Recap: Turning Your Instagram Into Insta-success
Last week, freelance photographer and colour-obsessive Jessica Siggers stopped by Rife HQ to talk about her journey from newbie androidographer, to being one of Bristol’s best Instagrammers.
Jess has lived in Bristol her whole life. When she gave up office life to care for her child, she found herself walking a lot and began to appreciate elements such as bold and bright paint on vintage cars.
Armed with just her smartphone and an eye for detail, not necessarily a keen photographer, Jess began to capture the hidden spots of Bristol and show her the city in a new light.
Don’t worry if you missed the masterclass — Jess gave us top tips on how to get your photos out there, gain followers and join a tight knit community of fellow Insta-lovers in Bristol. You can still contribute to conversation by hashtagging your colourful images with #RifeRainbow. We’ve currently got 160 posts (and counting) from all over the world, so get Instagramming.
Jess walked us through some dos and don’ts:
let the instagram world know what you’re about
Once you have an idea about the kind of photos you’d like to post, or a style that’s true to you, make sure you write them down in your bio.
Don’t pick more than three things to include in your bio. If you’re interested in colour, the seaside and vintage cars, let prospective followers have an insight into what you’re going to be posting.
#Theres #No #Point #In #Hashtagging #Irrelevant #Words to get your work seen. You won’t gain more followers and you will look like a spam account.
Think logically. Will you be mainly posting in #Bristol? When Jess was feeling poorly, a friend of hers created a hashtag #ColoursforJess to cheer her up. Lots of the Instagram community joined in. Also remember, it only takes one big account with lots of followers to ‘like’ one of your photos for you to gain exposure.
Be Consistent And Constant
Consistency is key if you want to build up your followers. Keep to a style you’re comfortable with and you genuinely like.
So if colour is your thing, make sure your photos are colourful, bright and eye-catching.
You should be posting a certain amount of images to engage with your followers. This doesn’t mean posting the same photos every hour on the hour (you’ll probably lose followers that way).
Jess finds structuring and streamlining her content works. If you’d like to post once in the morning and once in the evening daily, then go for it. Use any strategy to keep your followers happy.
VENTURE OUTSIDE OF INSTAGRAM FOR PHOTO EDITING
Jess isn’t too much of an Instagram filter fan, and uses VSCOcam to give her photos an authentic, crisp finish. She stays away from wacky editing techniques, and keeps it simple by manipulating the exposure, contrast, saturation and sharpness. Slightly tweaking photos will make a huge difference between a good Instagram post, and a not so good one.
know your rights
If your amazing photos pay off and your account gets such a large following, you may fall victim to a plagiarising account (congrats). There are some eager beavers working under the guise of a follower. Unfortunately, they’re just out to steal your work. Luckily Instagram has rules that look after its users. Make sure you do your homework.
If you post a photo of someone else’s property eg a car, their home, or even a candid shot of them, be prepared for backlash. It’s really easy for someone to spot himself or herself or someone they know in an Instagram post. Respecting this is vital.
Say Yes To Things But Remain True To Your Brand
Jess reminded us to decline opportunities we think conflict with our personal brand and what we stand for. We should always make sure that if we’re taking promotional photos for another brand, it’s not just something gimmicky to gain followers. Your own followers won’t appreciate blatant advertising.
Join a community, both online and in irl
There are some nice people in Bristol. Make sure you go to as many meetups, hangouts and social events where you get to spend time with likeminded people. You can skill swap and share the best secret spots to take photos. Jess runs IGers Bristol. If you follow their Instagram page, and tag your photos with #igersbristol, you work can get featured on their account.
We hope Jess’s top tips will get your photos more exposure, so keep your eyes open and get snapping.
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Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.
We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.
In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important.
Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.