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janelle joy is a team of private 1-on-1 photo editors to wedding photographers all over the world.

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How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Photography Business

About a year ago we experienced a major shift in the social media app that we all know and love, Instagram. The owner of the app announced that Instagram was no longer a photography app, but a video/entertainment app. Which put a lot of photographers who relied on Instagram for marketing their services in a tizzy. This is why I did some research and found out how to use Instagram to promote your photography business.

Optimize Your Bio

If you’re using Instagram in your business it’s really important to make sure that your bio is clear and attractive to your ideal client. It’s in the bio where you convert viewers into followers, and further, paying clients. Here are a few tips on how to optimize your bio to promote your photography business on Instagram.


Take a moment and try to think in the way your ideal client would. What are they searching for on Instagram? These are what you would call “keywords” and you want your bio to be full of them. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer in Scottsdale, AZ, you should have keywords like desert, Arizona, wedding, Scottsdale, photographer, bride, and engagement in your bio.

Profile Picture

DO NOT have a picture of your logo as your profile picture. When your client is scrolling through IG they are already overly sensitized and they are going to scroll right past pictures with text. If you want to catch their eye, and even further, build trust, you need to have a striking headshot photo as your profile picture. Preferably with color, and you looking at the camera and smiling.

Link in Your Profile

If Instagram gives you a tool, USE IT. In your profile, you can have a link, make sure that you either have this link sending people to your direct website, or have a Linktree set up that will take them to multiple different locations. *Linktree is a free platform that allows you to use one link to promote serval different links. If you’re using Linktree I recommend you have your website option first, then a link to a free offer or lead generator, a link to a feature of your work or blog post, and a link to your booking page.

Extra Tip: I personally use my Showit website and created my own Instagram “linktree” page. This way I also get SEO from it. This is just another way to direct your followers off social media and onto your online platforms.

A little bit of intentionality goes a long way. By implementing these tips I can guarantee you’ll see a jump in followers and inquiries.

Posts That Convert

Now that you have your profile set up, now it’s time to get strategic about the content that you’re posting. Where a lot of photographers shy away is when they feel like they have to be a content mill to keep up on Instagram. That’s really not the case, in fact, fewer strategic posts are going to do a lot more for you than posting generalized content every single day. To help you out with this I have 3 types of posts that convert.


I don’t just mean Instagram stories the feature (while those are highly beneficial as well) for the sake of this tip I mean telling stories that engage your audience and make them feel connected to you. These can be personal stories that give them a glimpse into your world or you can tell the stories of your clients. When posting an engagement session, describe what it was like to be there and the backstory of the couple. These kinds of posts captivate people and make them want to learn more.


As a photographer, you should be sharing testimonials consistently. Allowing other people to brag about you increases your credibility and it makes potential clients feel as though they are missing out. It’s that psychology where when you’re single nobody hits you up for a date, but the second someone is interested suddenly your phone is blowing up. It works the same way in business. By sharing that you already have clients, it makes other people want in on the action.

Extra Tip: A really fun way to do this is to take a photo of the client and create a graphic in Canva with their testimonial over the top of it.

Behind the Scenes/Sneak Peeks

It’s all fine and dandy to post your photos and share about your clients on your page, but what turns a follower into a fan is when they feel like they really know you. You can create this kind of relationship by giving them snippets of your day-to-day life. If you’re on-site at a wedding, share some details of the flowers and table settings on your IG story. Get your face on camera and share what your favorite Starbucks drink is, and what you always carry in your camera bag. Take a boomerang of your editing and give a sneak peek of the photos you just took.

These elements create intrigue and encourage people to follow along.

As a photographer, you really don’t need to post every single day. Just make sure that when you do post, it’s with purpose — that’s how you use Instagram to promote your photography business.

How to use Reels as a Photographer

I know, I know, it’s every photographer’s least favorite topic, IG reels. Even if you don’t like it, you really should be implementing reels into your Instagram marketing strategy. Instagram is currently favoring these types of content and you’re going to get a lot more exposure to your account if you use them. I’m not asking you to dance around or get completely out of your element here either. Here I have a few ways you can use IG reels as a photographer.

Speak to Your Ideal Client

As of June 2022, Instagram is HEAVILY favoring original content, so take advantage! The little chats that you would normally post on IG stories, put them together and post them as a reel. This can look like you sharing an answer to a FAQ, or advising your clients on how to prepare for a shoot. It doesn’t need to be super glamourous, just find some good lighting and talk to your ideal client directly.

Share Photos

There are a ton of trends where photographers are creating slide shows of their photos, adding some music, and sharing them as a reel. This is a fun way to give people a glimpse of your work and intrigue them to go to your page and view the actual photo on your feed. You can also do a video of your client during the shoot and then share how the photo turned out. There are creative ways to implement photography into a video-oriented space.

Educate your Audience

If you want to do the voice-over trends on IG reels (which are super fun by the way), you can use these as an opportunity to educate your audience. I encourage you to find creative ways to link these trends back to your industry. Bonus points if you use the same keywords that you implemented into your bio.

IG reels don’t have to be scary, and I promise, the more you use them the easier it will become.

There you have it, these are all my tips on how to use Instagram to promote your photography business. If this post was helpful to you, please comment and share your takeaways on Instagram tagging me at @janellejoy_photo_editor !

Now, if you’re a photographer looking for specialized help on how to enhance your photography and editing skills within your business, I invite you to check out my 1:1 mentoring services

Janelle Joy 1:1 Mentoring Services

This is an opportunity to speak directly with me, one-on-one and I can walk you through any specific pain points you’re currently experiencing.

This can look like establishing a more productive workflow so you can take on more clients without spending all your time editing. Or I can help you define an editing style that you love and helps you stand out from the rest. If you have a question about editing or Lightroom, this is where you go to get expert-level help and advice.

If 1:1 mentoring feels like the right fit for you, click this link to contact me! *Note that availability is extremely limited.

How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Photography Business


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