At the end of 2016 I was burnt-out and ready for a break from social media – Instagram to be specific. Instead of deleting my account for good, I forced myself to take a two week “vacation” from the app, by completely removing it from my phone, and making a promise to not check until after the New Year.
Now that my two-week hiatus is over, I realized something – I didn’t really miss using the app. At all. However, being a creative – and more specifically a photographer, I cannot abandon this platform in it’s entirety, but I have decided to re-think the way I use and interact with the app from this point on.
Only log in to post
I noticed that once I no longer had the app in my phone, I was left with an abundance of free-time. After about a week, I stopped habitually going for my phone the moment boredom set in – and I was able let my mind wander, or to focus on what I was doing. I tried to enjoy being in that headspace without my phone – and it led me to feel more creative. I felt happier! Why? Because I wasn’t experiencing FOMO every five minutes, or needing my phone glued to my hand. I’ve decided that I will try my best to only use the app when I really need it – and that is to share something that holds value to my business or brand.
Share with Intention
Ever since they implemented the algorithm, it’s important that you post with the utmost intention. Ask yourself, does this align with my brand/vision/heart?. Timing does not matter (as much) anymore, but posting quality over quantity does. Just recently I met a couple at a wedding, and they asked me if I knew of a specific photographer. Instead of pulling up the aforementioned photographer’s website, they showed me his Instagram. This really jumped out at me. No matter whether or not you believe in using Instagram – many people will use it as a tool to find your work and share it with people. It’s easy and makes sense to people – and they will go there before your website.
It’s important that your ‘gram is an accurate reflection of the work you want to share.
Instagram as Portfolio
That all being said, I’ve decided to use Instagram more as an extension of my online portfolio – with some fun travel, behind-the-scenes and announcements thrown in.
These are something that I will use Instagram for – especially since I never jumped on the Snapchat bandwagon. If I have to be on social media, I’ll be there sharing some real-time BTS. This allows me to share a “day in the life” or what I am up to, without excessively posting, or shying away from my aesthetic. Stories are fun, and I enjoy using them because it makes sense for my brand.
Posting from your heart
I think this is the most important point of all. One of my 2017 goals is to hone in on exactly who and what I want to say with my work, and that means only posting things that are true to my heart (vision and aspirations as a photographer) – not based on what I think will get “the most likes”.
Stay true to yourself – and the right people (i.e. clients) will follow.