Love Instagram and have a passion for photography? Many discount this talent into a side project where they can express their creativity — but it is possible to harness your photography passion and transform it into a successful business.
Turning your passion into a business is something every professional dreams about, but few have the confidence and know-how to make it happen. In this article, we explore four ways to turn your love of Instagram photography into an actual business.
1. Build a portfolio of work on your Instagram page
Have your heart set on a certain style of photography? From nature and fashion to editorial images, there are plenty of options for a budding photographer to explore — but to turn your passion into a working business, you must first create a portfolio of work you can show the world.
Every hobbyist, freelancer, and photography business should build a portfolio to demonstrate talent and specialisations. After all, photography is a competitive industry that requires an impressive body of work to land new clients over someone else.
By not building a portfolio you risk losing opportunities because there is no public evidence to back up your talent or use as a reference. Thankfully, Instagram is the perfect platform to showcase your work and place it in the public eye. Its gallery-like structure and large user base allow you to easily showcase a body of work interested parties can access freely.
2. Elevate your photography with the right equipment
While talented workmen should never blame their tools, high quality equipment can make all the difference in photography. Even if you’re resourceful and creative with your tools and shots, having the right equipment is something you need to consider if you want to take your passion from hobby to serious business.
Investing in good equipment can help you capture images to (and beyond) the typical industry standard, show off your talent for photography and make life much easier.
Here are some examples of what to look for when upgrading your equipment:
- DSLR cameras: like the Nikon D780 or Canon EOS 90D
- Lighting accessories: like softboxes, black flags, and reflectors to get better results
- Editing monitors: like the Dell Ultrasharp for colour accuracy when editing
Spend time researching your options — and if in doubt, ask other photographers. From choosing a quality camera and getting better lighting to improving your editing process, small tweaks get results and improve business.
3. Leverage Instagram to drive interest in your business
Social media marketing is one of the core pillars of digital marketing, capable of helping your newfound business venture convert sales and reach passionate, engaged communities.
Being an Instagram aficionado puts you in good stead to find success on the platform when using it to market your photography business. The platform has a huge active user base, a strong framework for creating content, and stands out by emphasising eye-catching imagery.
Here are some ways you can leverage Instagram to drive interest in your photography:
- Encourage engagement: be active in the comments and talk with your audience
- Post what your audience likes: use site analytics to see what interests people
- Become a thought leader: become a subject matter expert in your niche
- Sell on the platform: convert print sales on the platform using its checkouts feature
Your Instagram account is primed and ready to transform your passion for photography into a business, but it won’t be a quick transition. Getting noticed on Instagram takes time and a focus on consistent, quality content — commit to this and you’ll be on the path to success.
4. Stay focused and committed by setting SMART goals
We’re all guilty of daydreaming. Talking about transforming your photography passion into a flourishing business is one thing; establishing actionable steps to make this dream happen is another.
Turning your hobby into work is easier said than done. Suddenly you’re reliant on making money doing something you used to do only for fun, and losing the stability of a full-time job is enough to put the best of us off.
Moreover, you’re responsible for setting personal objectives and staying committed to achieving them, which is why we wholeheartedly advise setting SMART goals for yourself — a time-management strategy that keeps you on track to reach your professional objectives:
- Smart: focus on the outcome
- Measurable: set a tangible target and record progress
- Achievable: don’t overreach, otherwise you risk burning out or losing interest
- Relevant: tailor your goals to your work and client needs
- Time-bound: establish a deadline to spur you on
Aspiring professional photographer or otherwise, SMART goals are a framework for learning to be your own boss. They help keep you on target, grow your operation, show your achievements, and reveal areas for improvement. But remember to approach these goals at your own pace — you don’t want to lose passion for the thing you love.
Turning your Instagram photography passion into an actual business is no simple task, but that’s not to say it’s impossible. From building a portfolio, investing in quality equipment and setting SMART goals, to leveraging the Gram to market your projects — this is how to make a living doing the thing you love most.