Instagram can be a powerful tool for photographers to promote their work and even expand their business. But there are some mistakes they make on this journey, especially if they’re still new. In this video, Toma Bonciu discusses five most common mistakes he sees among photographers on Instagram. But also, he gives you some useful advice how to stop making them and improve Instagram profile for your photography business.
1. Copying current trends
According to Toma, this is the biggest and the worst mistake you can make. Trends come and go, so you need to find your own voice and not copy what you see from other photographers on Instagram.
2. Editing all your photos with the same presets
Some photographers will argue that you should make your Instagram profile consistent. But Toma believes that editing all your images with the same preset is a mistake, and I tend to agree. While I believe you should have a specific style, not every photo will benefit from the same type of editing. You should “edit with a purpose” and adapt the editing style to the mood of the image and the message you want to convey.
3. Not playing by the rules
Toma gives his own example here: as a landscape photographer, he really likes shooting 16×9 panoramas. However, photos like this don’t work for Instagram. The best format for Instagram is 4×5 in portrait orientation (or square). It may not be your preferred format, but if you want to add photos to your Instagram portfolio, you should have this in mind.
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4. Using too many hashtags
Hashtags affect the discoverability of your images, and many photographers add too many of those. Instead of doing this, you should focus on those that are specific and relevant to the photos you post. Toma advises that you should go with around 10 to 12 hashtags, and use them to describe the image “physically,” as well as conceptually. In other words, describe what can be literally seen in the photo, as well as the emotion it carries.
5. Overlooking composition rules
Since Toma is a landscape photographer, he focuses mainly on this type of photography here. He sees many beginners omitting composition rules, and this certainly happens to all new photographers, regardless of the genre they shoot.
Bonus mistake – no diversity
This mistake is in a way related to following the current trends. Toma argues that it’s okay for your photos to have you in the frame, based on the “wanderlust” images you can see all over Instagram nowadays. However, you shouldn’t make all of them look the same as if you’re placing a figurine in the shot. Play with wardrobe, posing, and concepts, and add some variation to your shots.