I’ve recently started posting on Instagram as a way to show off my photography and interact with other content creators and despite it’s flaws (algorhythmic feeds etc) it’s still an amazing platform for photography and videography. It’s also hard to gain traction among it’s 700million user base while I’m still in the early stages of the instagram game I wanted to share the methods I use to upload and how to use the platform effectively, hopefully you find it helpful and you can always comment below on how you use the service or where I may be going wrong. These are just the ways I use instagram.
Shoot in RAW – If you’re camera can shoot in RAW learn how to do it. It helps in when you edit, it also the sensor to save all data rather than compressed to a JPG. This helps because it gives you more detail when you lift blacks or apply presets without getting artificating. Most DSLRs also give the option of RAW + JPG saving so you have the option of both, nail the look in camera and the JPG will be fine.
Edit on PC then transfer to phone – This seems like a hassle but once you get used to it there is no other way to have a workflow especially with most PC having an SD card built in, why do this though? It’s easier to tweak details looking at a monitor rather than using your phone screen and when shooting dozens of images a PC will run these tasks more efficiently than a smartphone. If you are editing on phone there a lot of good options still available from Snapseed, Lightroom and VSCO
Use a sharebox – As an extension of the above, using a sharebox like Google Drive or Box, allows you to transfer the full sized image into it and accessible on your phone, it’s also a back up if your hard drive crashes or you memory card corrupts. I personally use Google Drive as there is a lot of free space but it allows encorporates easily into Gmail to attach files.
Hashtag properly – When it’s time to upload your photo, research RELEVANT tags and users to help improve reach. If you’ve taken a landmark photo, look up various hubs and accounts that post similar style photos likewise if you’ve taken a cat photo use animal/cat related tags. Don’t just tag everyone and everything or else it’ll get lost. A lot of users post their image then comment the tags, I generally just tag my post but for the sake of a tidy feed the option is available to tag in a comment.
Reply – After you post you may receive likes, follows and comments, take a bit of time and reply to users, look at their feed and if you like their content do likewise. There is a huge bot problem with instagram but there I will still try and engage as it may be a stepping stone of collaboration or networking, and if it’s a bot worst case is it leads to nothing.
Utilise Stories – Back in August 2016, Instagram launched Stories (a somewhat rip-off of Snapchat) and it is still a widely under utilised feature, it’s ephermereal so anything you post disappears in 24 hours but it can be used effectively as a behind the scenes of your shoot or edit time (a favourite is the tap to edit posts, where you post an unedited picture then on the next story is the edited version, so it’s nice to see the changes) or you can take it up a level and use it as a mini-vlog to highlight parts of your day. Some even take to recording DSLR video and using that (just make sure to render it into 1080 x 1920 format as it’s in portrait mode)
So that’s my workflow and some tips that I use within Instagram to get the most out of the platform, as I said at the start of the article I’m still new to this game but I feel like a lot of the tips can help boost and beef up my feed from just a standard snappers.
I’d love to hear how you use Instagram and feel free to share your account below.