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Author Topic: Instagram good or not for your photography ?  (Read 3011 times)

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Phadrea

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« on: March 02, 2016, 09:58 »
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I have been told by a very excited friend that Instagram is the thing to have for promoting your images. Just would like your opinions here as to how useful it is for your microstock or even selling privately etc ? To my first impressions it seems more geared around mobile phone users of which I am not. I have an ipad but find that impractical for taking shots. I just feel swamped with options that seem to all be doing pretty much the same thing like Twitter, Pinetrest and Instagram.


Fudio

« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2016, 10:40 »
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Like all social media, I think it depends on how much effort you are willing to put into it. It also depends on your expectations. For myself, the big three have definitely increased my exposure and I have picked up new clients both directly and indirectly this way. However my focus is geared toward attracting local contract work.

Instagram is definitely geared toward the mobile device segment. There are a few ways you can emulate a mobile environment on your desktop and use the app from there, but it's a pretty clunky and cumbersome way to do it. I find it much easier just to email myself images and download them to the gallery on my tablet or phone. The instagram app syncs automatically to that.

Phadrea

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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2016, 11:46 »
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I also wonder if people can steal your images from Instagram If I post my best of stock. I never get work other than my submitting to microstock. I did a shoot for a client years ago of an event and it was a nightmare. I don't like being responsible for such things. I wouldn't mind selling prints though.

« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2016, 12:09 »
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You might find this interest if you are worried about people appropriating your images on Instagram.
http://petapixel.com/2015/05/21/richard-prince-selling-other-peoples-instagram-shots-without-permission-for-100k/

Fudio

« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2016, 12:51 »
+1
I watermark everything I post with my website address. 20% layer visibility so it's imperceptible in thumbs and smaller images but too obvious to use on anything larger. For instagram the Web address is important because you can't  use live links in posts. I actually don't think I would mind too much if Mr. Prince used one of my potato shots this way - as long as the watermark was there!

« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2016, 13:24 »
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Personally I think it is mostly good in the institutional brand advertising sense -- getting your name as a photographer in front of people. That said, I do know people who have been contact by advertising agencies based on their Instagram images, both to buy an image and to hire the photographer. As said above, you need to put in the effort if you want to make it successful. I post at least one image per day, usually using Latergram to manage it.

« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2016, 14:20 »
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Im a big believer in instagram as I got one of my first job as a dtg contract printer through the site. I signed up... posted a couple of pics of my designs and put #dtg and a couple of days later received a in inquiry email for my printing services because they found me through instagram. $300 profit later made me a big believer in all types of social media...

DTG stands for Direct To Garment and is printing onto shirts and other material digitally with waterbased inks. Sort of similar to screen printing but a newer technology that allows you to print vibrant photorealistic prints right onto your garments.

If anyone has any need for DTG printing services, pm me if you are in the states

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2016, 17:32 »
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Well I suppose as I am not offering my services as such it's going to be pretty pointless as I Am not looking for jobs. Perhaps it won't help my moscrostock images as buyers will look on the sites themselves rather than Instagram. I have found Twitter dissapointing also. I also sell my music and all I get ae other producers, musicians following me with no intention of interest in my work.

« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2016, 19:58 »
+1
I have been told by a very excited friend that Instagram is the thing to have for promoting your images. Just would like your opinions here as to how useful it is for your microstock or even selling privately etc ? To my first impressions it seems more geared around mobile phone users of which I am not. I have an ipad but find that impractical for taking shots. I just feel swamped with options that seem to all be doing pretty much the same thing like Twitter, Pinetrest and Instagram.

If you believe that all of these social media sites are important to your work, instead of important to making everything you own free for everybody on millions of free links. Excited friend is excited why? Promoting images with free sites and people stealing them? Your friend is a dunce.

« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2016, 03:51 »
+2
I have been told by a very excited friend that Instagram is the thing to have for promoting your images. Just would like your opinions here as to how useful it is for your microstock or even selling privately etc ? To my first impressions it seems more geared around mobile phone users of which I am not. I have an ipad but find that impractical for taking shots. I just feel swamped with options that seem to all be doing pretty much the same thing like Twitter, Pinetrest and Instagram.


I've been having a love-hate affair with Instagram for the last three years or so. I am closing in on 3,000 followers after spending a lot of time and effort into the community building and learning (*blatant self promotion* http://instagram.com/michaeljberlin )

However, you can not add clickable links to your descriptions, the website you mention in your profile is the only exception; and you don't get people to copy and paste a text URL into their browsers. I have tried a couple of times with different methods but I rarely received more than 1 or 2 measurable hits through Instagram. For comparison: When I post a link on my Facebook page (with less than 1,000 followers), I get between 30 and 200 clicks on those links depending on the content. So Instagram definitely isn't good for promoting content you have outside of Instagram.

There is a bunch of people who started using Instagram early on and found a huge following (100k or more users) but typically not on their own but because they were promoted as "users to follow" or in the blog of Instagram themselves. Those people have a number of followers that is big enough to serve as marketing channel, and they occasionally get booked for shoots as part of a social media campaign.

Then there are certainly some people who focus on images that look good in print. I can imagine that if you offer your images for print and have a huge follower base, you can sell a decent amount of prints.

Third way of using Instagram productively in my opinion is to have it as a reference portfolio. I just started a secondary account with only my people images (*blatant self promotion, part 2* http://instagram.com/mjberlin_people ) which I can now easily show to models or have potential models follow me on there. Maybe at a certain point I might be able to also use it to get into new agencies that require sample portfolios. But I have strong doubts that any potential customer is going to find me with that account and hire me to do a shoot. It might happen randomly but the odds are one in a thousand or less.

So, final conclusion: I use Instagram to share images that I like, without consideration if they are usable for stock or not; I use Instagram to get a feeling which of my images get more or less likes, conclusions about "popularity" can be drawn from that which does not necessarily translate to sales in stock, though; thirdly, I use Instagram as a source for inspiration, to get an idea what looks interesting in cities I travel to, and follow the development of image processing style which I can also use for my stock work.

« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2016, 06:36 »
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I use it for portfolio presentation. Not all images are there for stock and for sale. Anyway, when noticed that resolution should be bigger than 600px i added watermarks. There are many apps on the market to do this. Communication - a bit strange, possible that it does not work properly.

Fudio

« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2016, 07:36 »
+1
Well I suppose as I am not offering my services as such it's going to be pretty pointless as I Am not looking for jobs. Perhaps it won't help my moscrostock images as buyers will look on the sites themselves rather than Instagram. I have found Twitter dissapointing also. I also sell my music and all I get ae other producers, musicians following me with no intention of interest in my work.

If your only interest is in selling stock photos then my feeling is don't give up on Twitter just yet. Twitter has a couple of things going for it than can be very useful. I assume you understand how powerful hashtags can be if used intelligently? That along with a live link directly to the download page for the image (not your portfolio or homepage). Also, are you trying to promote both your photography and music from a single account? If so, I think you might be muddling your message.

The one thing to keep in mind though is what kind of commitment social media really requires to be succesful. Many of the small businesses I work with make the same mistake. They don't immediately understand that to do it effectively they really need to hire a full timer. It's not about "post it and they will come". It's about constantly monitoring and updating content, responding and engaging directly with followers, searching for synergistic alliances and creative new ways to get your message across. It requires a lot of time and a lot of work.

« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2016, 17:51 »
0
Well I suppose as I am not offering my services as such it's going to be pretty pointless as I Am not looking for jobs. Perhaps it won't help my moscrostock images as buyers will look on the sites themselves rather than Instagram. I have found Twitter dissapointing also. I also sell my music and all I get ae other producers, musicians following me with no intention of interest in my work.

If your only interest is in selling stock photos then my feeling is don't give up on Twitter just yet. Twitter has a couple of things going for it than can be very useful. I assume you understand how powerful hashtags can be if used intelligently? That along with a live link directly to the download page for the image (not your portfolio or homepage). Also, are you trying to promote both your photography and music from a single account? If so, I think you might be muddling your message.

The one thing to keep in mind though is what kind of commitment social media really requires to be succesful. Many of the small businesses I work with make the same mistake. They don't immediately understand that to do it effectively they really need to hire a full timer. It's not about "post it and they will come". It's about constantly monitoring and updating content, responding and engaging directly with followers, searching for synergistic alliances and creative new ways to get your message across. It requires a lot of time and a lot of work.

Got any full timers to recommend? :)  I am promoting my fine art work on my twitter account (@elenathewise) and yes it a lot of time and a lot of work. I wish I could have a competent person do this for me. The potential is certainly there.

I had only brief experience with Instagram. The fact that you can't post from your desktop is a huge annoyance to me. I can't understand why they never put together a simple web interface.


 

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