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Instagram Stories for Photographers: Tips and Inspiration

Moira West

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Instagram Stories are a great place for a pro photographer to be. Though an Instagram Feed curates your beautiful images, Instagram Stories lets potential clients get to know you—what you’re like, how you work, and what they can expect in a session.

Instagram Stories for Photographers: Tips and Inspiration

That kind of content gets your audience to engage—in fact, 62% of businesses have gotten direct messages because of their IG Stories. If you’re looking to connect with clients, here are a few quick and easy tips that’ll elevate your Instagram Stories, along with 8 Story suggestions you can make in just a few minutes.

Several of the examples in this post are Instagram Story video templates, available in the Animoto: Social Video Editor iOS app. You can download the app for free in the App Store to access the templates. Change the color, font, and text, drop in your own photos and video clips, and you’re ready to post.

Story Inspiration: 8 ideas designed for photographers

1. Give a sneak peek

Give clients a quick look at an upcoming album with a stylish sneak peek. It’ll keep your client excited for your final product and let them know you’re hard at work crafting amazing images. The example below features our Sneak Peek template, which you can customize with your own images.

2. Take it behind the scenes

Share all the work that goes into taking an incredible photo. Here are a few behind-the-scenes videos you can try to let customers know how much time and effort you put into a shoot.

  • Give a tour of your studio
  • Post props or costumes
  • Share a timelapse of your editing
  • Get an extra set of hands to shoot you in action

Kelly Brown Story

Story by newborn photographer, Kelly Brown

3. Show before-and-after shots

Does your session feature makeup and hair? Share before-and-after images that gives potential clients a glimpse of how glamourous your photo shoot can be and how good they’ll look.

And since clients often don’t understand why photos take so long to perfect, you can also do a quick editing before and after. Show off the difference between images that are straight out of camera and the ones that are fully processed and ready for your client.

Susan Stripling Story

Story by wedding photographer, Susan Stripling

4. Share a quote

A quote can highlight an image beautifully, giving viewers more time to absorb your work. The Story below was created with the Inspiring Quote template. It lets you share multiple photos, while offering your audience something uplifting and shareable. Combine with a hashtag, like #MondayMotivation, to expand your reach.

5. Go to a favorite shooting location

Let clients see where you like to shoot. You can also explain why you love your favorite spot. Go into the place’s mood or why the lighting can’t be beat. It’ll help demonstrate how much you know and help them imagine their own photoshoot, adding to the reasons why they should book with you.

6. Take your followers on vacation

Vacations can be a fun way to show off your photography skills in a new way. Tell the story of your trip so that followers feel like they’re right there with you. The example below shows our Vacation Recap template.

7. Post a poll

Boost engagement by asking your audience a question. Which do they prefer— color or black and white? Smiling or serious? The red dress or the blue? Find out how to create dynamic polls, like the one below, on our blog.

Instagram Stories poll for photographers

8. Get personal

Share a little bit about what you do outside of work. You don’t have to get into significant others, friends, or kids if you don’t want to. But if you have non-photography passions—hobbies, beloved movies, or favorite restaurants—share them! It’ll give clients more information about who you are and build up trust.

Tips for your photography Instagram Stories

Now that you’ve got some ideas for what to create, here are some tips for making sure your Stories look their best.

Consider how your Story sounds

Unlike in the Instagram Feed, viewers tend to watch your Stories with the sound on. Take a look at a few ways to make sure they hear something that’ll keep them interested.

  • Add music to your Story: If you’re using Animoto, you can choose from hundreds of licensed music tracks, even if you’re just featuring a still photo. Add them to any Story grab attention and to accentuate your mood or style.
  • Talk right to the camera: Get personal with your audience and create a video featuring you on screen. That in-person look at you might convince potential clients to book—or at least learn more about you.
  • Post video with clear, compelling audio: Just as you’d only post something that looks good, you should think about the way your Story sounds, too. Listen for interesting audio. If a video clip has muddy or boring audio, think about muting that footage and adding music instead.

Keep your Stories on brand

Stories may be the fun side of Instagram, but the goal is still to get your photography business noticed. That’s why it’s important to develop a look for your Stories, just as you would for your Feed.

You can just choose go-to colors and fonts on Instagram, or use our app’s brand settings to make sure every Story has your brand’s colors, fonts, and logo ready.

Brand Settings Instagram Stories

Think vertical

After years of thinking in terms of horizontal or square video, you might be relieved to finally get more use out of all your vertical shots. Adding vertical video clips or behind-the-scenes content, on the other hand, can take some getting used to. Check out our post on shooting vertical video for Stories for some inspiration.

You can also mix up your look on Stories by using different layouts, as the Sneak Peek template in our app does here. It lets you feature horizontal or square shots along with all those gorgeous vertical images.

sneak-peek

Save your favs

Did you make an IG Story you love? Keep them where visitors can find them later. Add Highlights under different categories. If you’re a wedding photographer, for instance, you could create highlight titles for engagements, ceremonies, and behind-the-scenes content. Photographers like Vanessa Joy, Kelly Brown, and Lindsay Adler use their Highlights as a mini-portfolio, showing off the best of the work they share in their Stories.

Check your analytics often

Instagram Stories does have analytics, but it’s here today and gone… well, not quite tomorrow. But you’ve only got 14 days to see how a given Story did. That means if you’re going to see what’s working on your IG Stories account, you’ve got to check in pretty frequently. Read up on Instagram’s analytics to learn more.

Get found

A lot of the methods you might use to get found on Instagram work for Stories, too. Here are a few ways to make your Stories more discoverable:

  • Use hashtags: Think of hashtags your potential clients might search for, especially ones that include your genre of photography and location.
  • Add a location tag: If you’re at a special location, tag it! It’ll help locals find you.
  • Tag clients, vendors, or shooting locations: Get seen by your clients’ followers or customers looking at related businesses. Just remember to check with the client before you tag them in their photos.

How are you using Instagram Stories for your photography business? Do you have an idea we missed? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to check out our free iOS app to try out all of the templates featured in this article.