Networking on Instagram

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Instagram is incredibly useful for giving photographers new opportunities that they otherwise might not have. A lot of people use it to just showcase their work, but it’s also amazing for growing the network of people you work with. The art of Instagram networking is useful in a lot of ways: you can use it to introduce yourself to potential clients, find photo subjects for your portfolio, collaborate with other creatives, build a team, and so much more! Read on for a few of my tips on how to make the most out of the Instagram community.

A word of caution

Not everyone is who they say they are on Instagram, so make sure to check if the account is real before doing anything. High follower count with low engagement, a small number of posts, and posts that are just plain shady are signs that they’re probably a fake account. Just be careful of who you contact and meet up with. If you feel unsure, it’s better to stay on the safe side.

Don’t be afraid of rejection

Reaching out to other accounts can be intimidating at first. There’s always the fear of rejection at the back of our minds, but it’s important to realize that if you don’t reach out, you might be missing out on some amazing opportunities. I got quite a few of my clients simply by messaging and asking if they needed a photographer to shoot images of their products. It definitely get less difficult to reach out the more you do it, so just push through any feelings of hesitation until you get used to it.

Reach out to people at a similar/slightly higher skill level as you

The beauty of Instagram is that you can reach out to whoever you want to! But chances are, you might not get a response if you start off trying to send a DM to Kim Kardashian. If you’re a relatively new photographer, you may want to begin growing your portfolio by working with people with a similar or slightly higher skill level than yours. Especially in the beginning, what matters most is getting as much practice as possible.

Look at potential - not followers

People tend to be starstruck by accounts with large followings. Don’t fall for that. If you’re reaching out to a model, base it off of whether or not you think they would benefit your portfolio. It takes time for accounts to grow, and if you’re starting out, working with smaller accounts can act as a good starting point to grow together.

Message people who excite you - aspirational

Finally, get in contact with people who excite you. Some individuals are very responsive to inquiries and are always eager to answer questions. You can use this as a way to grow and improve.

@haycayrae by Sarah Shen.

@haycayrae by Sarah Shen.



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