Long gone are the days when websites were used as the final decision-making factor of booking a photographer. These days, customers look at IG feeds as an artist’s portfolio of work and if your engagement and numbers are low, chances are they are bouncing to the next photographer faster than you think.

To give us insight on some of the best Instagram practices for photographers, we asked four different artists for helpful tips due to their success on the app:

Below, you’ll find commonly asked questions regarding low likes & engagement and how to best circumvent these situations with helpful action steps.

“I Am Using Hashtags, Why Are My Likes So Low?”

Hashtags are still somewhat of a mystery to a large portion of the Instagram user base. Most don’t know where to start or where to look for the best-curated hashtags for their niche. Unfortunately, they aren’t as powerful as a search tool as they once used to be, but they’re still a necessary attribute to each post. Using the best hashtags pertaining to your content is what will help garner the views of traffic from the Explore tab and Search bar.

“Typically users aren’t hashtagging and tagging correctly, or they’re not actively searching for their ideal client and interacting with them.” – Vanessa Joy


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Action Step: Find a list of hashtags that work best for your type of work and copy and paste them into a note. Remember to post your hashtags as your first comment once your post has published so as to not clutter the caption area. Tools like Focalmark are also beneficial in discovering a set of hashtags for different topics and categories.

[REWIND: How I Make $200K A Year From Instagram]

“I Have Great Photos, Why Is My Engagement So Low?”

Chances are your engagement is low because you aren’t engaged with your followers. An easy way to do this is to reply to each comment with genuine interest and gratitude.

“Photographers are posting great work, but not engaging with other accounts, so people don’t have a reason to click on their profile.” – Jason Vinson 


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Action Step: Hop onto the Explore tab once a week and comment on and like a couple of images. Look for future clientele and strike up a genuine conversation in their direct messages or comment section. This will help get more eyes on your account and bolster a legitimate relationship between them and your brand. You can find great Instagram tips for photographers in this article as well.

“How Do I Know Which Content Does Well?”

Instagram launched Insights, their analytics tool, solely for business owners to get obsessed with checking their numbers and stats.

“I’d recommend learning where most of your audience is coming from and then sharing content at a time that suits that location. I.E: in the evenings, or around 5 pm when everyone is leaving work and going through their socials.” – Bella Kotak

Figuring out which images will perform the best is a tricky subject that we wanted to segregate into its own article, so stay tuned for that next week!


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Action Step: Ensure that your IG account is a Business Account. Hop onto the Insights tab and start an Excel sheet tracking various metrics that matter to you. Start getting obsessed with one or two in particular and find new ways to increase those numbers. Also, set goals for yourself so you can have expectations and something to work towards.

[REWIND: 6 Photography Marketing Mistakes To Avoid]

“How Can I Better Relate To My Audience?”

If you are struggling with finding content that hits hard with your followers, here’s some inspiring advice:

“I don’t think I’m a great Instagrammer. I don’t take it seriously, I just use it to share what I feel like needs to be shared at the time. I’d say that’s potentially one of the reasons it goes well though, because I don’t take it too seriously and people feel comfortable being there and knowing they’re not going to be sold to every 5 minutes. ” – James Day

Truly understanding your clientele and knowing what their needs/questions are is what’s going to make the biggest difference in how you operate your Instagram and relate to your audience.


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Action Step: Determine who your ideal client is and cater your content and captions around that. Figure out what questions they might be asking or what images they would like to see that would make them inquire about your services – get into the mind of the consumer.

[REWIND: Increase Instagram Followers With These 10 Tips For Photographers]

“I Post Once A Month. Isn’t That Enough?”

Images by Bella Kotak.

Chances are your followers are feeling that your lack of posting means you aren’t busy. This is ironic considering what’s stopping you from posting in the first place is your busy schedule.

“Share often, share good stuff, share some personal stuff, and share consistently. Not only do you rouse your audience’s curiosity but the algorithms of social media work in your favor too.” – Bella Kotak

Action Step: Use scheduling apps like Grum to handle this task for you and to maintain a consistent posting schedule. The average photographer posts 1-5 images per week, so find a process that works and stick to it.

Quick Recap – Instagram Tips for Photographers:

  • Find a list of hashtags that work and are curated specifically for your niche of photography.
  • Look for future clientele and strike up a genuine conversation in their direct messages or comment section.
  • Review Insights regularly to get a better gauge on analytics. 
  • Cater your content and captions around your ideal client.
  • Consistently post content. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article, which will help you determine which images will perform the best on your Instagram.

What other questions do you have about increasing engagement on Instagram?