At this point, social media platforms like Instagram are a lot more than just a way to kill some spare time and stay in touch with friends. They’re also a huge part of how we actually manage both our professional lives and our personal lives. Becoming a runaway Instagram success in particular is most certainly something that can help you when it comes to building your budding photography business.
However, knowing a stellar Insta-following would be amazing for your growing reputation is one thing. Actually building one is another. The secret to success lies in not only knowing what people want to see in their Instagram feeds, but understanding the best way to deliver what they’re looking for.
What Types of Images Perform Best?
At the end of the day, marketing tricks and posting strategies will only get you so far, especially if you’re looking to generate interest in your actual photography. You need to post pictures that are not only visually stunning and well-executed, but that connect with the types of people that are active on Instagram.
Generally speaking, people enjoy projecting a bit onto the folks they follow. They connect the most strongly with people that seem to have lives they’d like to be living and they respond to images that depict experiences they’d personally like to have.
- Gorgeous Vistas
Ask any one of your friends or acquaintances what they’d do with unlimited funds or freedom at their disposal and the chances are excellent they’d tell you they want to travel more. People love nothing more than looking at a beautiful view and imagining what it would like to be there. The average Instagram user is no exception.
Make it a point to post your best shots of the locations you visit. Famous locales that everyone recognizes are always good choices, but so are envy-worthy spots like beaches or mountain tops.
- Food and Drink
Food is another subject that can’t help but grab people’s attention. After all, who hasn’t done a double take at a really fantastic shot of a mouthwatering pizza or a beautifully plated high-end meal? People love to imagine what it would be like to sip a cocktail or bite into a burger that looks far better than anything they’re likely to get at home.
Anything delicious tends to have its audience on Instagram, but food that works as wish fulfillment fares best. Think extra-decadent items most people would hesitate to order themselves or beautifully plated home-cooked meals that are fancier, prettier, and better orchestrated than the average plate of home cooking! Food from world-famous eateries or exclusive bars people dream of going to are good picks as well.
- Attractive People
No, looks aren’t everything, but they definitely count for a lot. This is especially the case with visual media like photos. People love to look at attractive people and fantasize about what it would be like to date them, hang out with them, or even be them.
That said, well shot photos of people that are beautiful, interesting, or famous are a quick ticket to lots of likes and followers. Place that beautiful person in a setting that’s equally as beautiful or show them having an experience most people would die to experience and you can’t help but have a successful post on your hands.
- Luxe Lifestyles
In a world that finds most people strapped for cash more often than they’d like, a lifestyle that involves unlimited funds is definitely the stuff of fantasy. Exactly why luxury living Instagrams get so much attention!
Photos of anything that could be considered luxury will almost always attract tons of attention. Think fast foreign sports cars, designer gowns that cost more than the average person earns in a year, or palatial homes most people can only dream of affording!
What Else Should You Keep in Mind?
As important as image quality and subject matter are, they’re still not all there is to the equation when it comes to being a true runaway Instagram success. You’ll also want to keep the following principles in mind.
- Emphasize your connection to your images.
People that are Instagram-famous with tens of thousands of followers to their credit don’t just post amazing photographs. Their connection to what they photograph is clearly emphasized as well.
Instagram definitely isn’t the place to post a small novel alongside your images, but people do appreciate a little backstory. If you’re sharing a shot from a nature shoot, tell your followers how you managed to find yourself in that particular spot. Even more importantly, share what inspired you to photograph it.
- Connect to other people with influence.
As is the case with all communities, Instagram definitely comes along with a hierarchy as far as who’s really “somebody”. The folks with the clout are the ones with the ability to put someone else on the map with a single repost or mention.
That said, do what you can to strike a chord with influential account holders. You never know when one might take an interest in something you did and decide to share it. Using the tagging system wisely can really help you here.
- Make sure people can find your work.
If you’re not adding hashtags to your images on Instagram, you’re only making it harder for people that would love to see your work to find it. Think of your post as the car and the hashtags you add as the gas.
You also want to make sure you’re using hashtags strategically. Funny hashtags that serve no other purpose than to get a chuckle out of people have their time and place, but ultimately you want to focus most of your efforts on popular or trending tags that see a lot of traffic.
Of course, this is just a little of what goes into making a given photographer an Instagram success capable of setting trends and influencing lives. However, it’s a great place to start for sure. Explore the possibilities today!