Instagram tips from a professional. | The Photography Show.

With Instagram supposedly going all 'algorithm' on us at some point, I figured that we're all looking for ways to improve our accounts, and so I thought this could be the perfect time to get this post up. I found what I'm about to write super interesting, so hopefully this may be helpful to you guys too, even if our timelines are gonna be changing up a bit!

When one of your best friends lives a 3 hour drive away, if they invite you to an event where you get to spend the whole day catching up on life, you're never really gonna decline, right? Exactly. So, when Em invited me along to The Photography Show that was happening in Birmingham last weekend, I think I agreed before I knew anything about it 'cause 'omg I get to see you' was pretty much the first thing that popped into my head. Oh, and there was gonna be like, pretty camera's and stuff.

The first thing I learned? How bloomin' amazing is Grand Central?! I stepped off the train at Birmingham New Street and my face was pretty much like all of the heart eyed emoji's in every direction. You could literally have a day out at the train station and I think I've found my new happy place. Just look at it. So instragrammable. ;)

ANYWHO. Back to the photography stuff, Soph. 

We eventually arrived at the NEC and Em quickly spotted the 'mobile and social stage', which was were numerous professionals were giving talks on Instagram & social media... we'd found our spot.

As we arrived, Oliver Lang was discussing 'Is your mobile phone better for you than your dedicated camera?' Obviously, as bloggers, we both take a lot of photo's on our mobiles, whether that be for Instagram or our blogs, and we were a little gutted we'd only found this half way through! But, Oliver's content was great, and here's a little summary as to what he had to say;

- Instagram is all about capturing moments with your 'everyday photography eye', and users engage with photo's that contain details that can scale. They need to be eye catching when people are scrolling. So, a really detailed shot, that is busy with loads going on, isn't necessarily the most eye catching post.

- So, what is? Silhouettes, sunsets, and selfies are the best to post for the best engagement, according to Oliver. And, dya know what? I totally agree, I have found that these photo's often have much better engagement. (As long as we forget the fact that I always lose followers following a selfie, but still...)

Oliver then went on to discuss how to further improve your Instagram account and your own engagement in order to grow your following.

- Using the right apps, both in taking and editing photo's is super important. | Oliver recommended using procamera8. I've yet to try this one out, but I've heard a lot of good things about this app, so I think it's about time I invested in it!

- You have to take and share bad photo's, before you can go on to take good photo's. | Which kinda makes sense when you think about it! I cringe when I look back down my feed sometimes, but you have to make mistakes to learn from them, right?

- Then, share the good photo's. And then the even better ones. Keep your eye on the likes each post receives, and use this number as feedback. | I think this is something that I do subconsciously. Sometimes, I'll post something that gets no where near the engagement a different shot had, so I'll know that maybe this wasn't what you guys wanted to see. But, I also know that flatlay's tend to do pretty well, for example, so this is something I'll also keep in mind!

- Something else that I completely agreed with, was to make sure you get to know your audience.  | Over the last year or so, I've learned when my Instagram following is the most active, and subsequently, when I get the most interaction on my posts. Sure, I'll sometimes post something real time 'cause I can't wait to share this with you, but mostly, I have 3 set times during the day when I know my posts will do the best! Take some time to analyse your audience, and use this to curate your content and tailor your posting times going forward. Trust me, it works!

One of the most interesting things I found from Oliver's presentation was the following,

'Unfollow your friends, follow photography.'

- Curate who you follow, basically. | Now, I don't think the message here is to cause WWIII between your friends cause you've unfollowed them on Instagram. But, make sure that the people you follow are inspirational, and post shots that are going to engage you, yourself, and that make you think about improving your own posts.

I found the whole thing so, so interesting, and it was awesome to hear things from Oliver that I've been thinking previously, actually be confirmed by someone who most definitely knows what they're talking about!

Hopefully, this might have been a little helpful, and I've got another post coming up from a second speaker, 'How to grow your brand using social media.', in a few days, so keep your eyes out for that one! ;)



  1. Ooh very interesting tips! Not sure I agree with everything said here but it's nice to have a different point of view on things :)


  2. Great post with some great tips. I usually don't think about the time of day I am posting but really probably should. Your instagram is always on point :) xo

    Emily |

  3. I agree with these Soph, especially with posting at certain times to get higher engagement i.e Not when everyone is asleep lol.

    Your Insta snaps are always so gorgeous :)

    Hanh | hanhabelle

  4. Ah, interesting tips. I've noticed particular photos getting a lot more attention, and I do think about that when posting. Posting at set times is a good idea. I think I do sort of do this, but more subconsciously really - I post when I'm having a good browse which happen to be at times when a lot of others are haha! I need to look a little more into this though.

  5. I love this, so much food for thought! I have never thought of going to a photography show but this sounds right up my street!

    Laura | Loved By Laura

  6. This sounds so helpful, and so many fab tips too.

    Sophie x

  7. I spent the whole day In Grand Central with my Mum last weekend.
    We got our nails done, ate cake and shopped. I LOVED IT.
    Anyway, that's not what the post was about...

    Good tips there Oliver! I'm definitely trying to up my Instagram game so I will bear these little tips in mind.


  8. This was such an interesting read, Soph, thanks so much for sharing what you learnt! It definitely couldn't be more relevant right now! x

    Martha Jane |

  9. 'Unfollow your friends, follow photography.'

    Interesting that, I've heard that tip before and would apply it myself especially as my Instagram is an extension of my blog. But I know how some people take social media WAY to seriously and for them, you not liking someone's picture the moment it goes live = OMG Y U HATE ME :((((

    I'm so glad Instagram lets us switch between accounts (well, up till the latest update that did away with log out button - WHY) because I can now have a personal account for following friends while using my 'work' account just to follow artists who inspire me! x

    Jasiminne: Posh, Broke, & Bored

  10. Love this post. Great tips and very helpful!

    Mel |