameras, including Apple’s iOS devices, give you the ability to preset a square frame, but if you don’t have this setting, didn’t previsualize or just can’t make a tough cropping decision, you can choose to use a "no cropping" app—like #NoCrop or Square FX with Shapes—specifically designed to maintain the landscape or portrait dimensions of your image within a white border.

Use hashtags to make your photos searchable by popular keywords, or invent your own hashtags to promote your studio or personal projects.


Some Instagramers are "Insta" diehards, stating that the only true Instagrams are taken through the app’s camera. You may prefer sticking to iPhoneography, in general—some professional photographers report that this style of shooting has pushed them to look at the world in a new way. Others prefer to use Instagram as a feed for their professional portfolio by uploading images taken with high-quality cameras. With built-in WiFi capabilities quickly becoming a standard feature for new cameras, an Instagram workflow is relatively quick and easy regardless of your shooting method.

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