I had an idea for this post several years ago, but kept putting it off as I constantly thought that users, especially new users, will soon catch on and this post would be redundant. Well, as I keep seeing the same major mistake over and over again, thought it best to write a helpful, short post.
Firstly, if you’re on Instagram purely to look at photographs and won’t be posting anything, or have no interest in building up a network with followers, friends, possible clients or colleagues, this post won’t apply. If you do want to build up a following and network, then please read on.
The major mistake many new users to Instagram make is not setting up their page properly first. Some rough text, a nickname, no real picture of themselves, no photos of their work and then they’ll set out to start following a load of people.
This first step, is a great opportunity to have some of these people follow you back, so before you follow a single person, please follow the list below.
1) Use your real name, in full.
2) Use a real photograph of yourself.
3) Use the biography area wisely, so it’s clear who you are and what you do.
4) Post around 6 photographs, before following anyone.
5) Put a link to your website, Flickr, blog or Twitter. This gives people the opportunity to get to know you a little better and will attract followers or clients, depending on your objectives.
6) Don’t set up as a private account, thinking later you’ll switch to open. As you follow people, they won’t follow you back if your account is private (unless you’re closely acquainted).
These simple steps will ensure that when you pop up as a new follower, it’s clear that your account is real and who you are. I’ve had people I personally know follow me and then comment on not getting a follow back. Well, with an online nickname, no real photograph of themselves, none of their work posted, it’s impossible to know who you are! These people, never get a follow back from me.
With each picture, write out a simple, accurate caption, explaining what’s happening in the shot and where it it. A few proper hashtags (#) and tags (@), will bring up your post when users are searching for these and the tags will allow brands whom you want to see your work, have a higher probability of seeing it. You should be wary of spelling anyway, but especially with tags and hashtags, otherwise you post will not show up when searched for.
As a safety measure, I always put a watermark on my work before publishing. I personally use either Lightroom Classic from my Mac, or Snapseed on my iPhone for this. This cuts down on honest misunderstandings if someone inadvertently tries to steal you work, but most importantly, gives you evidence of intent of theft, if the perpetrator of this theft, has then cloned out the watermark (which leaves traces).
Very happy to share that for the second year running, the judges of the prestigious British Photography Awards have chosen two of my photographs for the award’s shortlist. This means that these two images are now eligible for the People’s Choice Awards and open to a public vote.
If you like either (or both!) my photographs, I would greatly appreciate your vote. You may vote vote for one image in each category. No registration is needed and it’s literally one click to cast your vote.
One of my favourite street photographs, is now available as an edition of 25. Even before publicising the edition, 3 prints have already been sold, so at the time of writing, there are 22 prints left. Perhaps the perfect Christmas treat or gift?
The edition is an archival Giclée, gallery quality print. The photograph is printed on A3 (approx 11-3/4” x 16-1/2” or 297mm x 420mm) with a white border, on Hahnemüehle Photo Rag Bright White. 310 gsm on 100% cotton art paper. Signed on the back, name on the front left, edition numbered on the front, along with my embossing on the right side. Each print will also come with a certificate of authenticity.
The price of each print is £400 (which includes VAT) plus shipping. Each print will be shipped in a sturdy tube. As the edition gets sold out, it’s customary for the price to rise near the end of the edition, so it’s wiser to invest earlier on. Please contact me via the Contact page to make arrangements.
For me, the image perfectly encapsulates modern life in the city. The duality of striving for happiness and survival, with far too many working in jobs they don’t love, to make ends meet. That constant struggle.
The image was made as I was running to the car park. As soon as I saw the light from the advertising hoarding, it made me stop. The way it was lighting the rain and the wet pavement caught my eye. It was only a moment later that I read the message. The problem though, was that the digital advertising was a constant slideshow. None of the other adverts were as bright or simple; they were in fact colourful and messy, and as a light source didn’t work as they were much dimmer.
I must have waited for around 20 minutes. Suddenly from the right hand side, a businessman in a raincoat, holding a briefcase, rushed past. It was so quick, I managed to shoot two frames on my Leica. As luck would have it, the timing of the businessman coincided with the “Love Your Job” slide showing on the advertising board.
I love my job 😉
The photograph has been recognised by various awards and curators over the years, including being a runner-up in the Driven Creativity shortlist and exhibited in London, Paris & Berlin. It was a finalist in Travel Photographer Of The Year too. It was exhibited in The Press Photographers’ Year in the National Theatre, as well as the Fleet Street Photo Exhibition in London. It was commended by the judges of the Fotoura International Street Photography Awards as well as used as a double page spread in AP Magazine’s ‘Tribute To Leica’ issue. It also won the Life At Work category of the British Life Photography Awards. It was judged as Professional Photographer of the Year’s winner in the Street Photography category. It also made The Huffington Post Pictures of the Year in 2011.
To purchase your print, please use the CONTACT page to get in touch.
Our fundraising print auction, almost eight months in the making, ends this Sunday, November 15th at 5pm. The auction is open now for bids, so please swing by, look at the amazing selection of prints, make an investment and literally, help to save lives.
What challenging times we’re living in. Most of the world is sadly gripped by a second wave of this awful pandemic. At least the environment is definitely benefitting from these lockdowns as we all become Zoom experts though.
Sadly the timing of our MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders) fundraising auction couldn’t be more appropriate. Every penny we raise will go directly to the organisation and help their stellar work across 70 countries, battling this pandemic.
From purely an investment point of view, not surprisingly, spending has been lower for so many people during the past nine months and I think that’s probably going to be reflected in the bidding in our auction, which could end with some bargains to be had. Of course every penny raised will still help MSF and benefit all those whose aid they come to.
Some thoughts and advice from TV auctioneer extraordinaire James Lewis on collecting photography.
Photographers featured (in order) are: Shane Balkowitsch (USA), Fabrizia Costa (UK), Steven Neeson (UK), Paul Lowe (UK), Ian Berry (UK), Tom Stoddart (UK), John Downing (UK), Crispin Rodwell (Rep of Ireland), Tim Page (Australia), Yoshie Nishikawa (Italy/Japan), Mark Harrison (UK), Jason Bell (UK/USA), Clive Arrowsmith (UK), Rob Heyman (Australia), Edmond Terakopian (UK), Johnson Wee (Malaysia), Stuart Wood (UK), Ross Grieve (UK), Paul Sanders (UK) and Greg Finck (France).