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Upping Your Instagram Game
A little about myself. I started my instagram 4+ years ago.
Started as cell phone shot with guns and bikinis.
People always asked if i had an onlyfans. I was way to busy and way to nervous to even do certain types of photos that showed to much on instagram.
As i got comfortable with the idea I upped my game from a more toy camera that was under 400$ camera and lens and went to a Nikon D610 with a 85mm lens for $1000 total. Then I started the onlyfans.
Its been about 16 months since then. I pretty much got ALL of my max subscribers within a month and have maintained since then. Ive upped my content quality through learning and taking my photo shoots more seriously since Im clearly getting paid now.
Is this my only social media? No... I operate over 1 million followers on dacebook and instagram and have 1million + via Facebook groups. These will never be disclosed due to it being connected to my other businesses.
If this was 4 years ago you might be screwed. Now... everyone has a cell phone camera that can provide the quality needed.
Shooting humans? Boats? Guns? Art Work?
Some this may be obvious... some not so much. The key to photography is.... Lighting!
Duh? But kinda not duh? Yes understanding lighting is NOT easy for most that arent into photography.
Instead of giving you some deep deep explanation let me take you from noob status to near professional in a few sentences.
Go outside. Seriously. Key to photography. Go outside. This will apply to 95% of people. Some people may bake cakes and its kinda tough to take a cake outside lol.
If you take photos of people, cars, guns, bottles, racks, etc. Simply go outside. Going outside just took your photos from crap to "ok".
Whats the next step? Seriously i wasnt lieing... lighting is the fundamental function of photos. The sun is the light producing object outside.
Now stand in between the sun and the thing you are photographing. Boom!
Let me reiterate AGAIN. Light is the most important. Not your background. Worry about where the light source is first and getting in between it and what you are taking a photo of first and then worry about what the background should be.
Lets move into more intricate photos. Once you master that. Shade is even better when outdoors... under a tree, overpass, on the side of a wall etc. Just make sure the same still applies. The light source is behind you.
If you have to take photos indoors use the same concept. Check the bottom of the page for examples of photos.
So... these rules can be broken.... but not by you... not yet. Really stick to this simple lighting guildines and your images will come out better. After a few weeks or what you deem a ton of practice then you can start changing angles with lighting and go from there.
If you decide to buy a camera... Id recommend going over the $500 mark for the body and doing a $200ish 50mm 1.8 prime lens. If you go below that the quality really isnt substantial enough to notice from a newer generation phone camera.
None of this matters at all unless you use your lighting correctly.
This is kinda broad and not instagram only. Start up a facebook, parler, google business etc. Make them look professional and update every couple of months. People who consider doing business with you see you as a small business and may search you on multiple platforms. If they see your last post was 2019 on half your stuff and your instagram has no posts in 3 months....
they might assume you went out of business and have no plans to produce more content either so they will not follow you. Thats the fundamentals.
First off... utilize the concept i do. When you do a post on your page also post it on your story blurred out tagging yourself telling people to checkout your latest post.
People want consistency and they want to see in depth of what goes on with your life and page. Its another avenue. Got a jeep page all about your jeep? They want to see a mix of that jeep in a less "formal" posed fasion and people actually give a shit about YOU... the person behind the camera.
Thats what storys are for. People can easily skip them and it also brings almost a whole other page. Example: I follow some photographers solely because their behind the scenese stuff and info about their cameras. I follow a girl that posts stripper photos that i dont care about but her storys are of her workouts that i follow and use.
Use this second source.
Once a week minimum. Find your hot times and stick to them. 7:30pm works for me. Guage your best times and stick to them and stay consistent. 2-3 times preferred. Example: 2 Weekdays at 7:30pm and Sat Noon
Instagram Do's and Dont's
Your hashtags are hurting you tremendously. Stop using them.
Why? You are shadowbanned from them. Seriously stop. An average of .1% of followers come from hashtags and often lead to shadowbanning for misuse. They are only a liability. This includes tagging to many people and tagging your location to often.
Instagram sees misuse of these features as spam and will hide your posts from your own followers.
So... now you have successfully upped your photo game and got unshadowbanned and your followers finally see your posts again and they are hitting that like button. Now how do you get more followers?
Well.. each like increases algorithim reach and hopefully puts you in front of more people on the explore page. Being on the explore page and them clicking on your profile doesnt mean someone will follow you.
Things like not posting consistent may push people away or your profile info may look fake, simple, half assed etc. Your profile bio is key. Dont make it look spammy but fluff it up a bit. Emojies etc. Work on it a bit. Local biz? Use an emoji to represent the area. ETC..
Most people click on story posts as well once on a page so you have 2 chances to WOW them. By keeping story posts going and by "themeing" your instagram you will get followers. Themeing is meant to make your page as a whole look good.
How to "theme" your instagram...
What can you tell about mine below?
If you couldnt immediately tell... Its handgun, rifle, handgun, rifle....
Ex: Shooting your truck/car? Do front, side, back or do
front and back or do close ups and far aways.
Dont mess up the theme. No matter how much your kids, cats, grandma, dead tyrants in your garage or new house makes you proud.... unless your "life" is a consistent part of them main posts I would recommend against posting those... thats what the storys are for! Indulge! People want to see those but they just have their place and thats in the story posts.
I hope this write up that I took 3 hours to write can help you reach more people on instagram and maybe realize little minor stuff was holding back your greatness.
Why did I do this? Most large pages of girls/guys/models grew because of their looks and having access to good photographers not because they are smart.
Of course the large pages that are businesses would never do anything to help the little guy because that could be their competition.
I have experience in marketing prior to my instagram and I used that experience to grow mine. There is a specific amount of money or value in existence and Id rather people allocate their funds to you than to the big people/big businesses. Every dollar taken from the Kardasians and put in a amateur models pocket is a win... every time a dollar is spent on a small business it is a dollar taken from a big corporate business. I want to help you take that dollar to feed your family instead of them feeding their ferraris on a world where a government is powerful enough to crush the little guy because they are paid off by the big guy.
From left to right the 1st is indoors with the sun/light source behind the subject. The 2nd is indoors with the sun/light source behind me and the last is of course outside with the sun behind me. See the clarity and quality difference?