Does Instagram Help Artists and Photographers

Instagram Pros and Cons For Artists And Photographers


The simple answer is YES and NO

Let’s get right to the point, because I’m sure you, like myself, you hate reading those long winded introductions just to make more content – Its so fucking annoying, isn’t it? 

*Updates For 2019*

Well the inevitable seems to be reality now – Instagram is the Red Headed Step Child of FACEBOOK 

Just like Facebook, now in order to make the algorithm work well, you need to spend your whole day – 7 days a week on the app. They want you to make a post with lots of content, then make a story out of it, and finish up with a video. They want to know everything about you. 

For new or established photographers this is not a good thing, because we would rather spend our time learning more about photography than living in a social media fantasy world.

The Pros;

  • You will get a great platform and template to hold your images
  • You can send potential clients to your feed, which in turn will have a link to your website.
  • This one is pretty cool – You know all those stuffy art galleries that say they don’t want submissions, or will throw yours out if you send one? Well, tag them in your post and they will see your work without having to go threw all that crap. Plus, if they are accepting submissions, they usually want you to go through hell with all the directions they ask of you. Now you can do it with just a click from Instagram.
  • Someone may see your work and ask for more info, or click on your website. Yes its a long shot but could happen.
  • Its free!! Hello – As long as you don’t become addicted with your time. Prob too late for a lot.
  • You may find some other great artists and photographers that you never heard of before. Believe me, they’re plenty of talented ones to find.
  • Your website link is on your bio
  • PODS – If run the right way, can be very effective.

Those are some pretty cool options and ways to use Instagram to your advantage. I’m sure their are many more, so you guys can chime in at the comments section if you like. I will add good ones to these.

The Cons;

  • follow for follow – This is why most people use Instagram, sad to say. Instagram lets you follow 7,500 people max, so that is what a lot do in order to get followers in return. Some will say that if you understand your target market, you will get good followers. They are full of shit!! No matter who you follow, you never really know if they are your target market. Yep, even if their profile is everything you’re looking for. Its a huge crap shoot and a time waster (YOUR TIME). 
  • Your Followers – Well, let’s just say that is what they are. They aren’t buyers, at least most wont be. They are others that will follow for follow, and if you don’t follow them back, a lot of them will unfollow you. Most will never look at your account feed, because its only a follow for follow to them. I have a few Instagram accounts just for research. This one chitown_storyteller, is and kind of was my main account. If you like street or urban photography, have a look. Most new followers in 2019 have an unfollow app, and will unfollow you if you don’t follow back. Even newbies to Instagram play this game, it’s mostly just about followers and not the content anymore
  • Reaching 10,000 followers and more – Think of it this way – Your following is like the exterior of your home or car, the nicer it looks, others get interested. When your following is big, people from different places may ask you to collaborate with them, or even give you some free stuff. Its all a facade that a good marketer will do well at. 10,000 followers isn’t even a lot anymore.
  • Too many unskilled photographers with huge followings – I don’t have to go into this as Im sure many of you know this.
  • Hashtag Hogs – I have talked with others who say they could care less about who follows them and yet they always use 60 hashtags. 30 in their description and 30 in their first comment. That just seems overboard – Such a waste of time. 
  • PODs – These are usually found in Facebook groups, to use with Instagram. They are the perfect thing to get you noticed, but mostly you wont find a good one to be part of. You can look Instagram PODs up on Google if interested, and I suggest it. If you get into a good one, it will change everything for the better.
  • (Large following – Small Followers) If you get followed by a huge account, check its stats before you follow back. If they have like 20,000 followers and up, with under a couple thousand they are following, don’t follow them. They most likely got them from an automated program to unfollow you within 3 days. But like I said before, its part of your facade. Most people that see a large account like this will click their profile out, which is a good thing. I don’t have anything against people that do this because if you want people to look at your profile, its almost imperative you have a large following. Its just part of the game. The only problem I see, is again bad photographers and so called artists with huge followings are a dime a dozen, crap. 

These are just some of the Pros and Cons you will experience with Instagram. Feel free to weigh in and give me your top pro or con to add here.

Here is my main Instagram account chitown_storyteller Feel free to have a look and say hi.

A black and white street photography image of a man sitting on a chair with snow all around.
Kevin OConnell Photography






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