I love how Instagram has transformed the photography world. It’s humbling when I consider how much of my own adventure photography career is a result of the insanely passionate community formed behind a free app store download. I cannot describe my gratitude towards my ability to not only show off my favourite photos but to also interact with the people who appreciate them on a daily basis. It’s surreal.
Thanks to Instagram, I have formed friendships with people from around the globe. Although I have yet to meet many of them, I interact with them almost every day. The connections are distant, but their impacts real.
For the past few months, I’ve been busy with work projects and this thing the internet trends calls adulting. The downside to all that is that I’ve ignored my own Instagram feed. While I’ve posted daily and responded to comments during campaigns, I’ve been largely absent when I find myself with days off between projects. The result is that I haven’t managed to responded to 100% of my comments, something I usually strive to do.
Now that I am slowly getting back to my usual habits, I wanted to take a few minutes to list out the most common Instagram questions and answers.
The Most Common Instagram Questions and Answers
About my photography equipment:
What Gear do you use?
I use a wee bit too much gear, as I’m actually a big gear-obsessed in all avenues of life. For photography, my primary camera kit weights more than I’ll ever admit to an airline check in clerk. Its general contents include:
- Nikon D750 (primary) and D800 (backup) cameras
- Nikon 16-35mm, 24-70mm, and70-200 zoom lenses
- Nikon 20mm prime lens
- Lee filter kit with Big Stopper, Little Stopper, and GND filters.
- Wireless remote, shotgun mic, lens cloths and spare batteries
Outside of this main kit, I also own a few other photography toys. I have a Sony NEX-3 camera that I often carry on my bicycle; however, lately I’ve found myself reaching for a GoPro hero4 black edition instead. In April, I purchased a DJI Phantom 4 drone and I’ve been loving the early results from this exciting new perspective.
What settings did you use?
I can generalize this convoluted question quite easily. I used the settings required to make the image.
Shutter speed, aperture and ISO control each image exposure. Whenever I make an image, I consider the scene, light, and desired outcome of the shot. I then choose appropriate camera settings to make that happen, compromising wherever if needed. It is complicated and I do use certain cameras settings as a baseline in specific situations. Stay tuned to the blog, as I’ll be writing BTS Photo Recipe posts in the next few weeks that’ll help you get started in common landscapes.
Should I buy a new camera?
The only two reasons I would advocate for purchasing new equipment are if you’re equipment is holding you back or if a new camera will truly entice you to shoot more often. In most cases, I would recommend investing the same money in your photography. Plann a photo-specific vacation, spend more time in the field with your camera, or book a photography workshop.
Consider booking our 12-day Photography Workshop in Cuba this December and come learn in the field!
About paid campaigns I feature on Instagram:
What is the difference between an influencer and a brand ambassador?
I’m not a big fan of the term social media influencer, but I suppose it refers to anyone with a large online audience. In practice, we use it most frequently to describe somebody willing to promote brands, destinations, or products to their audience across their social media channels.
A brand ambassador truly represents a brand and its identity. It’s the result of a relationship-driven partnership between an individual and a brand. While it can include financial gain and advertising opportunities, it is largely built on mutual respect between the ambassador and brand. If I fill a brand ambassador role, you can be sure that I not only use the product but that I truly believe in it.
About Instagram itself:
How do I gain more followers?
While social media has turned the entire photography world on its head, the golden rule has never changed: Content is king. If you want to gain a following based on your photography, hone your craft. Focus on what you love, build a solid skill set, and pour your passions into it. You will start to produce work that stands out.
Did you buy your followers?
No, and it’s a trend that I do not understand. I value my engagement and on many occasions I am able to monetize it. It’d not only complete erode my business and personal ethics, but it would also be fraudulent.
It can often seem like an uphill battle; however, there are no shortcuts to generating an audience or creating a career. It takes a combination of content, time, and good fortune.
Who should I follow?
To end this on a positive note, I wanted to suggest a few people who’ll brighten your feed on a daily basis. There are so many wonderful accounts, but here are a dozen accounts that stand out in my instagram feed: