Check out more of Dave's work on his website. Follow him on Twitter and of course on Instagram. And after you've tracked him down at those three locations, don't forget Google+.
Let's quickly look at some statistics of Instagram:
- Instagram launched in October 2010, and within 16 months reached 100 million active users.
- On September 9th 2013, Instagram announced it had a total of more than 150 million monthly active users. That means Instagram grew at a rate of 50 million users in 5 months.
- Instagram is currently ranked number 21 in Web traffic within the United States and ranked number 41 in Web traffic globally by alexa.com.
So what does this all mean to a photographer? It means Instagram is a massive opportunity for increasing the exposure of your work while promoting your photography.
I joined Instagram in September of 2011 and in just over two years I've gained well over 19,000 followers, received over 340,000 likes, along with over 7,400 comments. I say this to you to illustrate the amount of engagement that is possible on Instagram. And I am by no means on top of the Instagram food chain. So far my experiences with Instagram have been great! I have met loads of new people and it has definitely helped me establish a presence in the realm of stills/motion work.
In addition, it has led me to tons of other artists that I may have never met otherwise- this is arguable the best part of Instagram.
Now that I’ve made my case on why you should join Instagram, let me give you some pointers on how to maximize your Instagram experience as a photographer.
If possible, always take pictures with a camera rather than a mobile device (ie smartphone or tablet). One of the best features of Instagram is that it allows its users to upload images into the Instagram application. This means you’re not limited to posting pictures taken directly from your mobile device. You can upload any image you want (except for those that are banned by Instagram’s terms of service). Use this opportunity to show off your photography skills using a real camera. Don’t be limited by using the camera on your mobile device.
As a Lumix Luminary, I love using both the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 cameras for Instagram as well as for many other applications. Both cameras are Wi-Fi enabled. This allows me to connect either camera wirelessly to my mobile device. From there I can quickly download any image I want to my mobile device via the Lumix Link mobile application. Once the image is saved onto my mobile device, I can edit and post the image onto my Instagram account. The whole process can be done in under a minute. Another advantage of using a camera rather than a mobile device to take your Instagram photos with is that is that you retain a larger and higher quality original image. This gives you greater options for that image down the road.
Connect your Instagram account to your colleagues, friends, and family that are on Instagram. After all they’re probably your biggest fans. That’s a great place to start building your following. Make sure your Instagram account is not set to private. You can find out more about privacy settings at: http://help.instagram.com/116024195217477
Follow, like, and comment on other people’s content! You need to engage with other people on Intstagram! Listen to what other users have to say, and notice what they like and dislike about your work. User critiques of your work can be very rewarding.
Use Hashtags! Hashtags are a great way to increase the amount of people who see your “tagged” photo.
1. Upload a photo and choose a filter or a non-filter.
2. On the screen you see after choosing your desired look, type your #hashtag in the Caption field (example: #LumixLounge)
3. Note: If you want to tag a post you've already uploaded, just include your #hashtag in a comment on your photo.
Tip: You can increase viewership of your photos by tagging them with popular tags. You can find popular tags through the use of mobile applications such as Tags For Likes (available on both iOS and Android devices).
You can find out more about Hashtags at: http://help.instagram.com/351460621611097?sr=1&sid=0FmVRdOVfFhfU3zWa
Use Statigram! Statigram is an online Instagram client. It allows users to see their Instagram analytics, shows users the best times to post content, and it also holds contests for Instagram users. Best of all, it’s free! You can check it out at: www. Statigram.com.
Most importantly have fun! After all it’s Instagram- it’s supposed to be fun!
Well, I could go on and on this topic! Believe me, we’ve only scratched the surface of Instagram in this blog post. Maybe I should revisit it in a future post. What do you think? If you you have any questions, comments, and/or criticisms please submit them into the comment box below.
Hope to see you soon on Instagram! Or better yet, on Instagram using a Lumix camera!!
And to all those Lumix Intagram shooters out there, don't forget to hashtag your pics with #LumixLounge to be a part the Lumix Community Gallery.