Biggest Mistake Photographers Make on Instagram

Instagram tips for photographers

Just like every other social media platform, Instagram is constantly changing. What worked for photographers who built their business years ago, won't work now. But there's this one main mistake I see being made over and over again by photographers on Instagram, so let's talk about it!

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First though, have you signed up to my free training to learn how to ace your next photography marketing campaign and book yourself out? Grab a spot before it's gone! 

I'm on Instagram every day and I follow a lot of photographers. My feed is filled with beautiful imagery - breathtaking photographs across all genres. 

Some stop me in my tracks and I feel compelled to give them a 'like' and maybe even comment. When I do drop into the comments, do you know who else is in there? 

Tons of other photographers!

Whether it's intentional or not, Instagram is filled with beautiful images from photographers who seem to be posting for other photographers 

Do those likes and comments from fellow photographers equate to money in your pocket? 

Maybe you train other photographers or you're aiming for influencer status? If so, great. Keep at it.

If not, it's time to switch up your Instagram strategy!

Yes, it feels nice to be recognised by your peers. Watching those likes rack up gives you a dopamine hit and it feels good. You're human.

But do you know what feels even better than heaps of ‘likes’? 

An Instagram post that results in just ONE ideal client in your DMs. Someone who's been waiting in the sidelines for a while until your latest post just tipped them over the edge.

But how's that ideal client going to see your posts when Instagram is serving your content up to the people it assumes it's created for (the people who consistently like and comment on it)?

Other photographers. 

You can have 10,000 followers on Instagram with each post gaining hundreds and hundreds of likes but it doesn't mean you'll make a single penny from it. 

Do you need Instagram to work for you?

If so, force yourself to stop caring about those likes from other photographers and post for your ideal client. Make them feel connected to you and heard by you. 

Of course you should share your beautiful images on Instagram. Your ideal clients need to see your work. 

Just don't forget that there are plenty of other photographers also sharing their beautiful work. What can you post alongside your work that helps them to realise that the only photographer they want to book . . is you?

Your photography isn't enough to make you the only choice for someone

They have questions about the experience that need to be answered. 

They have concerns and anxieties about working with a photographer that need to be addressed.

They want things you can give to them and they need to know how.

They need to feel a strong connection to you - that you're going to be someone they'll enjoy spending time with.

Yes, I know you have all of this on your website. They can go there to get that, right? 


Instagram in 2023 is all about keeping people on, you guessed it . . . Instagram!

IG want businesses to deliver the value right there on the platform and they're rewarding the accounts that do. 

So use Instagram posts to give your potential ideal client what they need in order for you to become their only choice. 

Answer those questions, squash those anxieties, show them how you can help, let them see who you truly are, post about stuff they're genuinely interested in and let them know how to work with you. 

And I'm not talking about one post per topic - you need multiple posts on the same topic! Carousels, reels, stories, text graphics, an image with a great caption...

There are so many different ways you can use the same content in different posts and you must repurpose if you want to maximise the chances of your ideal client seeing just one of them. 

Repurposing also makes your social media efforts a whole lot easier so it's win win! (Check out this post for help on what to post to IG.)

If you're used to lots of likes and comments from other photographers on your Instagram posts, you're going to see a lot less of them when you switch up your content strategy. 

However, after time, what you will see is more of your posts being 'saved' (the most important metric on Instagram) and more ideal clients getting in touch via the platform. 

If you're a photographer who gets huge engagement from other photographers but you don't get any ideal clients there, I'd even go as far as saying you should have a mass cull of photographers from your followers. 

Make room for your ideal clients on Instagram and start creating for them.

AND... creating meaningful content for your ideal clients is a big part of the free training I'm giving at the moment. Don't forget to grab yourself a spot so you can learn how to smash a photography marketing campaign with intention and integrity. 


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