Photography Tip

How To Become Instagram Famous In 3 Easy Steps

Photo Credit: @dominicliam

Photo Credit: @dominicliam

Are you frustrated that you don’t have many Instagram followers? If you want to get Instagram famous, you need to focus on ways to get your photos noticed. When I first signed up to Instagram, I really struggled to get my first 30 followers. Even my best photos were getting only a few likes, and I wasn’t getting any feedback on my photos. That’s when I decided it was time to get popular on Instagram… and now I have almost 365,000 followers. In this tutorial you’ll discover how to become Instagram famous in three easy steps.

While it can take a lot of work to get thousands of followers, and your own goals might be different, I can tell you that Instagram gets a lot more fun when more people are following you!

So let’s take a look at the three steps you need to take in order to quickly become Instagram famous.

Step 1: Build A Stunning Instagram Feed

The first step is to make your Instagram profile look great. Nobody is going to follow an empty profile or one that has poor quality images.

If your goal is to showcase your photography, it’s absolutely essential that the photos you post look really good. It’s far better to post nothing than to post a bad photo.

The first thing you should do is upload about 15 – 20 of your best images. If you don’t have that many, keep working on it, and make sure you only post high quality eye-catching photos.

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Taking some time to improve your photography will more than pay off when you try to get Instagram famous.

Also, keep in mind that certain types of photos do particularly well on Instagram. From my experience beach photos, interesting reflection photos, silhouette photos and sunset photos tend to get the most likes on Instagram. Portrait photos generally get fewer likes.

To give you an example, this landscape beach photo got more likes than a lot of my other photos that I’ve posted on Instagram.

If you want to get popular on Instagram, it’s important that you post the kind of photos your followers want to see, which is why I often share landscape photos. If you want to get more followers on Instagram, it’s always a good idea to post the kind of photos that get more likes.

If you use Instagram to share what you eat for dinner and how you hang out with friends, don’t expect people who don’t know you to start following you. These aren’t the kind of photos any serious photographer would want to share.

Never post text images or jokes, no matter how cool you think the text is. Also, avoid posting random screenshots as most people really don’t like them.

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Now, before you go to the next step, make sure that your Instagram account is public. Go to your profile, tap the Settings icon at the top right of the screen, then make sure that the “Private Account” slider is turned off. If your Instagram photos aren’t public, you’ll have a much harder time attracting new followers.

And finally, take a moment to write a profile description that would motivate people to follow you. You don’t need to overcomplicate this step – just describe yourself in a meaningful way.

Something like “iPhone landscape photographer and surfer from California” is all you really need to attract the right kind of followers.

Step 2: Get Your Instagram Photos Noticed

Once you’ve uploaded some really good photos and made your profile look interesting, it’s time to attract everyone’s attention. Your aim is to get more Instagram followers, as well as more likes and comments on your photos.

There are several ways you can get your photos noticed and gain more followers, and I’m going to discuss all of them in this section.

First, reach out to your existing friends and followers from other social networks. Since those people already know you, they’re far more likely to become a follower. You can simply send a message or share a post inviting your friends to follow you.

If you have a large following on another social network such as Twitter or Facebook, you can cross-post your Instagram photos to these social networks. That way you’ll be building your Instagram following while sharing interesting photos with people who want to see them anyway.

To get your Instagram photos in front of more people, you should consider using hashtags. Adding hashtags when you post a photo means that your image will show up in the hashtag feeds.

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To add a hashtag, use the caption box when you’re posting a photo to type the hashtag symbol # followed by an appropriate word to describe your image.

Ensure you only add relevant hashtags to your photos. There’s really no need to spam your posts with dozens of irrelevant hashtags – that will only make you look like a spammer.

So if you’re posting an artistic photo with silhouetted figures you could use the following hashtags in your photo description: #portraits, #art. Or if you’ve used a particular app to edit your photo, you could use the app name as your hashtag.

Besides hashtags, one of the easiest ways to get your photos in front of other Instagramers is to simply start following a lot of people.

Just find someone with photos that are similar to yours, and start following the followers of that person. They’ll get a notification saying that you’re now following them, and many of them will check out your profile.

But following people isn’t enough. You also need to interact with people that you follow. If you just follow somebody and don’t like or comment on any of their photos, you’re considered to be a ghost follower. Instagram users generally don’t like ghost followers because scam artists use this strategy to promote their fake profiles.

You’ll get better results if you comment on the photos of the people you start following. That way they’ll know you’re a real person

If following lots of people is too impractical, you can also get a lot of exposure by leaving meaningful comments on the photos of other people – even if you’re not following them.

When you leave a thoughtful and positive comment, there’s a good chance that the author of that photo will become curious to check out your profile. And if your profile is good, you’ll get a new follower.

Leaving comments on the iPhone can be slow and tedious, so you might want to consider using an Instagram web service such as http://websta.me/ that allows you to quickly and systematically leave comments from your computer.

Your commenting should be targeted, meaning that you should only leave comments for people who have a high chance of becoming your followers.

So how do you find such people? It’s easy! All you need to do is use hashtags to search for people who do the same kind of photography as you. You can do this in the Tags section of Instagram’s search facility.

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So if you’re a landscape photographer, you could search for hashtags such as #landscape, #landscapephotography, #mountains and #outdoors. The people posting photos with these hashtags are far more likely to enjoy your profile and thus become your followers.

You can also quickly browse through photos that were submitted to a particular hashtag using the search function of Websta.

Finally, your comments are far more likely to get noticed by people who don’t have hundreds of likes or thousands of followers (since they get less comments). You’ll also have more chance of getting noticed if the photo you’re commenting on has been posted recently.

Step 3: Engage With Your Instagram Followers

While everyone gets obsessed with the number of followers, keeping your followers happy and engaged is equally important if you want to build a relationship with them and get the most out of your Instagram experience.

First, you should post regularly so that people don’t forget who you are. That’s why I aim to share photos daily on my @BleachFilm account where I’ve built a large and responsive community of people who look forward to seeing more posts from me.

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But at the same time, you don’t want to post too often. There’s nothing worse than sharing multiple photos at once since they’ll take up a lot of space in the feed of your followers.

If somebody doesn’t like one of your photos, the chances are that they’ll still keep following you. But when you post three photos in a row, you’re far more likely to lose a follower.

For this reason I don’t recommend posting more than once every six hours. Remember that quality always beats quantity, and it’s far better to share only great photos, even if that means posting less often.

To make your photos more intriguing and valuable to your followers, try adding an interesting or helpful description. You could ask a question, tell the story of how you came to take this picture, or add a useful tip that relates to the image.

And finally, be nice to your followers. Respond to their comments and questions. Simple things like saying “Thanks”, or answering their questions about how you took the photo and which apps you used will really make you stand out.

Interacting with your followers is a great way to keep them happy and engaged. And there’s nothing more rewarding than building lasting relationships with your Instagram followers!

How To Become Instagram Famous: Recap

If you follow the three steps that I’ve set out in this tutorial, you’ll be well on your way to gaining more genuine followers that really appreciate your photography. Here’s a quick recap of how you can become Instagram famous:

Build a stunning Instagram feed with only your very best photos.
Get your Instagram photos noticed by following other people, commenting on their images, and using relevant hashtags when you post pictures.
Engage with your Instagram followers by posting regularly and responding to comments and questions.
You can see how I apply these tips and techniques at my @BleachFilm Instagram account.

Comment your IG username below and I might follow you as an appreciation for reading this post! Parkarklis, Emil. "How to Become Instagram Famous in 3 East Steps." IPhonephotographyschool.com, 12 Sep. 2014

8 Killer Photography Tips From Instagram Superstars

Photo Credit: @sam_cahill

Photo Credit: @sam_cahill

Rather than just snapping drunken shenanigans with pals, some Instagram users are creating mind-blowing pics with just a few taps on their iPhone. Want to know how some of the most popular users do it? We found eight easy expert tips you can use the next time you fire up the app. Check them out — along with their fantastic photos — and get ready to take your Instagram feed to the next level.

1. Learn to See Things in Different Ways

Photo Credit: Paul Octavious

Photo Credit: Paul Octavious

You probably see the world around you rushing by from the inside of a bus, car, or train, or even on foot, but Instagram helps you see things in a new way. Instagrammer Paul Octavious (pauloctavious with 502,000 followers and counting) explains why he takes photos of the same object multiple times. 

"For me, photographing the same thing over time helps me evolve as a photographer. It helps me learn, and I start to see things differently."

2. Look Out For Symmetry

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Getting the perfect crop or symmetrical shot isn't easy, but photographer Pei Ketron has it down to a science. The Instagram user (pketron) has more than 834,000 followers.

"In order to capture the symmetry in a scene, you have to center yourself, make sure all your lines are straight, and be a perfectionist when it comes to your square crop . . . Sometimes I'm in a hurry or I just don't get it quite straight and I need to use an app like PS Express . . ."

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3. Underexpose Your Photos

Photo Credit: Chris Ozer

Photo Credit: Chris Ozer

The iPhone's native camera app does have some drawbacks when it comes to snapping the perfect photo. Chris Ozer — who has more than 570,000 followers on his Chrisozer handle —explains how he adjusts colors and light.

"I intentionally underexposed this shot — as I do with a lot of my shots — because if you don't, the iPhone will blow out portions of the photo, especially the sky, resulting in a loss of definition in elements like the clouds. To underexpose, you just tap and hold on a bright area of the frame, which locks the focus and exposure. You're then free to compose the shot however you want without having to worry about the iPhone shifting to an undesired exposure once you've lined it up."

4. Treat Photography as a Form of Exercise

Photo Credit: Philip Park

Photo Credit: Philip Park


Philip Park, or Komeda to more than 342,000 followers, was told by his doctor that he needed to get more exercise. Some days, the iPhoneographer uses his "photo walks" as a stand-in for gym time and gets some amazing images from his neighborhood:

"While I don't have a lot of time to take photos because of my work, every day I commute on a riverside road, and my workplaces are located near scenic places, such as the river, a palace, an urban park, and other places introduced in my photos. Most of my photos are taken during my lunch or on my way home, and sometimes I skip gym for a photo walk."

5. Take Self-Portraits, Not Selfies

Photo Credit: Martin Reisch

Photo Credit: Martin Reisch

With all of the flattering filters on Instagram, you can produce a lot of amazing images, including self-portraits. How does Martin Reisch (known as safesolvent to almost 38,000 followers) manage to appear in his Instagram photos? With the help of some simple tools, of course. 

"I'm fascinated with the idea of being as far away in the shot as I can. This takes a combination of using Camera+'s 30-second timer delay, composing the shot, and then running at top speed to reach my mark. A tool that I have to say changed the way I shoot is my GorillaPod for iPhone, which lets me attach my phone to trees, ledges, and just about anything I can imagine."

6. Focus on Composition

Photo Credit: Dan Cole

Photo Credit: Dan Cole

Not only does it take some time to realize what some of dankhole's photos are (can you believe this is plastic?), but the photographer (Dan Cole with more than 447,000 followers) is a believer in composing your shot so that it's pleasing to the eye

"I value composition, and my advice to others would be to pay attention to the rule of thirds. I believe there is something inherently pleasing to the human brain when elements align to the thirds. I also recommend straightening your photos — it helps ground the elements and gives strength to your shots."

7. Take Multiple Shots

Photo Credit: Anthony Danielle

Photo Credit: Anthony Danielle

Most iPhoneographers take multiple shots with their iPhone camera app and upload them to Instagram later. How many, you ask? Anthony Danielle (also known as Takinyerphoto to almost 187,000 followers) explains how many shots he gets before capturing the perfect candid

"I'd say on average I take anywhere from 30 to 50 pictures a day in 90 minutes' worth of shooting. Out of that I turn maybe four or five into Instagrams I'm proud to show to the world. Not every shot is going to be good. This is especially true when you're first starting out, but with practice and patience, you can find your own style that works best for you."

8. Add a Lens to Your Phone

Photo Credit: Monica Rubalcava

Photo Credit: Monica Rubalcava

If you really want to get every little detail of an object, consider adding a lens to your iPhone — like Monica Rubalcava (moniqua), who has more than 27,400 followers. 

"When I take a macro picture, I always use the basic camera app because it's quick and simple. In order to get the perfect macro shot, I need to get down into positions that I'm not normally in . . . For this picture, I was right next to the blueberry. My lens was practically touching the water. I was crouched over the table, very uncomfortable, but it got me the perfect shot."

Did you find anything interesting? Comment it below and also mention your Instagram username if you'd like me to checkout your work! 

5 years later. An Instagram guide to gaining followers

Photo Credit: Brandon Woelfel

Photo Credit: Brandon Woelfel

This is a work in progress, and contribution is encouraged. Please feel free to discuss in the comments and provide feedback to contribute additional information. It would be great if this post was community driven and evolving over time.

THE BASICS

1. CONTENT

This is huge. It's number 1 for a reason. You need good content. With the exception of really attractive people and/or celebrities, no one want's to see 100 selfies of you with the doggy filter from snapchat. Sorry.

It doesn't matter what type of pictures you're posting, learn the basics of composition, learn how to edit photos, learn how to edit movies. Spend time learning about "the rule of thirds", "the golden ratio", and other composition techniques. Watch youtube videos and practice editing your images. If you are producing content that is visually appealing, more people will want to follow you.

2. NICHE

One day you post a picture of coffee, the next day you've got a shot of you skiing, the next, maybe you've posted about video games. How many Coffee drinkers do you think care about video games? Or gamers want to see someone skiing?

This isn't compulsory, but you're going to have an easier time finding and keeping followers if you have a specific niche you fit into such as Landscape photography, Portraits, Lifestyle, Mom's, Travel, Comedy etc

At the same time, if your pictures show a consistent tone/style, people will know what they're getting into and may be more willing to follow you.

This doesn't mean you should post 100 pictures of coffee (though if you pull it off well that could be a great novelty account), you can break up a monotonous theme with pictures of something else. Post a lot of coffee? Why not post pictures of cafe's or great places to have a coffee?

If you already have an account, this might mean you need to curate your wall a bit and delete irrelevant pictures!

Photo Credit:  Pecherskiy Alexandr

Photo Credit: Pecherskiy Alexandr

3. TIME / ENGAGEMENT

Time is the second most important thing for gaining followers. Both in the sense that the longer you spend on Instagram, the larger your account will grow, and also the more time you spend interacting on the app, the faster and bigger it will grow too. Do not jump in expecting your follower count to grow over night, or even significantly in the next month. Gaining follower's is accumulative - the more followers you have, the faster you will gain them.

Start by checking out hashtags, and specifically the hashtags you post to. There's nothing you can do wrong here - the more pictures you like, the more chance someone comes and checks out your profile.

On top of that, why not comment at the same time? Try and make an observant comment about the picture and not a 3 word generic comment that could fit on anyone's picture, hell make it a question about the picture! That way they will be more likely to check out your page and interact with you further. If someone likes your pictures, go and like some of theirs! You might gain a follower just by returning a like!

4. HASHTAG

Keep in mind when you start a new account, Instagram will not put your images into the hashtag feed - this is to prevent bots and spammers making new accounts all the time. Be patient, they will start showing after 2-4 weeks. Use this time to get a bunch of images ready to post and plan your hashtag use.

Instagram gives you 30 hashtag spaces to use in the picture blurb. Use them. If you're tagging other accounts you may not get 30 spots, but use as many as you can.

Make your hashtags relevant. Check out your competitors hashtags and see what they use and who they tag. Steal a few of them, try and find your own.

Tag the big curator accounts - if they feature you you may gain a small amount of likes and followers, but don't expect anything big - the real reason is that when you tag them or use similar hashtags, you will hopefully appear in the explore feed of everyone else following that account and/or liking those hashtags.

For help finding hashtags check out: displaypurposes.com

Photo Credit: Michael Steric

Photo Credit: Michael Steric

5. BEST TIME TO POST

This is tricky, because Instagram has changed the algorithm on how it shows posts. However, most would agree this still matters a bit. You want to be posting when your target audience/followers are most active. This is usually early mornings/late at night depending on where you are in the world. There are many apps available that will tell you the best time, but their reliability or accuracy is not confirmed.

6. POST FREQUENCY

This point is more relevant to getting followers quickly. The more posts you make, the more often your content is going to appear, but do not feel like you need to post every day if you do not have the content to share. Quality over quantity.

In saying that, if you want to go this route and you have ample content to share, try to post once a day to help keep yourself visible. If someone has liked your content, you are more likely (basically guaranteed) to show up again in their explore feed at some time. If your content keeps showing up they may follow you. If they are consistently liking your images, regardless of following you, then you should also be appearing in their followers explore feed.

 

Advanced techniques:

PICTURE ORIENTATION

Pictures that a longer vertically than horizontally utilize more screen real estate, and therefore spend longer on the screen when scrolling through a feed. Users have suggested in the past that they notice more likes on pictures that are orientated this way.

COMMENT PODS

A comment pod is made up of about 10-15 people. This group always likes and comments on each others pictures. This becomes most beneficial if it is done as soon as a picture is posted as it helps boost the instant visibility of the post. The more followers each member has, the more benefit it is to the person who posted the picture.

Usually these pods exist via the DM feature on Instagram. When someone posts a new picture, they also share it to this group so that the group is notified and can instantly go and like the image.

These pods work best when everyone in the group has the same niche, as it means everyone's followers are more likely to also like the content.

FOLLOW/UNFOLLOW

A much hated tactic by many, but without a doubt one that works. I discourage the use of this, but it is such a popular technique it needs to be stated - at the very least, so you can understand when it happens to you.

The idea behind this is that you will follow a user and they may follow you back. After 2-4 days you unfollow them and hope they don't notice, leaving them following you.

In reality, why bother unfollowing them? Just follow them and like their images whenever you can. You'll come across much more genuine and you'll also avoid the risk of losing them as a follower.

This is considered a scummy technique to use by many, and with the amount of people that use apps to keep track of followers, it is less likely to work.

Photo Credit:  Erik Trent

Photo Credit: Erik Trent

TARGETED LIKES

First find large accounts that are offering similar content to yours. These are basically your direct competition and already have the followers who are likely to follow the type of content you post.

Go to their followers list and start going through the followers pictures and liking/commenting on their photos starting from the top. These people are currently active and recently following others. That means they are more likely to follow you.

UNIQUE HASHTAG

I haven't tested this, it's just an idea and concept at this stage.

Create your own relevant hashtag. For example "#Bleachmyfilm". make sure you use it with every single image you post.

When you like an image, Instagram makes note of what hashtags are associated with it. This is one of the ways it suggests images in the explore feed. So if someone has liked an image with your hashtag, there's a better chance your future images will also appear. If they are appearing often and being liked consistently, this is helping boost your like count, in turn giving you more visibility and the potential for followers.

That wraps it up! Lets be honest, we all strive for followers! So utilize these methods to jump ahead of your fellow Instagram users. If you have a method that I didn’t mention comment it below!

 

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