Take Your Own Instagram PhotosThe most cost effective is to do it yourself and take your own photos for Instagram. Be warned: this option requires a lot of work and time on your end. You also must also have the right tools and materials to do this. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t scare you off because it’s really not that hard once you get the hang of it. With a bit of persistence and trial and error, you can gain a new skill and have the flexibility of taking new photos with each product, announcement and season.
- Photography arsenal: You’ll need either a DSLR or smartphone with a good camera built in that lets you adjust the shutter speed, depth of field, and ISO. If you don’t know what any of these terms means, you’ll need to read up about it here. A good lighting set is also key if you don’t have enough natural light indoors. We recommended this set of lights.
- Editing: Editing is the magic that happens after a photo is taken. To edit your photos we recommend using Adobe Lightroom. However, it might be a bit complex for new photographers. So for you newbies, we recommend using Fotor. This software is free and includes the option to edit photos on your smartphone, through their app, or on your computer. Many of time you won’t have enough time to edit on a computer, and this way you can get used to editing on your phone while on-the-go
Hire a PhotographerSometimes photography might not be your thing or you just don’t have time for it. Many photographers that are just starting out might offer you their services for free or at a discounted cost. If you visit a nearby college or university and you may be able to score a photographer for free as an assignment for their class.
- Find a Photographer: This blog is helpful if you don’t know how to find a photographer. The best way to get a student or young photographer is to start by asking a photography professor at the local university.
- Interview Candidates: For every photographer you are considering, you should try to interview them first. See how professional their communication is and if they understand your brand before making a selection.
Free Stock PhotosIf you are super limited on time, stock photos are great to use. Keep in mind, you obviously won’t get personalized photos for your brand this way. While Shutterstock is great for their large inventory of stock photos, it can add up quick with their pricing structure. Ty out Pexels first, which offers nearly over 500,000 images royalty free. This means you are free to do whatever you want with them. If you know a bit of editing you may also be able to superimpose some branded content on it. Also, please be picky with your photo options. Stock photos can be almost comically staged and those type of photos won’t be helpful for your brand you’re trying to convey.
User-Generated ContentIf you’re brand has been around for awhile, you may even have content that is already posted to Instagram by a customer. This user-generated content (UGC) is beneficial for brands in a number of ways. First, By having a customers see content posted by another customer, it builds trust and loyalty around your brand. And secondly, it’s also is a way for to build a library of content for posts and not have to pay for it.
- How to Incentivize Users to Make Content: You should make sure you have go-to and unique hashtags for users to tag your photos. Place the hashtag in your bio or profile description. This way you have something to follow and customers to look through. Offer small giveaways consistently for a steady influx of timely user-generated photos.